Just got another load of Sobucky Super Aromas. Will be mixing them up as soon as I can, short steeping, and some more testing !!! Same testing setup as before. SteamCrave RDTA v.1 with dual 24ga. Kanthal vertical coils with fresh cotton and dry burned coils before each test. Tested at 65w.
**Apricot (SSA) 1% (10-29-21)** -- First one on deck in Series III of my Sobucky tests. This smelled really natural and accurate in the bottle, and that didn't change much throughout the test. My initial thoughts were a well rounded, middle-bodied apricot. I presented as quite natural tasting with no artificial-ness, and seemed fairly relaxed, and most centered in the mid and lower notes. What did seem to be missing was most of the high end, bright notes. It was actually smooth, but still felt lacking some of the tartness that real apricots have. Not bad at all, but presenting as fairly relaxed, it would appear that it could get overshadowed when mixing. At 1% it was full, and pretty accurate, with about a mid-level sweetness. Even missing the bright notes, and the tartness, it didn't feel lacking. Overall, a good mid bodied, natural apricot, that was fairly relaxed. It felt great @ **8.4/10**.
**Blackcurrant (SSA) 1% (10-29-21)** -- Blackcurrants (i.e. Black Currants) have had a rough time in the US, most notably when they were banned in the early 1900's because of their ability to host a fungus which threatened the US Timber Industry. They are still banned in some states. Very excited to be testing this "Forbidden Fruit" from Sobucky. Exactly like the fruit, this flavor had the characteristic notes, the pectin induced jammy-ness, and a sprinkling of the tartness, just like the fruit. Wow. BC's are high in pectin which makes them perfect for jams and jellies, and this flavor truly captured the almost jammy notes. I think truly defining the "taste" of BC's is complicated, but needless to say, Sobucky did a great job of bottling it up in this one. Sweetness was about mid level, with some (just enough) tartness, and it had a slight musky-ness, much like MF's Blueberry, and don't worry, it just plain WORKED. Very natural tasting, no off putting notes or florals at this weight, and it was actually fairly complex. While running this test, I kept wondering, if I'd ever tried, or made a Black Currant Custard !!!! After emptying the tester, I could find NO faults with this one, and could think of a myriad of berry, and jammy uses for this one. Always a sign of a great flavor. Hands down **9.9/10**.
**Butter Cream (SSA) 1% (10-29-21)** -- Many people don't know there are FOUR different types of Butter Cream. American, Swiss Meringue, Italian Meringue, and French Meringue. Which one WAS this offering from Sobucky ?? I'm not 100% sure, but I AM 100% sure, I love this flavor. Without delving into the complexities of which exact version of a BC this is, it was obvious to me, even upon smelling it, that it was a winner. Very spot on for exactly what I need out of a BC. At 1% it was very nicely full and present, and of course, EXUDED (to ooze forth), a buttery goodness. It was indeed a tick or two above mid level sweet (DUH, frosting), but it seemed to be FAR more than just sweet, and butter. There was almost a cupcake like element present, albeit at a lower level, but it really brought this up to another level. I've had some BC's that were buttery, and sweet, but felt thin, or lacking. NOT the case here. The butter elements didn't favor completely natural or artificial, but with elements of each. You could literally almost use this solo. Not a custard, not a bakery, but it tasted far more substantial than just a mere "frosting". Nothing out of place, nothing off-putting, and the buttery creamy-ness just can't be overstated. If you need a Butter Cream, that's fairly substantial, the almost oozes buttery-ness, this may just be the one for you. Easily a **9.5/10**.
**Candy Floss (SSA) 1 (10-30-21)** -- Alright, this one took me a while to nail down for your guys, but I GOT it. Alright, many of you (like I) may have assumed, just a Cotton Candy, right ?? Well I did. Now it IS a Cotton Candy of sorts, BUT, there's some other things swirling around in here, that I think I finally figured out. OK, just imagine a Cotton Candy, mixed with an almost very light melon, with a hard candy twist. There you go, and that took me a while to really get it nailed down. At 1% it was actually great, but I suspect you MIGHT be able to push it a little higher. Above mid level sweet, and it's hard to fully convey how the almost melon-like notes, and hard candy notes move this one from just a simple CC, but they do. Now the melon as I'm calling it, might differ for you, but I couldn't think of a better comparison, and it's very light, far below the hard candied notes. All in, it really was far more complex than just a simple CC, and it kept you guessing, which made it interesting to test out. Tons of uses for this one, and depending on the notes YOU get from it, would dictate it's uses. For a surprisingly full cotton candy with a twist, this one should work for you. Sweetly placing this at **9.0/10**.
