This flavor feels like an inevitability. FA wants to get in the ice cream game in 2018. Evolutionary, probably the missing between TPA Vanilla Swirl and TPA Vanilla Bean Gelato. Thick, but not really rich, with a bright aggressive vanilla.
And it’s pretty good. You’ve got a fairly strong, bright vanilla right up front. Seems on the slightly fruity, almost floral side of vanilla. It’s not quite a super commercial straight frosting kind of vanilla note, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of spicier or darker notes in there like FA Vanilla Bourbon. It feels like a soft serve style vanilla… but a fancy soft serve.
I feel like assuming this is an italian gelato can hand wave away some of the issues in lining this up next to other ice creams. Gelatos aren’t particularly rich, so it moves the bar a bit. Less butterfat to aim at? Less problem. The richness level here is pretty low. I don’t get a ton of distinct of milky or dairy qualities here, and it doesn’t have the richness of the VBICs or any of the slightly eggy notes of something like a frozen custard. Alternatively, there isn’t really anything butyric or sour here like you get with some of the DAAP free creams.
Besides the vanilla right up front, the other defining feature seems to be that thick Vanilla Swirl-esque texture. It borders on waxy, with a dense chewiness to the flavor. It seems to get a bit dry up at 4%, but at 2% it’s thick without running into any pronounced issues.
So here’s the thing. I’m a sucker for TPA Vanilla Swirl. Seriously, I’ve yet to meet a recipe that I couldn’t ruin by adding some vanilla swirl. It mutes flavors, usually in a good way, it thickens, and it ultimately just makes more aggressive mixes more pleasant to vape. I’m definitely going to play around with this one a bit more. In some limited super scientific tests, it seems like it has most of the same issues that the swirl has. Trying this with some aggressive FLV Lime, it seems to be doing some of the same muting. So it’s functionally pretty close. This distinguishes itself from Vanilla Swirl in two primary ways:
- It has a more aggressive, bright vanilla. While Swirl has a fairly soft but still aggressively artificial vanilla, the vanilla here is bigger, brighter, and maybe just a bit fruitier. I’d still call it artificial, but it’s a pretty nice vanilla.
- The texture here isn’t quite the same. It’s still thick, but it feels a bit dryer and waxier than vanilla swirl. That’s where the comparison to TPA Vanilla Bean Gelato comes in. This isn’t as dry and waxy as TPA VBG, but it’s pushing that way.
I’m feeling like the uses here are basically going to be like Vanilla Swirl. There are the obvious vanilla soft serve type applications, and the base for milkshakes or ice cream if you think the more Acetyl Propinyl heavy ice cream flavors taste like black pepper. That’s all well and good. But this kind of vanilla flavor works wonders as a textural additive for candies. And bakeries. And everything, ever, basically. So if you want to use vanilla swirl but needed a stronger vanilla and drier body, this is probably a good choice.
Setup: Recoil w/ flavor barrel, Dual 12 wrap 24g 3.5mm SS316 @.32 ohms. 60w power, 450F temp limit. Full Cotton Wicks.
Testing: FlavourArt Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 and 4%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped 15 days.
Profile: Bright vanilla and a thick body. Not buttery or rich, but still fairly dense and chewy pushing towards waxy.
Off-Flavors: Doesn’t have much in the way of dairy notes or buttery richness. That vanilla seems a bit aggressive, even at lower percentages.
Throat Hit: Not really until it gets dry. Then it’s still relatively light.
Percentage Recommendation: Seems pretty linear. Use up to around 3% if you can handle the vanilla. Seems to get dry and a bit too waxy higher.
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