Thanks out to @SwaggyShane at VSO for getting this shipped out ASAP, and throwing in a free sample of his NEW Huckleberry. Have never used VSO flavors before, so this is all brand new for me. All mixed at the % below, and steeped for 1 week+, 70v/30p, 3mg. All tested in a SteamCrave RDTA v.1 with single wire, 7 wrap kanthal coils, w./ fresh cotton inbetween all tests. Typically tested @ 65 watts.
Just mixing these all up as of now. After a short wait, will start posting notes. FYI, I also picked up some of Shane’s One Shots, and will run a separate thread for them. Stay tuned …
Banana (VSO) 5% (8-29-20) – Long and hard, is the road to a great banana. Seems like there’s really only 3 choices. Runts, green, or over ripened. VSO’s banana was actually rather hard to identify/quantify. It was NOT a runt or candied, and didn’t present as an overly green banana, so that left ripened. It tasted fresh, but did have some ripened qualities to it. It was much fuller than I’d expected, with much more body, and maybe it was some browning banana ?? Not sure, but was NOT overripe at all. Actually quite tasty, and I could see if being heavily used in many nana breads, cereals, even coffees. Not fatiguing, or off putting, and the below mid level sweetness kept it fresh tasting. Continued vaping revealed more of the same, and despite having tried numerous nanas, I cannot think of a close comparison, which pushes it into the “unique” category. Now let’s be honest, sometimes, things can be “unique” and that’s NOT a good thing, but in this case, it’s a great thing. Shane did an interesting job with this one, and even at 5% (some mixers have gone lower), it didn’t feel like it was hitting the ceiling. It might not be present enough to carry ALL of the nana freight, but that in no way detracts from it. For a very unique banana, that has fresh, ripe, and maybe some peel elements in it, this might make it’s way onto your shelf. 8.75/10.
Blackberry (VSO) 5% (8-29-20) – Despite @fidalgo_vapes / @fiddy 's 2-3% ranging, I decided to go ALL IN at 5% across the board. As soon as I opened the bottle to fill the beloved SteamCrave RDTA v.1 I KNEW, something, was about to happen. This just didn’t smell like a “regular” blackberry, and it wasn’t. This presented as a very unique (I know, unique again) Blackberry. It’s almost as if it was a different “shade” of Blackberry. It had all the telltale notes, but there were others in there swirling around, creating QUITE a hard time for me to try and verbalize. Complex would suit this one’s description, and it could be that there were multiple darker berries in there, but couldn’t be sure. I dropped the 5% down to 3.75% just to make sure there were no critical differences and there weren’t. On the initial pull you get the deep, rich blackberry (medley ?) with a tick above mid level sweetness, but on the exhale the sweetness rapidly dissipates, so you’re not left with an overly sweet finish. What ?? How’d Shane do that ?? At both 3.75, and 5% the vape was great, mysterious, and had the reduced sweet finish, with almost a hint of bitter. Wow, for one flavor, there’s a LOT going on here, and all of it good. Nothing off putting, nothing artificial, just a great darker blackberry with probable other dark berry elements thrown in. Had a slight tartness, which worked great. Overall, (I know, I know), having a hard time knocking this one down. Perhaps the almost imperceivable bitter finish might be it. All in, if you are thinking of only buying a few VSO flavors, this one should also be on your list. Very mysterious, dark blackberry, that shifts a bit while vaping, with a slight tartness, that is hard to find a comparison to, is what this one is. 9.5/10.
Blueberry (VSO) 5% (8-28-20) – Alright, alright, ALRIGHT, let’s kick this OFF !!! First one on deck from Shane over at VSO. Brand new MFG for me, and not seeing a ton of info on them, felt it was right to look into them. Huge Medicine Flower fan, so when I saw natural extracts, I signed up. OUT of the gate, the very FIRST impression I got was it was very similar TO MF. No surprise right, natural extracts, right ? It wasn’t a MF BB clone, but a VERY good Blueberry. At 5% it felt pretty good, even, and strong, and it presented as a fairly COMPLEX BB. Absent were any off putting musky notes that some BB’s have, and it did a good job of capturing the ENTIRE BB experience, top to bottom. It had low notes, plenty of mid notes, and just enough of the high end, which included some bright punch, that you could almost get from the skin. Wow, let’s vape some more of this one… Yeah, that’s a good one. It’s complex in so much that every time you vape it, it presents just a bit different, which makes it a great vape, even solo. It didn’t seem to ride ONE line, i.e. pure natural, candied, jammed, etc. but had elements of all, which again, added to the complexity of it. Sweetness was about mid level, and despite CHAIN vaping this one, I just couldn’t find any take offs. An interesting thing I noticed, was when vaping, the initial vape leaned sweeter, but as you continued and exhaled, the tart picked up a smidge. For my FIRST VSO flavor, color me impressed. For a beautiful well rounded BB, that is fairly complex with just the right amount of sweetness, and tart, you might just be surprised with this one, and glad you picked it up. Finishing the tester on this one. Due to my complete inability to find anything I didn’t like with this one, placing it at 10/10.
