Flavor Jungle Single Flavor and One Shots Tests Part III
Having had SOME great luck with a few of the “Ultimates” from Flavor Jungle (aka Jungle Flavors), I decided to pick up 8 more of the U’s, and a handful of their One-Shots. No free-bee’s, no sponsors, all self funded.
As always, all will be tested AT the listed percentages, running dual 24 ga. Kanthal vertical coils, in the beloved SteamCrave RDTA v.1. All flavors were mixed using a 70v/30p/3mg carrier, and tested at 65 watts. Fresh coils loaded before the tests, and dry burned with fresh cotton before every test. The flavors/One-Shots were all steeped at least 1.5 weeks prior to testing.
Commencing the testing !!!
**Ultimate Birthday Cake (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-8-23)** -- Starting out with this, the FIRST "Ultimate" in this new series with the UBDC. It smelled really good in the bottle, but not entirely as a cake, and testing it revealed much of the same. I would call this "cake-ish", or "cake-y", but not 100% a cake. At times throughout my testers, I actually got some light AP notes (Los Fritos), and that was unexpected/out of place. There were some generous helpings of generic vanilla (almost cake) notes, with perhaps some icing. It had some pretty good mouthfeel, and was fairly rich, but not buttery. All in, I might better call this one an "Ultimate Cake Mixer" flavor. At 3% it felt very full, and the only off-note I got as the occasional AP note. A great mixer for cake recipes, BUT, not the star of the show. It felt fair to place this squarely at a **6.5/10**.
**Ultimate Blueberry (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-8-23)** -- OK, ok, ok. I may have to come up with my OWN names for these new "Ultimates", just like I did with the UBDC. OK, what do we have with this one. I'm going to call it the "Ultimate Mashup", and YES, you heard it here first. I grew concerned upon smelling it in the bottle, and then finger testing, not because it was horrid, but it came across as almost "jammed", and that would NOT be my Ultimate BB. Testing it revealed much less of a "jammy" flavor, and much more of a mashup. Now, let me start off by saying it was good, REALLY good, BUT, not sure on the Ultimate Blueberry-ness of it. I got a mix of a great Blueberry with some lighter, funky notes (which really worked here), along with a light Concord Grape, AND, a White/Green Grape (maybe a Fuji Apple). There you go people, it IS a mashup, and not a solo Blueberry. Now, all cards on the table, my hands down Ultimate Blueberry is, and will probably remain Medicine Flower's OG Blueberry for comparison.
This flavor is hard to explain (but not impossible), and maybe hard(er) to understand reading this. I would set the ratios of 50% Blueberry, 30% White/Green Grape (possibly Fuji), and 20% Concord Grape. Using berries to accentuate or boost Blueberries is well known, but using what I perceived to be grapes, was an interesting approach. All in, it WAS damned good, and I could see a LOT of uses for this, BUT, your mixing needs may vary, as well as your tastes, especially on a flavor like this. I could see ordering a bigger bottle of this one. At 3.0% it was very full and not lacking, and sweetness was just about mid-level, with no off-notes (except for the intentional mashup flavors), and the slight BB musky-ness which worked WITH the flavor, not against, so I'm not tallying that up as a take-off. All in, a great flavor, BUT, it was indeed a mashup, and a great one at that. Scoring this will be complicated for me, as it was billed AS a Blueberry. As a Blueberry mashup I would rate it at literally a 9.9/10, but as a Blueberry, I would have to pull it down a bit, and leave it at a **7.0/10**. Even with a 7/10 rating, I would still recommend getting this one.
**Ultimate French Vanilla (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-8-23)** -- Ok, NOW we're onto something, and it might JUST be, and Ultimate. Now many people don't really know [what a French Vanilla is](https://www.allrecipes.com/article/vanilla-vs-french-vanilla-difference/), but I think Jungle Flavors does. French Vanilla isn't really a specific Vanilla Bean, but more of an inclusion of Egg Yolks. Yes, that's right, IN the Vanilla, and it was IN HERE !!!!! Yes, it presented as a somewhat darker, almost spicy Vanilla, with GREAT Custard elements. I'm writing this during the FIRST tester, so YES, it was THAT good. I think I might buy a bigger bottle before I finish this. The slightly darker Vanilla just simply worked here, and the custard elements while eggy, were not egg-heavy, which is going to appeal to a LOT of people, many of whom want some egg, but not slammed with egg. It was damned good at 3%, and I had NO desires to increase it. Sweetness was about a tick above mid-level, and I just couldn't find any off-notes or take-offs to complain about. Great mouthfeel, fairly rich, and creamy, but without any overt cream notes if that makes sense. At times, I almost got a light bakery element in there, that just worked to thicken up the entire experience. All in, a slightly darker vanilla with just a hint of spicy-ness, with great custard notes, that weren't overly eggy. I waited until the second tester before deciding to release the Kraken, and rock this one at a **10/10**.