**Caramel Biscuit (SSA) 1% (10-30-21)** -- Damn you Sobucky, ..... Damn you to hell !!!! OK, hehe, let's go with my FIRST thoughts on this one. "Damn, this is a One-Shot". Having not tested Sobucky's Biscuit yet (it's coming), and only tried their Shortbreat (excellent), I had high hopes for this one. Well, they didn't let me down. Absolutely delicious. Completely blown away by how much presence, flavor, and mouthfeel they got out of this one, AND, at 1%. The biscuit and caramel were just perfectly paired, with maybe it being split 55% Caramel, 45% Biscuit. The way they paired them, left both of the two elements free to swirl around and peek out more or less than the other one, as neither dominated, nor got lost. As far AS the Biscuit, I couldn't really think of a direct comparison to it, which was interesting. The Caramel was almost too good, with an almost buttery rich texture, without being overtly buttery. Sweetness was a few ticks above mid level for you "is that too sweet-ers" out there, but even at that, it wasn't sickening, or fatiguing. At times I almost got a small shot of toast much like Solub Arome's Breakfast, but nowhere near as strong. I'll know more when I get to Sobucky's Shortbread Biscuit to see if that is still present. As it stood, it was shockingly good, and full at the low weight of 1%. For you US'ers, it's not a "Bisquik" biscuit, and for you UK'ers, it's like YOUR kind of biscuit, which is more of a cookie. Dry enough to keep it's biscuit on, but not too dry. If you like a European Biscuit, and love it with a Creamy Caramel with an almost buttery richness, this one SHOULD be on your list. I actually double checked myself throughout the test, LOOKING for anything I could nitpick, and I couldn't. Too damned tasty, for even a minor markdown. If you hate this, you'll HAVE to let me know, as to my tastes, squarely a **10/10**.
**Cinnamon Apple Pie (SSA) 1.25% (10-30-31)** -- Who doesn't love more pie ?? I love the pies, and couldn't wait to get into this one. In the bottle this smelled more like almost a tart green apple, and when testing it, some of that faded, but it really felt like it was missing the "baked" aspect. There was some "filling" element in there, which kept it interesting, some very light crust, and a hint of spice. The more I tried, the less cinnamon I could detect, which left it a bit lacking, as well as the light crust element. Not a bad vape, but it just didn't seem to really drive it home. Almost mid level sweet, and no off notes could be found. Overall the mouthfeel was very good, and it was smooth, but the all but missing cinnamon, lacking crust, and some missing "baked apple"-ness kept it from being stellar. Felt fairly placed at **6.9/10**.
**Classic Oat Flakes (SSA) 1% (10-31-21)** -- "These are not the oats you are looking for". Yeah, but not every one can be a winner, right ? I've had corn flakes, and oatmeal, but never Oat Flakes. This one I would call "Barley a HINT of Oats". I looked long and hard FOR the Oats, and every once in a while I got just a whiff, but other than that, this was kind of a non-descript hodge podge of sorts, with the added bonus of every so often getting an almost medicinal off note. On the bright side, it was fairly smooth, nicely sweet, and had a hint of creamy-ness to it, but beyond that, I just didn't get any grains, oats, or flakes. The good news is, that the not so great ones, make you appreciate the great ones that much more.
