Flavor Jungle "Ultimate" Flavors Reviewed by SessionDrummer

SessionDrummer

The SteamCrave Guy
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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, 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 9.0/10. Just almost as perfect as it could have been.


 
Thanks for the review @SessionDrummer, you're making me really want to get my hands on that French Vanilla and Mango now!

So great to see flavour concentrates like the Vanilla get rated 10/10.
 
View attachment 278290


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, 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 9.0/10. Just almost as perfect as it could have been.


Thx Mr Drummer. Much appreciated
 
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