**Ultimate Grape (Flavor Jungle) 3.0%. (10-10-23)** -- Just in case you missed it, as SOON as I tested this flavor, I KNEW it was also in the Ultimate Blueberry. Simply put, this was a fairly candied (but not entirely) Concord Grape, and a Green Grape. Story over. Sweetness levels were a few ticks above mid-level, and overall, it did present as candied-ish, SO, if you are/were looking for a completely natural Grape, this isn't it. The good news is/was that it wasn't entirely candied, SO, you could use it in more mixes, depending on your needs or wants. The green grape notes seemed to be more natural while the concord seemed more candied. As far as if it was the Ultimate or not, that's going to have to be up to YOU guys, and/or your wants/needs. I didn't detect any off-notes, and it did stay solidly on the grape train, with no deviations. Despite the fairly candied nature I felt it was smart to pair both types of grapes, as that could allow for even more uses. I struggled somewhat on the scoring here, as it wasn't a full on natural grape, but more candied, so I don't know if I would have renamed it the Ultimate Candied Grape or not, but I think I'll have to leave it at a high **9.0/10** for the great grape pairings with some take-offs for the candied. If you like grapes, you will probably love this one.
**Ultimate Lemon (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-10-23)** -- Normally I test most lemons at lower percentages, but I decided to let this one roll with the rest, and there were no issues at 3%. It immediately struck me as a rather different take on Lemons, and in an interesting way. This was a combination of a Fresh Yellow Lemon, and a Lemon Drop candy. The fresh lemon was convincingly natural with some sweetness and a nice tart edge. The Lemon Runt notes were artificial, and had a nice candied edge. NOW, what is important here, is the RATIO of one to the other, which will dictate how or when you could/would use it. It was fairly hard to determine the EXACT ratio with all of the yellow lemony notes swirling around, but I'll settle on 60% Natural Lemon, and 40% Lemon Drop. Despite it being labeled as "Ultimate" this type of mashup may work better in some mixes more than others, mostly because of the inclusion of the candy lemon drop elements. If you were in need of a purely natural tasting Lemon, this won't be for you, but for everyone else, it might.
Despite being a mashup, I didn't get any off-notes, and NO PLEDGE !!!! The ratios between the two Lemon types was smartly done by leaning towards the natural. Sweetness was jsut below mid-level, and there was just enough tart/sour to keep it crisp. All in, not a bad Lemon, BUT, as always, it will depend on what you need in a mix. I think leaving it high, and equal to the previously tested Ultimate Grape felt fair, as the inclusion of the candy elements may or may not be for everyone. Leaving this squarely at a **9.0/10**.
**Ultimate Mango (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-11-23)** -- As a big fan, and occasional purchaser of their Mango Mafia, I was curious to see how this one tasted, and to see if there were any similarities. They were very similar, and so much so, that I would have to spend some time later, and do a direct A:B comparison to see. This one smelled "punchy" in the bottle, and tasted the same when testing. This one was very good, and catered to my Mango palate. Bright, punchy, and juicy were my main take-aways on this one. Sweetness was a few ticks above mid-level, but it wasn't fatiguing-ly so. It had very little of the darker, mellower Mango notes, but quite honestly, I didn't miss them, as I do prefer the brighter, high end notes. Juicy, without any dry-ness, and fairly sweet, without being candied, and had a crisp, natural taste. At 3% it was very full, but didn't taste overflavored, and I didn't detect any florals, soaps, perfumes, or any other off-notes. Because it WAS so bright and punchy, it is possible it might not suit every mix, but for most of my preferred uses, it would work great, and probably not be overshadowed in a mix. If bright and punchy Mango is what you crave, this one will get it done. Leaving this one fairly high at a **9.5/10**.
**Ultimate Passionfruit (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-13-23)** -- This one wowed right out of the gate, and never quit. Granted I don't mix with PF much, I've started using it more in some Custard mixes, as well as the more expected fruit mixes. This one had a great authentic, and natural taste, with just the right amount of what I call a light "fermented" note. At 3% it was nicely full, and it didn't feel underpowered, with a sweetness that was actually a few ticks below mid-level. No off-notes could be found, and I looked long and hard to find any nit-picks, and about my only issue would be it lacked just a few of the brighter, top end notes. It wasn't completely devoid of them, but it seemed to be focused on the mid notes with a few low, and a few high, and I would have loved just a SMIDGE more of the high notes. Even as it was, it was hard to fault this one, as it was very accurate, and with a nice little fermented kicker on the finish. Tasty, and that's coming from the NOT fruit guy at that. With minor take-offs for the slightly recessed brighter high end notes, this one felt good at a **9.0/10**.
