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January 13, 2016


A Brief History of RY4 Tobacco Flavor


RY4 is one of the oldest e-liquid flavors for vaping with a rich history and it continues to evolve as e-liquid artists update this profile with new twists.

RY4 is an umbrella term for a flavor profile that  incorporates three basic component flavors: a tobacco base (usually mild and understated, but occasionally stronger and more up front), caramel, and vanilla. The caramels and vanillas are as varied as the tobacco bases. The trend has been to slowly evolve RY4 by adding other flavors to the mix, but those three are essential. 

The term RY4 comes from the original e-Cig produced by the Ruyan Group Ltd. Ruyan launched the first production electronic cigarette on the market back in 2004 under the Ruyan brand.  For more details on this - go to http://www.caferacervape.com/blogs/news/36962049-a-brief-history-of-e-cig-vape-design-and-evolution



Orignal Ruyan e-Cigarette                                     Ruyan founder Hon Lik

Ruyan’s blend #4 e-Liquid was originally made by Chang Ning Dekang Biological Technology Co. for Ruyan Group Limited. The name 'Ruyan' was commonly shortened to just RY, with the blend number being placed after it, thus 'Ruyan blend #4' becomes just RY4. 

There is some controversy around this  - according to the Big RY4 thread on the E-cig Forum 

Here's a snippet from the RY4 Forum: “The very first RY liquid was created in a single afternoon by two men: Ludo, one of the owners of Janty, and a Chinese flavor chemist, presumably working for Dekang. They started in the lab of a Dekang factory in China with some basic flavors they both agreed on and made various "test juices" tweaking the recipe along the way. After about four hours, they came up with the one they liked best, and they christened it Ruyan 4—" the name was abbreviated to RY4."

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“Ruyan never had anything to do with an RY4 flavor. It was Janty who designed it with Dekang. They were the first to sell it and when other companies started buying it from Dekang and selling it. Janty used to even write to them and ask them not to call it RY4 which is why you would see it called names like Riskee Yuice. Here's an interview with the founder of Janty:

Ludo | Janty: "We were never in this for the money, we grew out of the vaping community in 2006 and the only thing that drives us is passion. We design and invent stuff, the eGo for example."

Ludo | Janty: “ Our RY4 for example is named after him. I made RY4 in the lab of Dekang on a Sunday afternoon with the chemist and called it Ruyan nr4, then I changed it to RY4. …Then it was copied, just like our eGo."

Blake | GuideToVaping: "I’m shocked! I had no clue you were the first to make ‘RY4′… nor did I know where RY4 the name came from."

Ludo | Janty: "Ah, well now you know. Ha!  Ruyan nr4  because it took us 5 samples to get to the fourth one, which was the one that was the exact right formula. I knew people would love that taste. I was a heavy smoker myself you know, 2 packs a day. No more since 2006…"

Whether that’s the full back story or not, it’s suffice to say that RY4 has endured and is still a top flavor out of thousands of options now available.  Much like a beer style like IPA, RY4 has many different variants and some companies even market flavors like RY5 or RY4 2.0

One of the problems with the bulk of the RY4 e-liquids on the market today is that most companies use the same 4 or 5 flavor houses to get their tobacco flavor base concentrates.  These are almost always synthetic tobacco flavors and, in my opinion, and the market’s opinion, most tobacco flavors are awful.  Many are quite harsh, have either a pipe or cigar tobacco flavor element or worse, a cigarette like flavor which as we all know - is putrid at best.  This has caused many people to move away from tobacco flavors … but we hope to change that.

When I started Cafe Racer E-Liquid, doing a proper RY4 flavor to go with my love of craft beers was a top priority.   Given that most of the commonly used tobacco flavors available were unacceptable, I made a pilgrimage to tobacco country (Carolinas, Virginia, etc) in search of a new source.  After weeks of meetings and testing, I was able to find an amazing tobacco flavor that was naturally extracted Virginia tobacco and a compound of several ingredients creating a rich, smooth almost buttery tobacco that was a perfect base to build a next generation RY4 that I would love to vape. 

Our Lucky 13 flavor took over 6 months to create. We played around with many different versions - sticking with the base of Vanilla, Caramel and Tobacco sounds simple but when you have hundreds of vanillas and dozens of caramels to choose from, this process takes a while. Additionally, we felt that we could improve the RY4 experience by adding some new flavors.   The addition of toasted almonds was a big breakthrough - giving Lucky 13 some backbone. Additionally we added several other key ingredients for a total of, you guessed it, 13, to get the final flavor profile. 

Lucky 13 launched alongside our other flavor Peach Guzzi at the World Vapor Expo in Miami on May 29, 2015.   Right away the feedback was fantastic with many people saying that it’s the best tobacco flavor they have tried.  More recently, Lucky 13 took the prestigious  Best of Show Award at The Vape Summit IV held in Houston for the tobacco category as well as host of other awards from Expos and Vape publications globally. 

We couldn’t be more stoked and proud of this updated RY4 flavor creation and are have just launched a flavor extension of Lucky 13 that features a similar base flavor profile but with a richer, stronger and more nutty tobacco experience - which we affectionally named Lucky Bastard.   Lucky Bastard launched in Indonesia in early January 2016 and launched in China, and the UK in mid to late January of the same year.   To date, Lucky 13 and Lucky Bastard continue to be Cafe Racer's best selling flavors.  

We have taken our years of tobacco flavor experience and ported this over to Nic Salts, optimized for low wattage devices like Mi-Pod, Aspire Breeze, Suorin Air, etc - and affectional call the line Salty Bastard.    Salty Bastard Tobacco provides an amazingly smooth creamy tobacco experience for these MTL devices and is already becoming a global hit. 

kurt sonderegger
kurt sonderegger


Founder/CEO of Cafe Racer Craft E-Liquid

6 Responses


April 27, 2018

Whatever happened to good old Janty? I am surprised to read you waited over a year to release Lucky Bastard in the USA.

Mr d
Mr d

June 12, 2017

Cant thank you guys enough I am 9 days without smokes due to peach guzzi alone cant really vape anything else and without it probably would be back on cigs.
I just had cancer cut out of my kidney and have early stage lung problems so this is probably a life saver for me.
Lucky 13 is in the mail and I cant wait to try it.

Canadaejuice Vape Shop
Canadaejuice Vape Shop

May 31, 2017

I really love ry4 ejuice its awesome. http://canadaejuice.com


May 23, 2017

I have been looking for a good tobacco flavor since i started vaping 5 years ago. All of them have ended up in the trash can :( If someone can make a tobacco flavor that doesn’t taste like a dirty ashtray smells and won’t charge a fortune to try it, i might give up my mint and coffee flavors.


March 08, 2017

I don’t know whether or not it’s common knowledge, but I know a little Chinese and the name Ruyan is 如烟 and translates more or less to “like smoke/cigarette/tobacco”

Electronic Cigar
Electronic Cigar

February 05, 2016

Really informative article. You can try this site for more flavors and latest e-cig brands. www.eleafworld.com

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