The syrup from canned mandarins more than a fresh mandarin.
This is a repost of legacy review, originally posted on the DIY_eJuice subreddit.
Disclaimer: I didn’t pay for this, shoutout to Vape Train for sending it to me.
Setup: Recoil w/ flavor barrel, Dual 12 wrap 24g 3.5mm SS316 @.32 ohms. 60w power, 450F temp limit. Full Cotton Wicks.
Testing: Vape Train Mandarin, 3% and 7%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped 21 days.
Flavor Description: Bright mandarin flavor. Seems a bit one-dimensional like the syrup from canned mandarins. Sweetness level isn’t quite candied, but it’s substantially sweeter than just peeled mandarins. Relatively light bit of tartness giving it some balance. I’m not picking up any real zest to this. Nothing that really feels fresh or juicy. Seems to have just a bit of an artificial tang type flavor underneath that brighter, tarter mandarin. Not straight tang, but tastes just a bit artificial.
Base of the flavor seems a bit waxy, and it’s doing that thing where the first couple of drags off freshly dripped cotton are a whole lot more vibrant than the last couple where the wax comes out more. Not as waxy as FA Mandarin, and doesn’t seem to have that sort of green muddiness that come can come along with the waxiness. Gives this a moderately full body overall.
Seems to have fallen off a bit with a steep. This was a bit more vibrant at 1 and 2 weeks then it seems now. It’s not absolutely dramatic, but it seems a little less bright and a little more dull and waxy after 3 weeks.
Out of the zoo of mandarins/tangerines that I’ve tried, this reminds the most of the midpoint between FE Sweet Orange and FA Mandarin. It has that brighter but still kind of candied bright mandarin flavor like the FE Sweet Orange, but it has some of that heavier waxy body from FA Mandarin.
Off-Flavors: A little bit of wax, a little artificial tasting, definitely syrup instead of fresh mandarins. Nothing unpleasant or completely off though.
Throat Hit: Light. Pretty mellow for a citrus.
Percentage testing: At 3%, I’m getting some lighter mandarin flavor without too much of a waxy base. Tastes a little thin, although still on the sweeter side. Feels a bit flat, without much in the way of tartness.
At 7%, this is bigger, brighter, sweeter, and tarter. Starting to get some of that artificial tang taste here underneath the brighter mandarin syrup. Mouthfeel is good, but it gets a bit waxy and warm on me.
Vape Train suggests mixing with this at 2-3% and standalone at 5-7%. Just based on these tests, that seems in the ballpark. I’d probably use a heavier hand with it as an accent, around 4% and a primary flavor from 6-8% but that’s after a couple weeks of steeping.
Uses & Pairings: Pretty competent straight up mandarin flavor. This feels a bit soft to really take center stage in a mix, but should work well stuck up against other fruits as a mandarin accent that isn’t too zest heavy or harsh. All the usual suspects, really.
Nothing here that suggests it wouldn’t work in a creamier application, so maybe do that. Could also work for candies.
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This concentrate was provided to me by the manufacturer with no additional compensation. There was no editorial influence. I have no ongoing business relationships with Vape Train or its employees.