**Ultimate Tutti Frutti (Flavor Jungle) 3.0% (10-13-23)** -- Many people don't know this, but Tutti Frutti was the FIRST gum sold in a vending machine. YES, that's right, back in 1888.. At FIRST, I had thought this one was purely a Pink Bubblegum, BUT, as I worked my through the testers, I DID keep getting some light, to very light fruity undertones. Wow, talk about a delicious bubblegum, this one was it. No dry notes, except for maybe the powdered sugar coating that is. YES, it was in there too. The BBG was done very nicely, and it almost had you wanting to blow a bubble !!! Pink, just below mid-level sweet, and with no off-notes. It wasn't the strongest BBG flavor, and I almost wished I'd tested it higher, at maybe 4.0%. Even still it was a great authentic pink BBG, with light fruity undertones. About my only two nit-picks would be the slightly lighter presentation, and the fact that I couldn't BLOW any bubbles with it. Pink, authentic, and tasty. Leaving this, the LAST Ultimate in this series at a **9/10.** Just almost as perfect as it could have been.
**Birthday Cake (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 10% (10-14-23)** -- If you missed my review of the Ultimate Birthday Cake solo flavor this One-Shot was very similar to it, and was slightly improved. I still didn't get an overwhelming sense of cake. Just like the Ultimate flavor, it was cake-y, and cake-ish, BUT never fully a cake. The hint of AP (Los Fritos) that I got from the Ultimate seems to have left the party with this one, and this one seemed to be a tad richer, and fuller. Sweetness was just above mid-level, and there were no overt off-notes, except a minor almost dry-ness on the finish. Still not a "Yeah, this is a birthday cake" though. I'm rating it slightly higher than the Ultimate, BUT, as was the case WITH the Ultimate BDC, this is probably a better cake MIXER, than a cake flavor/one-shot. Leaving it at a **6.95.10**
**Blackberry Lemonade (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 14% (10-15-23)** -- This one was a little "Zinger" right out of the gate. I don't know what I expected from a Lemonade One-Shot, but this one was surprisingly good. Both the Lemon and Blackberry weren't the strongest, but still very present. The was a "zing", which presented almost like an effervescence, or fizzy-ness JUST below the surface, and never quit that kept it interesting. A few ticks above mid-level sweet, and no off-notes or florals could be found. At times it almost seemed like more of a candied lemon than a lemonade, washed over by a great, albeit somewhat relaxed Blackberry syrup. Almost convincingly real with just a bit too much of the candied aspect, but that would be about the only nit-pick on this one. Great tasting, almost fizzy, and surprisingly addictive. With the slightly relaxed Blackberry, and sometimes candied Lemon being the only real drawbacks, leaving this one high @ a **9.1/10**.
**Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 12% (10-15-23)** -- EVERY time I test a cookie, I am reminded of my current Top Shelf Cookie ......
**Cookie (DIYFS) 8% (4-28-18)** – O.M.G. !!! Let’s start this one off the easy way, **10/10**. WHY haven’t I tried this brand before ?? This is, hands down, the baddest ass cookie, I have ever vaped. PERIOD. Had a lot of trouble trying to find into on what percentages to mix DIYFS flavors at. At 8% the cookie is excellent, delicious, and outstanding. All of the elements are there you would expect in a cookie, great bakery elements, Getting slight, if any, choco elements, but it’s super duper fine, just like it is. RUN, don’t walk to order this. WILL be getting a BIG bottle of this, and may try mixing higher to check thresholds. **10/10**.
**Additional Notes:** Continued testing of this proves to be hard to fully explain it’s goodness. Vanilla, butter, bakery, hint of chocolate, no dryness whatsoever and with @Sprkslfly’s assistance, would say very similar to a Toll House cookie.
Now, this one may not have been that good, but it was close. VERY close. Long story short, it DID taste almost 100% like CCCD. The dough notes came and went, but were present more often than not. The dough wasn't greasy, but seemed to really capture the uncooked, well, cookie dough. No darker, baked, or burnt notes, which added to the uncooked profile. The chocolate chips were done excellently, and fit perfectly into a chocolate chip profile, without any dark, or bitter notes. The cookie profile itself was hard to completely nail down, but the cookie had some nice grainy-ness to it, along with some bakery notes, brown sugar, and maybe a touch of almond. Sweetness was a few ticks above mid-level, and it was very full at the suggested rate of 12%. Surprisingly I was unable to pick out anything out of place, or lacking, which WAS a surprise. It was generic enough to avoid being labeled as a specific brand, but it tasted close to a Toll House if any. About my only nit-pick would be the raw dough notes sometimes being a little relaxed, but that's it. This one was an accurate CCCD. **Easily a **9.5/10**.
**Razzlebear (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 15% (10-18-23)** -- I had to spend some extra time with this one, as I just wasn't sure about it. From the MFG ....