**Oats (CSC) 1.5% (6-20-21)** – I think it’s safe to say I was COMPLETELY unprepared for this flavor. Not a lot of oats out there, because it’s HARD to get right. I assumed this would be some general bakery with grains, passed off as a “kinda close” flavor. Boy was I wrong. FULL on, OATS !!! No puffed wheat, not corn, not AP, OATS !!! It made me immediately think of Quaker Oats, no questions, no hesitations. Below mid level sweet, and the best part, it wasn’t FLAVORED. Blank slate, spot on oats. That’s it, that’s all. Was delicious at 1.5%, and man, the opportunities to use this one will be endless, and you could tweak to your hearts content. This, ladies and gentlemen is an impressive flavor, and I’m glad I added this one to the list. If you want some spot on oats, nicely sweetened, this is the one you should get. Full stop. **10/10** .
With that said, will have to leave this one at a paltry **2.9.10**.
**Cola (SSA) 1% (10-31-21)** -- Wow, whatta Cola Sobucky has done here. Just outstanding, and then some. After having spent quite a bit of time with this one, I think it's safe to say it's the BEST Cola I have ever tried. It's not that the other colas are terrible, but when you try most of them, you often times find yourself saying, "Yeah, that's kinda close, but ......". Well with this one, you won't. To my tastes, it is like a pairing of Pepsi, and RC Cola, at about a 60% Pepsi, 40% RC Cola. I didn't really get any Coke from this one. Probably one of the most amazing things, is somehow Sobucky figured out how to get FIZZ in the Cola. Don't know how they did it, and most, if not all others, seem to fall flat (literally). Well combining the fizz with an accurate Cola, just leaves you wanting nothing. Both myself and @Psycho_316 have been playing around with some ....
.... with great success. Sweetness was a little above mid level, and it was very present at 1%, but I've seen even higher usage rates. The fizz was slightly stronger off the shake, but was still present after steeping. If you want a fizzy cola, that's accurate, this is the one. **10/10**.
**Cranberry Jam (SSA) 1% (10-31-21)** -- Having seldom tried anything Cranberry, I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. Out of the gate it was unmistakably Cranberry, but shifted to the somewhat sweeter jammy side. @ 1% it was full flavored, but somehow still felt fairly restrained. The tart and sourness were present, but fairly reduced from a full Cranberry, possibly because of the Jam aspect. Throughout the test, the dark berried notes continued with a somewhat tart, jammy finish. Overall it was a convincingly natural taste with nothing off-putting. It's relaxed nature could be supplemented by another Cranberry or berries. Possibly increasing above 1% might help some. About the only take offs would be for the somewhat relaxed nature of it, with no other oddities. Overall, a convincing natural tasting Cranberry, that was jammed up enough that some of the expected tartness/sourness was not present. Decently placed at **8.8/10**.
**Dark Blackberry (SSA) 0.5% (10-31-21)** -- WHEW, this one got away from me in a HURRY. When smelling these prior to testing I could tell this one was going to get squirrely, and decided to mix it @ 0.5%, and even at that rate, I was getting an almost lavender soap ?? !!! Rinsed, flushed, diluted to 0.25%, and about the same effect. Sorry guys, I was looking for a dark, tart blackberry, but instead I was greeted with a lovely shade of Lavender Soap. If you DID wish to attempt to use this one, you may have to go even lower than 0.25%, but at my final reduction, it did not feel over flavored, or ceiling smashing. You were forewarned. Sadly, this one will ride the **1/10**.
**Fruit Hard Candy (SSA) 1% (11-1-21)** -- Well this one turned out to be a surprise. I had expected more of just a hard candy flavor, but it also had a brighter, somewhat citrus, nondescript fruit medley going on. Nondescript didn't mean bad, it just meant that defied an exact description. Sometimes citrusy, other times more fruity, but it leaned towards the brighter side, but always had a nice, smooth fruity base. Hard to nail down, but needless to say, don't think I have a flavor exactly like this, and I have a lot of flavors. The hard candy portion did keep peeking out, and was smartly paired with the fruits. At 1% it was very good, with sweetness a tick above mid level, as expected for a candy, but not fatiguing. Thankfully, unlike the previous Dark Blackberry, this one was full steam ahead in deliciousness, and had nothing off putting. Sobucky advertised the flavor as ...
and that was pretty close, with some high end punchy, almost citrus notes tossed in. Nicely done, refreshing, and pretty good on it's own. Felt solid at **9/10**.
