The meaning of RY4 tobacco e-liquid and juice explained

This article looks into describing what an RY4 tobacco e-liquid is, what a RY4 flavour e juice tastes like, the meaning behind the RY4 name, what it stands for and who invented it.

what is an ry4 vape e-liquid / e juice? We explain the meaning.


Probably one of the best all-day-vape e-liquid flavours

The RY4 flavour is based on three principal ingredients: Tobacco, Caramel and Vanilla (and a couple of other secret ingredients which the inventor, and his chemist would not name) to create a vape flavour that would never get old, and that could be used as a base to build other flavours upon.

It's also the best crossover vape for new (ex-smokers) vapers transitioning away from tobacco blends over to the sweeter food flavour e-liquids that depict fruits or desserts.

This flavour was conceived by Ludo Timmermans and a (al)chemist at the Chang Ning Dekang Biological Technology Company ( at the invitation of his friend (the boss at Dekang) to visit their laboratory.

RY4 e juice/e-liquid flavour and taste described

Chasing the perfect e-liquid flavour formula

The RY4 recipe came into existence as Ludo tried to recreate the flavours of an analogue cigarette brand that he smoked, encompassing it into an e-liquid form. Thankfully he failed at actually recreating the exact flavour of the cigarette itself, but along the way he found an impressive flavour he wanted even more during the stages of formula experimentation below:

Attempt – 1: Very subtle mixture of tobacco aromas

Attempt – 2: Taste dry tobacco, raw, with no sweet aftertaste

Attempt – 3: Exceptional blend of tobaccos, slightly sweet taste but non descript

Attempt – 4: Tobacco blend with the trends of caramel and vanilla

There was a fifth attempt at creatiing it by Ludo, but all this told him was that he had gone too far, had gone too sweet and that number 4 was the perfect holy grail of e-liquid flavours.

The first ever original RY4 vape juice/e-liquidThe final flavour ended up being called Ruyan Number 4 (apparently named in honour of the original Ruyan electronic cigarette, and the #4 from the number of iterations of recipe attempts) and was subsequently abbreviated down to RY4. There are some disputes/rumours as to whether it was created for Dekang, the Ruyan Group or Ludo himself (where he coincidentally had worked for the Ruyan Group) – either way the flavour he dreamed is now known as RY4. A true ‘elixir’ e-liquid for vaping.

Ultimately Dekang went on to manufacture and distribute the new RY4 e-liquid recipe from 2007 (including to the Ruyan Group, but not exclusively – although anyone else selling it was asked to not to call their variant RY4 which is why you see other names like Riskee Yuice), and it was also produced for Ludo’s new business Janty (now closed – obsolete website here) until May 2010.

© Ludo Timmermans, Inventor of RY4 vape juice/e-liquid
Ludo Timmermans, inventor of the original RY4 E-liquid and CEO of Janty
© Hon Lik, inventor of the first e-cigarette, the Ruyan.
Han Lik, Inventor of the first commercially available e-cigarette and CEO of Ruyan
© First ever e-cigarette, the Ruyan.
The very first commercially available e-cigarette, the Ruyan e-cigarette
© The first commercially manufactured RY4 vape juice/e-liquid
A remake of the first RY4 e-liquid by it's original manufacturer Dekang

Ludo as a heavy smoker knew that the taste he created would make it big in the e-cig world, and it did. The RY4 flavour became an instant hit with early adopters in e-cigarette circles and became well sought after. Since its creation, RY4 has helped many a smoker ditch the evil weed and switch to the e-cigarette.

RY4 Emporium E-liquid Shop

All was lost...

Unfortunately, in late 2010 the legendary RY4 recipe somehow stopped tasting so ‘epic’ – rumours are that the original ‘holy grail’ recipe was either lost, or the formula was given away and it has now ceased production (the word is that Dekang gave the flavour away, which apparently is typical for the Chinese?!? – and the chemist who helped him has since disappeared with the secrets of the ‘real RY4’).

And so a legend begins

RY4 is one of the oldest e-liquid flavours in vaping, it has a rich history that will continue to evolve as e-liquid artists & brands are now trying to rediscover the secrets of this classic flavour, or to re-invent it with new improved twists. So much so, that every other e-liquid manufacturer (and DIY hobbyist) has set out to create his complex mythical E-Liquid.

Modern RY4s of today have evolved, and are probably better upgrades rather than being imitations of the old legendary Ruyan blend, of the same name. RY4 is now a very popular e-liquid flavour type. Not surprising as it’s probably one of the best all-day-vapes and is very more’ish. Not too sweet, not too throaty, and very nice to vape on all day without getting bored of it.

Why is RY4 so popular?

