Blackcurrant is yet another weird thing that vaping has forced me to have an opinion on. My experience with blackcurrant is pretty much limited to crème de cassis. I don’t have a clever way to work this into a sentence, but I saw a really good article on why actual blackcurrants smell like cat pee, so I’m pretty okay with keeping my blackcurrant experience to the more candied variety.
This is mostly candied, so that’s cool. Fairly deep, saturated artificial blackcurrant flavor here dominates. Fairly standard ribena or cassis type flavor, very deep and mauve tasting. The mouthfeel here is really interesting. It’s got a syrupy and kind of sticky heft to it. It’s a wetter stickiness than FA Blackcurrant, feels more like a melted popsicle than the swedish fish vibe of the FA. This is also fairly sweet. I wouldn’t call it cloying by itself, but I’d watch it pretty closely up against other relatively sweet flavors. This also has a decent dose of tartness to it. Given that this has been steeped about forever without much muting, I’m inclined to say that it isn’t just a malic acid. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a full sour, but it does help to perk up that heavier candy flavor and keeps it from stacking up too badly on the palate.
Overall vibe is something close to hard candy, although there are some weirder flourishes in here. I get something likely ketchupy in here. It’s not as ketchupy as TPA Raspberry (Sweet) or VT Sweet Raspberry, but you can find it if you go looking for it. I taste just a bit of funky riper musk in here, sort of nestled down in that tart candy flavor. It’s not enough to be truly unpleasant, but it’s enough to show up in some weird places in mixes.
Graham told me that vape train berries all sort of taste the same (so credit to him I guess) and that thought has started to invade my brain. I’ve tried their raspberries, blackberry, and boysenberry and they all seem to something like a touch of candy grape. It’s a bit floral and sharp.
I’m woefully under-educated on blackcurrant flavors, so comparison here is a bit hard for me. This is tarter, thicker, and more candied than the newer CAP Blackcurrant. It’s a bit more funky as well. FA Blackcurrant would probably be the biggest competition here. This may actually be a clearer blackcurrant flavor than the FA version, if ultimately a bit less useful. FA Blackcurrant doesn’t have quite the depth and tartness of this VT Shisha Blackcurrant, but FA Blackcurrant is pretty sneaky and that swedish fish style texture is still super useful as a textural additive.
Testing percentages here, it feels like you have some kind of flexibility. I think this is one of those flavors that are actually a bit more harsh at a lower percentage. At 1%, this is pretty fully tart but that heavy candy body hasn’t really shown up. At 4%, this seems to be working pretty well. It’s thick, vibrant, and those funkier musk notes are pretty well under control with the tartness working as a nice compliment. 8% is probably too much here. The candy blackcurrant base actually doesn’t taste bad, but the tartness is sort of acidic and it all seems to be getting a bit dry. I’d start around 4% and work up if you want a candy blackcurrant flavor right up front in a recipe. I’m not sure if you’ll get anything to really push past this that high, but the actual flavor should work just fine. I’d be around 1-2% as an accent.
Overall this feels pretty solid. If the Vape Train shisha flavors are aiming for straight-ahead bold fruit flavors, I feel like this does that. I think it’s a solid pickup if you’re into darker berries, and especially if you don’t mind a bit of funk.
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 Shisha Blackcurrant, 1, 4 and 8%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped apx. 2 months.
Profile: Moderately tart blackcurrant candy.
Off-Flavors: A little bit floral on top and a little bit of musky overripeness hiding in here that doesn’t quite go along with heavier artificial body.
Throat Hit: Decent throat here, but it seems to be more attached to the tartness than anything else. Nothing unexpected or really unpleasant.
Percentage Recommendation: 1-2% as an accent in mixes. 4-5% as a primary flavor, although you’d have to mix around it. Seems like a bit of a bully.
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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.