**Golden Apple (SSA) 1% (11-2-21)** -- Now other than Apple Pies, I don't really spend a lot of time Apple-ing, so let's see how this goes here, hehe. At 1% this really slammed home, a strong, accurate Golden Delicious Apple. Golden Delicious apples are fairly distinct in the apple world, and Sobucky did a GREAT job of capturing it. Eating a Honey Crisp apple while writing this, just to keep it apple-y. At this testing weight I was getting an almost boozy note, and it was subdued enough as to not take away from the main apple-ness of it. Slight fermentation wafted in and out during the test, but very low in the mix. Sweetness was about mid level, and the tartness levels were accurately on point as well. Nothing off-putting, and overall it tasted very natural. Your needs will vary with apple flavors, and this one holds a unique spot in between CAP's Double Apple, and FA's Fuji, and that would allow for different apple tempering with it. Fresh, crisp, some tart and sweet, and a great representation of a Golden Delicious. Squarely placed at a **9/10**.
**Grapefruit (SSA) 0.8% (11-3-21)** -- This one is another first for me. I think I have ONE Grapefruit, and I've used it in ONE recipe (more on that later), and I have NEVER solo'd one. Because of it's citrusy nature I decided to mix this one down at 0.8%, and after trying it, I think I could have gone up to 1.0-1.2%. At the testing weight, it WAS delicious !!!! Very natural tasting, nice citrus punch, BUT, tempered by some nice sweetness, which seemed to push it into more of a Red Ruby Grapefruit. Although tempering some of the tart citrus the sweetness was just below mid level, and helped to smooth out what sometimes can be a sharper flavor. You could almost taste the body, and skin (not the peel), and again, it presented as fairly natural tasting. Having no solo GF's to compare it directly to, I could test this at just face value, and I think it really worked. I mentioned above, I have only ONE Grapefruit recipe that I have ever tried, and it's a GREAT one at that, and will try to sub this GF in for it. With a great natural, smooth, tempered GF taste, that leaned heavily to natural, I found it hard to fault, and before I knew it, the tester was gone. That's NEVER a bad sign. Very nicely placing this at **9.4/10**.
**Juicy Orange (SSA) 1% (11-5-21)** -- Having not tested Sobucky's Orange Juice yet, I'd heard that this one was MUCH better, and NOT to be confused with it. This one was soo good, I might never even pick up the other one. Bright, punchy, orange-y, and fairly natural were my big take-aways on this one. Somewhat juicy, but it had a bit more of a candy/jello finish, but only slightly, so it didn't fall into a "candied" category. At 1% it was solidly in your face orange without being overbearing, fatiguing, or over flavored. Sweetness was about mid level, and did have an impressive citrus oil-ish nuance (without being bitter) that really pushed it from the good, to great level. As far as oranges go, this is one of the better ones, possibly top tier. For a very authentic orange, with some juicy-ness, nice citrus notes, and a smidge of tart, this should be on your shelf. Felt perfect at **9.3/10**.
**Lemon Cheesecake (SSA) 1% (11-6-21)** -- First things FIRST, if you are BA sensitive stay AWAY from this one. A very definite Butyric Acid note from this one, and being not BA sens. it didn't throw me off. Unlike other reviewers, I really didn't get a lot of Lemon from this one, and for my tastes it was overwhelmed by the creamy, and BA notes. The cheesecake was more of a creamy style like LA's Cheesecake, and although BA was in there, it didn't convincingly portray the sour/sharp notes. I did get some graham crust notes, but again, lower in the mix. The main note (beyond the BA) was a nice creamy body that COULD be cheesecake-ish, depending on your tastes. The flavor wasn't terrible, but it never really took off for me, or my tastes. It was plenty strong at 1%, mid leveled sweet, and was certainly very creamy with good mouthfeel. The sum of it's parts, just left me rather "Meh". Again, not terrible, but not great, and would surely work in mixes, but probably not as your main Cheesecake player. Going to meh it @ **6.4/10**.