> Enjoy the luxurious taste of fresh raspberries, silky smooth white chocolate, with a hint of cooling mint
Now let me get this disclaimer out of the way, when I review "mashups" it is even MORE important for the readers to try for themselves, even more important than single flavor reviews, as sometimes a shot/mix/mashup just isn't working for me, but might for them. This one didn't really take off for me. Indeed there was white chocolate, raspberry, and cooling mint in there, BUT, it just didn't really work. All 3 main players were just ehhh, and combined, well, just not sure. The white chocolate was tasty, and cream, and possibly the star of the show. The RB was fairly low in the mix, and low enough, that it was hard to fully appreciate. The mint and cooling (you guys KNOW, I hate the cooling), just felt out of place. Yes, it was an interesting IDEA. I felt that maybe just TWO out of the three profiles might have been better, like just the RB and cooling/mint, or the RB and the white chocolate, but all three seemed to conflict more than anything else. At 15% it was full enough, with just below mid-level sweet, and no "off-notes" per se, but just all 3 profiles combined just never fully worked for my tastes. Taste IS subjective, but for my tastes, I settled on a **4.0/10**.
**Strawberry Crusher (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 7% (10-20-23)** -- After letting this one settle, again I was not sure about whether it worked, or not. From the MFG......
> **Strawberry Crusher: Where Sweet Peaches, Cherries, and Creamy Dreams Unite in Flavor Fun! 🍓🍑🍒🍰🍬🍹🌿**
Sounded good, and testing it did reveal some Strawberry, some White Peach, and just maybe some Cherry undertones, but they were very weak. There was indeed a creamy carrier that the fruit rode on, but it was more of a non eggy, generic vanilla base. Sometimes fruit DO pair well, and accent each other, and other times not. During most of the test, it presented as a fruit mashup over a creamy vanilla base. Not great, not terrible, but just ehh. It was full @ 7%, and no off-notes except for a slight "twang" on the finish. Again, not terrible, but just not stellar. All in it was a fruit mashup, with overtones of SB, hints of peach, riding over a creamy vanilla. Finally decided on a **6.5/10** for this one.
**Sweet Strawberry Cream (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 15% (10-20-23)** -- Oh no, ANOTHER Strawberry Cream ?? Hehe, yes. This One-Shot is (I believe) the most popular shot in FJ's lineup. Granted many of the high reviews may be from non-DIY'ers, but it was still worth a look, to see what was what with their Top Seller. Out of the gate, I got a very familiar Jammy Strawberry with some deliciously thick Butter undertones, which immediately reminded me of One On One's SB Jam. Maybe some INW Shisha SB tossed in for a brightener, and a surprisingly decent milky cream. The cream was the most interesting part here, as it wasn't a thick, rich cream, but seemed to straddle a milk, and cream. The very present (and delicious) buttery undertones from the SB worked veyr well to CONCEAL some of the creamy-ness, keeping it shrouded at bit, mostly to perfectly identify it, but it was the carrier that the SB's rode on top ot. At 15% it was very full, and just about mid-level sweet, with no off-notes. The best two parts for me, were the Jammy-ness of the SB's, and the milky, creamy carrier. As a whole it DID work, and it did it well. Sure, sure, you probably have at least a half a dozen recipes for SB Cream already, but maybe you want a "quick fix", or some inspiration on making one. Even though the SB Cream profile has been pretty well flushed out already, this one was a good one, and not a bad one to pick up. Jammy, punchy, with a really good, milky cream undertone. Leaving this one high at a **9.1/10**.
**Tiger's Blood Reloaded (One Shot) (Flavor Jungle) 8% (10-20-23)** -- Breaking into the LAST One-Shot in this series, with the "Reloaded" version of FJ's Tiger's Blood. I had tested the OG version, and while I wasn't 100% sure on the Cherry, Kiwi, and Mellon profiles, I scored it fairly high to it's different approach to a TB. This one, was much more to my liking, and it presented as FAR more "Red" than the OG. Tastes vary WILDY in what makes the BEST TB, so use your own tastes above all else. This one just plain worked for me, having the juicy red watermelon up front, with a ripe red strawberry falling right behind it, with lighter notes of Pineapple and Coconut lower down in the mix. To my tastes, the ratios were almost spot on to make the "right" TB. Having the SB just behind the Watermelon, it allowed it to enhance the WM without fighting it. The lighter PA and Coconut worked to round out the mix without overshadowing the two predominant players. Sweetness was ust above mid-level, and there was JUST enough tart from the SB (and maybe the Pineapple) to jazz up any smoothness from the WM. All in, a great "re-do", errrr "Reloaded" version of their Tiger's Blood. Because I prefer a much juicier "red" TB, going to leave this one pretty high, at a **9.8/10**.