2017 has came and went, and with it came many new hookah products! Despite the new FDA regulations looming over the industries head, we still saw a plethora of new products emerge onto the market. I see a lot of lists doing their "top five of 2017", and while that's certainly something that I thought about doing, this year was such a weird year in releases that it just didn't seem right to pick my top five. This year, we're just going to be doing a quick recap - talking about some of the products that came out, and how the communities reacted to them. Some things you may have forgotten about, some you may have missed entirely. Without further ado, let's jump into it!
B2 Precious Cut
You're on the B2 blog - what did you expect? This year, the B2 Precious Cut was released. While the Precious Cut Collection didn't offer anything new in terms of functionality, what it did bring to the table were some absolutely stellar designs. If you were remotely thinking about buying a high end hookah this past year, the PCC was the way to go - and the communities have been absolutely in love with them. The PCC took the already stellar B2 and just took it up a notch. What did you think about the Precious Cut Collection? Which was your favorite design? Let us know in those comments below!
Zomo had a big year in the US. While it may not be a "new" product, per se, in 2017 we saw it come into the US market, courtesy of Zahrah hookah. Zomo is a Brazilian brand, one that has seen immense success in South America. It features two lines: the "Strong" line, the dark leaf line, and the "World Experience" line, the blonde leaf line. Zomo came into the market in a big way, and made quite a splash. While a lot of brands released new flavors, it had been a while since we saw an entirely new brand come into the American market. It received a lot of mixed reviews across the board. Many, such as myself, found it to be a
rather mediocre brand, not really doing much in the way of standing out. On the other hand, there were arguably more people that were going nuts for it - saying it was some of the best stuff they'd had in years. That said, the sales speak for themselves, and it seems as if the majority of the market enjoys Zomo. It's definitely something worth trying, and since it comes in 50g packs, you should pick some up to try for yourself if you haven't already. Did you try Zomo this year? What did you think? Let us know in the comments down below!
Alchemist Tobacco Kentucky Fire Cured (KFC)
Alchemist isn't a new name in hookah, they've established themselves in the market since late 2015. This year, they released their KFC line of tobacco. Dark leaf, with a heavy emphasis on the tobacco notes. The KFC line is called so because it utilizes a special method of curing the tobacco, one that comes from the Cigar industry called Kentucky Fire Curing. This gives the flavors a very heavy and musky smoke, making them something that I think really appeals to the more experienced smokers. The KFC line came with a lot of mixed reviews, some loving it, some not so much. KFC has a very odd place in the market, where it almost appeals more to traditional smokers more than anything else on the market. While that's not a bad thing by any means, we haven't really seen a brand come out like that in a long time. Some claimed KFC was trying to make the next big Tangiers, or something along those lines, however anyone that has tried KFC can quickly tell you that they're two completely different things. Did you try KFC this year? What did you think? Let me know what you thought!
2017 was a pretty good year for bowls. As a bowl collector, I'm always excited when new bowls come to market, and even more so when they're great bowls - which I think we saw a lot of this year.
From HookahJohn, we saw the new 80ft80 bowl - a revision of the 80ft bowl. The 80ft was one of my favorite bowls already, but it has only been collecting dust since I got the 80ft80. The bowl is a shallower iteration of the 80ft, with a wider spire, giving it great airflow, and holding the perfect amount of tobacco for dark leaf tobaccos like Black Lava and Tangiers. HJ also came out with the Tytris bowl - a red clay version of the 80ft80, making it perfect for ghosting a bowl with a specific flavor.
Alpaca bowls also released their new bowl, the "Suri" bowl, previously the No Name bowl. This bowl is everything that I personally love in a bowl - shallow, thick walls, and a wide spire. While it may not be as shallow as the 80ft80, it's still a great match for the Provost, something that I use in many of my sessions. Alpaca also came out with the Goodfella V4 - a follow up on one of the best bowls on the market. It kept everything that was great about the V3, and just added some consistency, and new glazes into the mix.
What was your favorite bowl this year?
New FlavorsA new year always means new flavors - that was something that really concerned me about the new FDA regulations. Luckily though, it didn't seem to really have any major effects. We still saw great new flavors from some of the best brands on the market, such as Pure's new FML Blue, Trifeca Tobacco's Lime, Indian Kheer, Ventura Peach, and Raspberry, Ugly Hookah's Desert Storm, Chi-Town Breeze, Rollercoaster, and tons more that I can't even begin to name. It was a good year in hookah flavors, and I'm hopeful that that trend will only continue into 2018.
In 2016, we saw Mason hookah come to market with arguably one of the best bowls on the market - the Onyx bowl. This year, we saw them come out with their new "Tymber" hose. This hose blew every existing hose out of the water, as Mason put their signature quality into it. The hose features a soft touch silicone tubing, with a hand crafted wooden and acrylic handle. The handle is a work of pure art, with a variety of different woods available to choose from. It's far and away the best hose on the market, and it's the perfect addition to any setup that you'll find on the market. When I was thinking about writing a normal "top five" list for 2017, this hose was the first thing that came to mind, as it is, in my opinion, probably the best thing to come to market in 2017. Have you been able to try a Tymber hose yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
With 2017 in the books, it will be interesting to see what we have to look forward to in the coming year. What kind of big products do you think we'll see? Is there anything that you're excited for? What was your favorite release of 2017? Was there anything you think we missed? While it's not possible for us to cover everything that happened last year, I think this gives a pretty solid overview of what last year was like. Was it a good year? I think I'll leave that question up to you guys. As always guys, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!