**Milky Strawberry (SSA) 1% (11-6-21)** -- The FIRST thing I thought of when testing this one, was to get some to @fidalgo_vapes, as he has an obsession with RFSC's Strawberry Milkshake. Now this one wasn't "billed" as a milkshake, but it had some aspects OF one. The word of the day with this one is SMOOTH. A very smooth creamy strawberry, and it wasn't really a SB Milk or a SB Milkshake, but somewhere nearby. I struggled to decide exactly where the split was, meaning how much SB, and how much creamy milk, and it was actually hard to decide. Maybe 50/50, but it's smoothness helped to hide that. I'd seen mention that it was similar to a Lifesavers "Creme Savers" and that actually might be more right, than not. The SB was def. candied, and the more I think about it, Creme Savers, might just be as close as you can describe this one. The smooth creamy-ness was almost the center star here, but tempered with a nice candied SB. Was I getting any BA (Butyric Acid) ?? You could smell it, but you couldn't really TASTE it if that makes any sense, and nothing wrong with that. The SB had just enough brightness and sweet to carry through, but not PUNCH through the mix, and it kept it rather interesting. All in, an effective, very smooth milky/creamy strawberry, that didn't have a direct equal. Smoothly done from Sobucky, and it felt pretty good at **9/10**.
**Natural Lemon (SSA) 0.75% (11-6-21)** -- This WAS a GREAT Lemon. Now, what that out of the way, "Natural" ?? Mmmmmm, not exactly. I didn't want anyone to skip off, if I led with that. This Lemon from Sobucky DID favor Lemon Heads, BUT, I think it was cut WITH some natural lemon. I feel it's really a 65% Lemon Head / 35% Natural Lemon mix. Now, it's up to you if that's a winner or not. As it stood, it was quite good, just enough sweet, and tart, and lots of Lemon Heads, but swirling around in there were some natural and almost punchy notes. I don't know if "smooth" is a word used to describe Lemons often, but this one was almost smooth, with no bitterness. At times you could almost get a whiff of a citrus oil note, which just added to the whole Lemon experience. If you were looking for a pure natural like Medicine Flower, well, this ain't it. Is it damned good ?? Hell yes !!! Everyone has different needs, but if the aforementioned appeals to you, get Sobucky on the phone and get you some !!!! With only minor take offs to the somewhat lacking "natural"-ness, but only minor. **9.3/10**.
**Natural Raspberry (SSA) 0.75% (11-7-21)** -- OK, right out of the gate, this doesn't taste like a Natural Raspberry. Full Stop. Now that THAT is out of the way, it's actually an INTERESTING flavor, none the less. It never really screamed Raspberry, and if you want that, you need to go to
**Wild Raspberry (MF) 1% (8-28-18)**
– Bing, bang, BOOM !!! Review over, I think you get the idea. I had QUITE a hard time, trying to find faults with this beauty. Vaped 3 tank fulls trying to find any faults, and couldn’t. Wow, I’m glad I got the Wild one as it was great. Just about every other raspberry I’ve tried, I’ve had issues with in some way or another, but not this one. Massively delicious, darker raspberry, full, rich, and just the right touch of bright on the finish. Could you taste the seeds even ?? Almost, just almost. Sweetness was perfectly balanced in this one, some hints of sour and brightness, but the smooth and darker deliciousness just washes over you when you vape it. What’s it like ?? Hmmmm, I did get some similarities to Inawera’s Raspberry, but without any of the heavy handed sharpness that it can present. Similar, but this one is far superior. I’m wondering if adding a smidge OF the INW might add a little punch to this one or not. Honestly, after 3 tank fulls, I’m not sure I would dare to try as it is just too damned good, solo. Not candied in any way, very full and impactful at this percentage, and too good to put down. The first thing that I thought, literally on the first test, on the first tank was, “I’ve got to throw this in some custard” !!! Very fresh and natural tasting, with just the right amount of darkness (wild perhaps), and very hard to put down. **10/10** without question.