I think the popularity of RY4 comes from the fact that most tobacco flavours are not what people really expect. So they try USA blend or 555 and think "this does not taste like tobacco". RY4 has a hint of tobacco, but the caramel and vanilla fill in taste notes that would otherwise make tobacco e-juice taste strange. RY4 is a familiar, pleasant taste with just enough tobacco taste to satisfy an ex-tobacco-smoker. Personally I prefer these types of flavours - non-tobacco juices just don't do it for me. I'll take RY4 over any other non-tobacco flavour I've found so far.

Don’t just take our word for it, whilst researching RY4 I came across this forum article that had to be closed after reaching a 300 page limit of user comments at: The Really Big RY4 Roundup on: How is that for enthusism for RY4?

Left RY4 E-liquid / Juice


Centre RY4 E-liquid / Juice


Right E-liquid / Juice


What do we think?

We love RY4 flavours because they are so damn smooth and subtle. There's something about this flavour profile that really hits the spot. Nothing offends in the taste like some e-liquids can and do.

As virtually all vapers are ex-smokers, we naturally gravitate towards an e-liquid that will give us the same sensations or memories as that of smoking a real cigarette. Most tobacco flavours often leave a lot to be desired, ranging from full on rancid ash-tray strength to sweet pipe-tobaccos reminiscent of grandads on allotments, but not in combination as with our trusted favourite. The caramel and vanilla are as varied as the tobacco base. It’s not really a tobacco flavour, it just has a hint of tobacco to it. Some variations are sweet and some aren’t. Some have more vanilla than others and some have more caramel.

RY4 knocks back some of the stronger tobacco flavours, and by sweetening with caramel and vanilla, ends up with a vaping experience that has the same throat hit and tobacco sensation akin to that of our best memory of analog cigarettes, but made smoother, sweeter and healthier in our minds.

RY4 E-Liquid is loved by many and hated by some. There are so many variations of this flavour, that anybody who says they do not like it may very well find a version that they do like if they tried several varieties.

The magic lies in the quality of the ingredients and how they’re blended. Some RY4s are very bright, almost effervescent, with a pronounced and sparkling high end. These virtually shimmer. Others are darker and deeper, with predominant bass notes. Some emphasize the distinct taste of each component; others are blended into a unified and more singular flavour experience. Some are downright spectacular vapes; others occasionally fall short.

Some brands include other flavours, the trend has been to slowly evolve RY4 by extending these essential base ingredients. Without one of them, a juice is not really an RY4. The flavour group has come a long way and there’s a variation of it out there for all of us with many different variants, some companies even market flavours like RY5 or RY4 2.0. Someone will always come along and make an old thing better.

Should you try RY4?

When I first started vaping, I didn't want to try RY4 because I wasn't sure what the flavour was going to be, it's just an abbreviated name after all, and some vendors didn't seem to want to describe the flavour. It was just a ‘Hey, here's our RY4!’ without any other explanation, It wasn't until I started watching video reviews that I began to understand what it was supposed to taste like – I then bought a bottle of it and loved it enough that I have been trying various brands since. I even have the bottle still so that I would never forget about it – an RY4 geek was born.

There's hardly a RY4 that doesn't taste great, the subtle but complex combinations of flavours makes an RY4 interesting.

Are there differences in RY4 e-liquids?

Everyone's RY4 is different, and taste is entirely subjective. Sure, they all have the a similar tobacco/vanilla/caramel flavour, but there are marked differences. RY4 is one of those blends that has always reminded me of craft beer. Nearly every company that creates tobacco flavoured e-liquid has it’s own version of the RY4. There are many permutations, all with their own subtle differences. There are so many amazing RY4 blends out there today created by talented mixologists, even a DIY mixer will tell you that with just a little tweak to a mix can change the entire taste. An RY4 can contain a choice from hundreds of different combinations of tobacco types, caramel types and vanilla flavours, with a higher or lower ratio of each flavour, you can use sweeteners, and so on. The biggest differences that you’ll find amongst these flavours are the varying amounts of each ingredient in the juice and the varying levels of sweetness. Some RY4s contain barely any caramel or vanilla, while others will contain so much that you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s supposed to be a tobacco flavour.

This makes each vendors RY4 ingredients quite unique and thus creates new e-liquids with quite a different take on an RY4, so you have to read the flavour description of each particular brand. And then in addition to the base, you can add a twist to it, like adding bourbon, butterscotch, pistachio or whatever else to form an even more adventurous take on the RY4 format.

Our curated collection of RY4 e-liquids

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

The RY4 E-liquids we sell have be flavour tested so that each variant passes our selective tastebuds, we won’t sell anything that we won’t vape ourselves and have also tried to be bold with our brand choices to include some more outlandish takes on RY4 featuring different injections of flavour.

Share this RY4 article: