And we’ve come to the part of my increasingly surreal life where I try to dissect another bergamot concentrate, another flavor I’m not sure I had ever even thought about before I started quixotic quest to become some flavor demagogue. This is a fresher and more floral version of bergamot.
Bergamot itself is pretty much a bitter orange. It’s the secret sauce for Earl Grey Tea, and it has an aroma somewhere between dried orange peel and lavender. It’s profoundly strange stuff, bitter citrus with a very clear floral expression to it.
This hits all those bases. You’ve got a relatively fruity bergamot body with light sweet orange notes and some lemony acidity. There are some deeper dried peel notes in there on top of that fresher citrus. The musky part of the flavor skews pretty heavily perfumey and floral. Instead of being a darker, warmer musk, I get a slightly bitter perfume kind of finish.
The biggest competition here would be FlavourArt Bergamot, and the differences aren’t profound or anything, but they are there. FlavourArt’s bergamot is a bit darker, richer, and spicier. I feel like FlavourArt focuses more on the dried citrus zest, while the Vape Train introduces some of the fresher citrus tartness. That dried zest has a certain level of spice to it that I’m feeling is lacking from the Vape Train version. Both flavors have floral components to them, but the musk in the flavourart is warmer and deeper with less of a perfumed lavender vibe, whereas the vape train musk is more clearly in the floral camp and reads as a more classic floral to me, complete with the grandma’s perfume vibe.
Did Vape Train come up with a bad take on bergamot? Not really. It’s an interesting flavor and with some more citrus, bright fruit, or in a green tea it could be interesting. But bergamot is kind of a niche flavor in general, and FlavourArt fills the common niches better. The richness and spiciness of the FlavourArt means it’s a better fit of Earl Grey Tea. The perfume-y nature of the Vape Train would also clash quite a bit with any kind of cream component that you wished to include. If I was a dedicated researcher I’d backtrack and figure out whatever recipe it was that first used bergamot to punch in the dry citrus in a fruit loops vape, but it’s also a fairly frequent presence in those mixes. Again, I feel like FlavourArt has the edge in those recipes by virtue of a less aggressive floral.
Concentration testing, this is pretty linear and I’d start low. I can’t imagine using enough of this to be a primary flavor but 4% was pretty intensely perfume-y and bitter. I’d stay under 3% for a primary note, but really you should just start at .25% and work up as an accent.
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 Bergamot, 1 and 4%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped 15 days.
Profile: Relatively fresh and bright take on Bergamot.
Off-Flavors: Floral component is fairly perfume-y and missing some richer spice and peel notes.
Throat Hit: Moderate, but florals. Nothing unexpected.
Percentage Recommendation: Start low and work up as an accent. Probably around .25%.
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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.