Now, what WAS this one ?? More of a mid bright, non-descript berry (now wait for it), that had a particularly odd finish. Light graham ? Caramel ? Brown Sugar ? It's hard to tell, but it's there all day long. THAT is what kept this interesting, "What the hell IS that note" ?? I reduced this to 0.75% and it felt ok here, with below mid level sweet, and an overall smooth feel. Raspberries should have some tart, maybe a smidge of sour to authenticate them, but this one was actually smooth, so I think that hurt it overall. Not a terrible flavor, and probably NOT one you should buy if you were in need of a natural raspberry, BUT, if you're a curiosity seeker, pick it up, and see if YOU can figure out that finish note. As named, can't go too high on this one, so leaving it at a **5.5/10**.
**Purple Plum (SSA) 1% (11-7-21)** -- If you really knew how many [different types of plums](https://healthclinc.com/types-of-plums/) there were you'd probably go PlumCrazy !!!! Yes, there's a lot. I won't delve into which particular one this is, but suffice it to say, this Purple Plum tasted pretty good, and accurate (hint, Purple). Fairly accurate, and mostly natural tasting, it did give a good sense of "purple". Nicely present @ 1% and at about mid level sweet, Sobucky did a really good job of capturing this elusive fruit. I got mainly the fleshy body of the fruit, and no tart skin in it, and that would have really pushed this one into super delicious. Even missing the tart skin, this body only plum was convincing, accurate, and tasty. Nothing off-putting or out of place, no florals, etc. I couldn't help but wonder if a smidge of TPA Sour might just even make it better. As it stood, a solid, plum delicious contender from Sobucky. Minor take offs for the missing tart skin notes, and it felt deliciously plated @ **9.2/10**.
**Ripe Cherry (SSA) 0.6% (11-7-21)** -- With this, the third Cherry from Sobucky (I know I'm repeating), surely this one, would be the poison, soapy perfume, right ?? Ummm NOPE. THREE great cherries in a row from Sobucky, and many MFG's can't even get ONE right. The Compote Cherry was more of a jammed (compote) Cherry, the Juicy Cherries was a darker, almost Black Cherry for comparison. This one favored more of a Maraschino Cherry, but it had some DARKNESS in it, hehe, JUST to keep you on your toes. Above mid level sweet by a hair, a few tart notes, and a delicious mid body of a Mara, but with a slightly darker finish. Like most Cherries (please heed my low testing percentages on ALL three Sobucky Cherries), you could go TOO high, and blow your face off. Luckily I've already DONE THAT for you guys years ago, and learned my lessons. In the words of the famous Flavorah Goddess @SmokyBlue, "Start Low". I think I saw another review of this one, wherein the tester got some "plastic shower curtain", but it was tested FAR too high @ 2.0%. At 0.6% this one was perfect, non-fatiguing, and had NO off notes, florals, or soapy-ness. Because this one smelled SOO good in the bottle (as did Sobucky's Cola), I mixed it up into a delicious Cherry Cola, so feel free to try it in action. All in, a third delicious cherry from Sobucky, that centered around the maraschino, with a darker finish, which worked to round it out, and give it some weight. Hands down, damn near perfect, and leaving it at **9.8/10**.
**Ripe Peach (SSA) 1% (11-9-21)** -- Getting closer to the end of this, Series III in the Sobucky line, but we're NOT slowing down yet !!!! Peach, my old friend, how are you ? Ok, first things first, WAS this Peach Juicy ? Kinda. When I think of a "juicy peach" I really like how TPA did it, and although it's not a super peach, it is very juicy. This one had much less of the juicy, but what it DID have, MORE than made up for it. This, is a beautiful, yellow peach flavor that once you start, you will find hard to put down, even as a solo. @ 1% it felt almost perfect, below mid level sweet, and presented as very natural tasting. I almost hate to say that is has almost some "canned" peach elements in it, as that may conjure up images of sickly sweet, syrupy peaches, which this is not, but it has some elements of that, paired, with a nicely ripened yellow peach. While not overly "juicy" it was not dry, and there were no offputting notes to distract you from it's yellowy deliciousness. If you love peaches, and don't need a super juicy one, or a white one, this will most def. work for you. Just delicious. Is it "Ripe" ?? Sure it is !!!! It was very hard to find any negatives with this one, so leaving it fairly high @ **9.75/10**.
