Pink bubblegum is up there on the list of flavors that most people are intimately familiar with but have no idea what the hell it is actually supposed to be. (Insert references to the power of nostalgia and maybe drop a Proust reference for max intellectual points) but it’s very profoundly strange flavor. Like all good American culinary creations, it looks like pink bubblegum was made from scraps. If you’re in the mood for a breakdown I’ve found this post by HeadInClouds on VapingUnderground really helpful. Basically, you’re talking about flavoring with vanilla, cinnamaldehyde, wintergreen, and orange oil. That’s the traditional formula for pink bubblegum. It’s spooky.
This flavor mostly stays in that “collection of discrete flavorings” kind of lane. You can pick apart what’s happening here. You definitely get the wintergreen. It’s not overwhelmingly cool or anything, but it gives that slight cold and minty bite you’d get from a fancier bubblegum flavor. I think the orange oil thing is pretty convincing too. It tastes a bit more like a generic tutti-frutti kind of flavor but it works pretty functionally if you’re imagining a sweet citrus flavor. The cinnamaldehyde component seems to be lacking. There’s some kind of spice note here, but I think it skews closer to a licorice than cinnamon. Part of the “magic” of that bubblegum flavor is that stuff gets bent in seemingly random directions, but this does read just a bit on the anise/licorice side of things. I’m also not really getting a super distinct vanilla here, but if it’s done right it shouldn’t really stick out. It tastes like bubblegum and it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly like vanilla. So I assume it’s working like it should.
One of the big sticking points with other bubblegum concentrates is the texture or mouthfeel. They tend to be really chalky and really dry. This isn’t. I feel like there is some kind of texture, but this feels juicier than the other bubble gums. On the bright side, that lets you play around the flavor a bit more and you’re not limited by texture. The less good news is that kind of sinks in and starts to feel a bit watery with extended vaping.
I’ve been a pretty strong proponent of not just mixing a “pink” bubblegum with a fruit to make a fruit gum. It has just never worked out for me. It’s too pink, it’s too chalky, it’s just a bad time all around. This makes me reconsider that a bit. Mixing this with some Flavorah Grape and the almighty TPA Vanilla Swirl for some texture, this could actually work. The “pink” flavor here is a bit less cohesive and it does help to sharpen up the grape into a gum flavor without drastically changing the character of the grape. So are you bound and determined to gum-ify a fruit that doesn’t really fit? This may be a step forward.
Percentage use on this going to be interesting? I don’t think this is blow you away in terms of the strength of the flavor. It’s not particularly strong at 4%. But if this is a modifier, then it’s not supposed to be that strong. I’d probably use this to try to make a fruit gum at 3-4%. It’ll work lower, but with some cursory testing it’s not enough to really push around a strong fruit flavor and if you’re trying to make a gum you had best be using a strong flavor. If you just want to add some bubblegum depth or some thin out a chalky bubblegum, maybe try 2%.
So again, “base” doesn’t mean “base” in Australia. You’ve got another sort of odd (but intriguing) flavor modifier.
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 Bubble Gum Base, 1 and 4%, 60/40 VG/PG base, Steeped 30+ days.
Profile: Throwback pink bubblegum components with a clear fruity citrus-ish note, some wintergreen, and maybe licorice instead of cinnamon. Basically tastes like pink bubblegum but texture is a lot looser and almost watery.
Off-Flavors: Again, not really a base. Licorice is slightly different than what I’d expect. Not the kind of texture you’d probably expect. More of a modifier to add some bubblegum flavor qualities without being a single flavor.
Throat Hit: Sort of? There’s some spice and wintergreen but nothing unduly harsh.
Percentage Recommendation: Doesn’t seem all that intense. 3-4% with brighter fruits. Maybe 2% to modify a pink gum.
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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.