Welcome to my latest Flavor Review Article.
I will be doing many more of these reviews where I will share with you my honest opinions on concentrates as my palette interprets. This may not represent how they taste for you as we all often have varying intensities of flavor perception.
Is it a flavor, is it and additive, is it a flavor bender or does it really replicate the good ol bitters they use at most of the good Aussie Bars?
Since I was young I knew I would be enjoying something special when I was getting a "Lemon,lime & bitters". It's such a nostalgic profile for me that I have enjoyed for a long time and I still order these regularly when I go out because I no longer drink. It's the famous balance of the sweet lemonade with the freshness of the lime and the bitters that cut through the tartness and gives you a some what complex yet refreshing experience like no other. Since creating eLiquid recipes I have been thinking how lovely this would be to replicate in a vape. However there just didn't seem to be a concentrate or combination of that would truly help replicate this experience until Vapetrain earlier this year released this messiah of flavor concentrates that I hoped would finally make this happen.
Many years ago I did a bar course through TAFE Queensland and there I learnt quite a lot about flavors in a short time with a young pallet that was starved for life experience. This course finally gave me the opportunity to single taste that special seemingly elusive (at the time) bottle of bitters. I wanted to get my hand on that stuff and see what it tasted like by itself because I was convinced it would be amazing. How naive was I? lol. It was god awful, it made me spit and gag. There's just no way you can replace these valued moments in life that we can now look back on with somewhat embarrassment and self cursing of how much of a dickhead was I? lol
What I did learn very quickly though was that quite often some flavors can be not great on their own but when paired or accompanied with the right friend that things can go a lot better. I learn't that "Bitters" when measured correctly can provide the perfect balance between sweet & tart. However will this concentrate from VT offer all this just as I am hoping? Is there a need to single flavor test or should I simply add 0.25% increments to a Lemonade concentrate till it tastes good? NAh, For old time sakes I SF tested this :)
Asmodus Minikin V2 with the WOTOFO "Recurve" RDA with a single Big Boy Comp Wire n90/n80 fused clapton. The core is N90 & the wrap is N80 coil from yetiwire.com set up at 0.21 ohm, wicked with wick’n’ vape “Cotton Bacon” V2 and vaped at 50w
VT Bitters Concentrate at 1%
The familiar notes of the bitters come flooding back but not in a bad way. It seems the blow of straight up bitters has been cushioned nicely with some fresh familiar citrus tones that I think will will help me to build a lemon Lime & bitters recipe quite easily. I think that at 1% I won't need to try it higher but I would go a little lower if I simply wanted some of the notes at the back of another beverage style recipe.
Off Flavors: I think if you pushed this to high you could almost certainly get some harsh notes.
Uses & Pairings: This concentrate is the perfect bitters to use in a beverage profile in my opinion. I can't see a use for this in any other context but I've been proven wrong before. This may offer an interesting complex tone to a tea recipe, or any boozy recipe where sweet and tart needs that special something to separate the two while offering a little freshness to the pallet.
Notes: I will be making a Lemon Lime & Bitters recipe with this asap
Second Opinions: Brilliant! Love this stuff!
What have I learned from this flavor?
Never give up! If you can dream it someone will be dreaming it to (well almost lol). I have learn't that not all flavors need to be amazing single flavors to be dynamic rather to take note of the "Dynamic" notes that you get from it then put those in to context with balance in a recipe is the way to get to that winner!
That winner IMO is here! :https://alltheflavors.com/recipes/98540#a_lemon_lime_bitters_mate_by_starsandclouds