**Ripe Pear (SSA) 1% (11-10-21)** -- Moving in TO the Pear. This one smelled grrrreat in the bottle, but it tasted somewhat different when testing. My three initial thoughts were: Somewhat dry, slightly astringent, and VERY relaxed (light). Throughout the entire test, these three things stayed in the forefront. Sometimes, flavors DO smell great in the bottle, but either shift completely when tasting/testing, and/or loose a lot of perceived strength. It started out like a "green" non-descript fruit with hints of pear, which slightly increased in strength, and finished fairly sweet, but again, with a HINT of Pear, but more non-descript. NOW, we always talk about the evil "overflavoring" as the bane of flavorings, and it's always POSSIBLE that increasing the flavor percentages, MIGHT increase the flavor. I may re-run and re-test this one @ 2%-2.25% but I don't think it will increase is presence much. Not bad by any means, but for my tastes, I need a certain level of presence, to really be able to appreciate and/or use a flavor. It would need a lot of boosting to survive in a mix IMO. FA's Pear however, would not, and could maybe use it's strengths to boost this one. Not a bad flavor, but would need a lot of help, and boosting. For it's accuracy, as a Ripe Pear I'd rate it fairly high, but with such a subdued overall impact, will have to drop it a bit. Felt accurate at **6.5/10**.
**Shortbread Biscuit (SSA) 1% (11-11-21)** -- Having tested Sobucky's ...
**Shortbread Cookie (SSA) 2% (9-18-20)**
– Oh Nooo, another cookie ?? Think again. That’s what I thought going into this one, “Do we need another cookie” ?? Well, after trying this one, I think we DO. This review directly followed my review of SSA’s Raspberry Syrup, and I immediately wanted to mix the two of these. At 2%, this one was right on track, rich, full, buttery, and somehow, really captured the Shortbread aspect(s). Not sure how they did it, but it is clearly NOT a cookie, or biscuit, but lands smack, dab, in the middle of Shortbread city. One could say it is “similar” to Jungle Flavor’s biscuit, which presented almost as a pairing of INW Bicuit, and FA’s Cookie, but this one is much more than that. SSA apparently spent some time really nailing the shortbread aspect of this, and it shows. You almost get a grainy bakery in this one, coupled with some buttery goodness. Not topped out at 2%, and it felt great at this weight. Sweetness was almost mid level, with no real take-offs. Surely it could be push/pulled if needed, depending on your American vs. European bakery needs, but you might just find after testing it, that you wont. All in, this is an outstanding, and perhaps the best shortbread cookie (type) that I have tested. Didn’t really pick up any vanilla per se, and not 100% sure if I’m getting a smidge of almond or not, but possibly so. If you’re in the market for a great shortbread cookie, and/or love your bakeries, you’ll have to add this one to your list as well. Sorry guys, I’m trying to go critical on these flavors, but after 3 in, I’m having a hard time finding any faults thus far. I kept teetering on a rating, because you just can’t rate everything at the top, but I emptied an entire tester tank on this one as well, and was left with no negatives. A great bakery shortbread cookie here, with butter elements that just can’t be denied. **10/10** .
.... over a year ago, I did want to see how this one fared. Granted, when you test as many flavors as I do, a YEAR, is a lifetime LOL. I would like to remind my American friends, that "biscuit" many times refers to a European biscuit, not a Bisquick (INW Biscuit) American style. This one WAS the European biscuit, which was actually really good. It presented as a nice below mid-level sweet, fairly neutral cookie, with some very good buttery notes. The first two things that jumped out were the butter, and the bakery/grain notes, as they were most prominent, and accurate. Most times I've eaten great European biscuits, they were very simple, Butter, Sugar, Flour, and this flavor perfectly captures that. Simple, not overly sweet, and buttery delicious. Waterbridge really helps to break down the Cookie vs. Biscuit differences. Before I knew it, the tester was gone, and that's always a good sign. What's most interesting about this one, was it's simplicity, and how well it did it. Butter, flour, and sugar, maybe a smidge of almond, a hint of ever so slight vanilla maybe, but you get the picture. Nothing out of place, and at 1%, it WAS a keeper. Another one, that was hard to fault. Easy to build on, or simply use, as is. **9.85/10**.
**Sweet Cream (SSA) 1% (11-12-21)** -- As I always complain, testing creams/milks can be complicated, as often times, by themselves, they can be bland, lifeless, and hard to quantify. More often they're EFFECT in mixes can be MUCH more apparent, like smoothing, rounding rough edges, softening, even helping to blend, untamable mixes. I get a lot of questions about creams, and many people don't know that Sweet Cream isn't really sweet, just an absence of sour. This one was somewhat sweetened, but it actually worked. No BA here, or off-putting notes, and it did impart a very nice mouthfeel. At times it seemed to straddle an almost condensed milk and a cream, but even that, was an approximation. Creamy without being milky, sweetened, without being overly sweet, and it was actually surprisingly good, on it's own. Because it was fairly neutral, and wandered between exact identification, I could see many uses for this one. A really good showing from Sobucky in the cream department, and solidly placing it at a **9.2/10**.
**Sweet Watermelon (SSA) 1% (11-12-21)** -- Going into this one, I was thinking, "OK, here we go, another candied Watermelon". Well, I was WRONG. There was a LOT more going on here, than a simple "Sweet WM". The overall hue, body, and natural fullness of this one, immediately reminded me of one of my ...
**Watermelon (MF) 1% (8-24-18)**
– My current go to for WM is LA colorless. This one might just change that. Firstly this is a very delicious, juicy watermelon, and at 1% tasted very full, just sweet enough, and really embodied the best parts of a watermelon. You could really taste just enough of the red and white parts, and maybe a hint of the rind to top it off. As expected (with all naturally extracted flavors) it was not heavy handed, and tasted, well, very natural. In comparison to the LA colorless version, this one just tasted more clean, natural, and no candyness whatsoever. This may influence your use of it depending if you are going for a candied mix as opposed to a accurate watermelon. Strength was very good @ 1%, clean, full, and just plain damned good. I can’t find faults with this one, and this seems to be a growing trend with my MF tests so far. For a very accurate, clean, natural, and full tasting watermelon you cannot go wrong with this one. Strength wise in comparison to the previous MF flavors @ 1%, this one was still stronger than the morello cherry, but behind the Fig and Honeydew Melon. Another winner with no complaints @ **10/10** .
Now it wasn't nearly as deep, and full as MF's but dammit, it was IN the ballpark. Some WM's are one dimensional with mostly the white, or red parts, maybe some rind, but seldom do you get more than one in a single flavor. Maybe a smidge of the rind here, but a super helping of both the red and white meats were present here. Sweetness was just below mid-level, and it was full at 1%, with no off notes, and I couldn't find anything artificial. I find that most really good, accurate WM's have an almost musky note, and that may not even be the best descriptor, but it's NOT off-putting, IS in real WM, and adds to the authenticity, and this one had it. No seeds, was about the only negative on this one, hehe. Now with all natural, super contenders like MF out there, deciding where to place this was challenging. In direct comparison to MF's 10/10, this would easily be a **9.25/10**.
**Toffee (SSA) 1% (11-13-21)** -- Wow, this was a long 26 flavor run, and now, we end it with this one, Sobucky's Toffee. End with a whimper, or a bang ?? When I first tried this one, I immediately thought seven out of ten. Not even sure why, it just stuck. Alright, it did have most of the Toffee elements, but felt somewhat lacking in the rich buttery-ness. NOW, you might say, if it's Dik/DAAP free, a good trade off ? Maybe. The butter and caramelized sugar were there, and it did say Toffee, it just didn't scream it. Maybe 2 dimensional, instead of 3 dimensional ? Now, that doesn't mean it was bad, because it wasn't, it just felt a little lacking in depth. Possibly increasing the rate could help, and it was tested at the low, low, low rate, of 1% to be fair. Nothing off putting, and the caramelized sugar aspect(s) carried the day, and did so, at about mid level sweet. All in, a respectable Toffee flavor. It felt good at (you guessed it), **7/10**.