Coconut (VSO) 5% (8-28-20) – After having many issues with most of the Coconut flavors, including off notes, greasy notes, etc., was curious to see how VSO’s would fare. Pleased to say that I had NO issues with this one. Nothing greasy, artificial tasting, or off putting could be found here. Whew !!! My current Coconut fav would have to be Delosi, for comparison. This one presented as a nice, full bodied coconut @ 5%, and tasted plenty rich, with a mid level sweetness. It carried mostly low and mid notes, with a smidge of top end notes. The fullness of it at this weight really worked well to round out a great solo vape, and it actually tasted better than another natural extract flavor. All in, this carried everything you need in a coconut with no greasy notes, right to the vape. Accurate, and natural tasting, and although mid sweet, wasn’t candied, and had flesh notes and milk notes all in the mix. Second VSO flavor where I was having a hard time finding take offs. Solid @ 9/10.
Huckleberry (VSO) 5% (8-31-20) – OK everyone, LAST single flavor test ON DECK. I did save this one for last, despite torturing @SwaggyShane over it, hehe. OK, what the HELL is a Huckleberry. If you look it up, you may get quite a few different answers. Can look LIKE Blueberries, but they ain’t !!! Alright, now that the dust has settled on that, let’s see what’s what here, for science and stuff (yes, I said STUFF, I have to post this on multiple sites). When Shane said he threw an extra one in the basket, I didn’t know what to expect. I know you guys are probably get sick of hearing it, but dammit, this one is UNIQUE !!! My initial reaction (beyond WOW), was it was like riding a Blueberry sled, down a hill full of Blackberries !!! Yes, you read that right. OK, seriously though, this has elements of both Blueberry and Blackberry in a ONE, TWO assault on your senses. Despite more chain vaping, the melding of those two main elements could not be shaken. As with many other of Shane’s creations, this one as well, was fairly complex, in so much that it really kept you guessing, with different elements peeking out at you from time to time while vaping it. At 5%, if seemed all but perfect, rich, full, and just IYF (In Your Face) delicious. Sweetness might be a tick above mid sweet, but it suits this flavor. Nothing off putting, artificial, except for the undying desire to KEEP on vaping it !!! I think this is a NEW release from VSO, and it’s very worthy OF being released. I think simply saying Blueberry and Blackberry doesn’t really come close, but it’ll have to do. This flavor vapes great, and finishes with a tart kicker, that really drives this one home. If you are in the market for a DIFFERENT blueberry-ish, blackberry-ish, darker berry-ish vape, this one SHOULD be on your must have list. Handily closing out this series, with a 10.1/10. I have to give this a + 0.1, because it’s just too damned good, not to.
Peach (VSO) 5% (8-29-20) – Very often when flavor testing, and after the FIRST vape, you get a take-away that is not only accurate, but never changes throughout the entire test. That was the case here. Juicy, yellow peaches in syrup !!! Review over. OK, maybe a bit more. Although that was my first impression, the peach was not candied or syrupy per se, and the sweetness was actually right at the mid level, and never swayed from a natural peach. Def. getting a yellow peach from this, and a very good one at that. It seemed to be missing some of the high end punch that would really drive it home, and screamed to have a dash of FA Apricot to push it over that last little bit. Very smooth was another aspect that continued throughout the test. I think we have a Peach winner here. For a great yellow, mid-sweet Peach, you can’t go wrong with this. Although tested at 5%, you could probably reduce to 3-4%. The only take off was a slight lack of high end punch, but could easily be fixed with a smidge of Apricot. All in, solid at 8.5/10.
Pear (VSO) 5% (8-29-20) – While admittedly almost always using Pears as enhancers, and not main flavor profiles, it was interesting to be able to dive into one here. Compared to my previous VSO tests, this one was more delicate, and even at 5% was somewhat laid back. Got plenty of Pear, but clearly it could be overpowered in a mix, if not used correctly. It might benefit from some boosting. The profile was indeed that of a fresh, juicy pear. I didn’t get any “sugar sand” effect, but that is really more of a feel, than a taste. Sweetness was again, about mid level, and it presented as mostly the body with a hint of the skin. There were some green apple-ish notes in there floating around, but it could have been the tart elements. Had just enough tart punch on the top to keep it interesting. Although lighter, this is a great Pear flavor. Minor take offs for presence, not flavor. 7.5/10 .
Red Raspberry (VSO) 5% (8-28-20) – Red, red raspberry, how do I love thee ?? Plenty, as long as you’re NOT floral !!! Nothing floral about VSO’s RRB and that started it off good. With my go to being MF’s Wild Raspberry, any RB has a hill to climb. This one actually DID convey “red” pretty well, and it felt nice at this testing weight. As expected with a natural extract, it was very natural tasting, not candied, and full enough without being overbearing. Sweetness was below mid level, and without getting any seeds from it, it covered the flavor spectrum well. A little tartness added to the authenticity, and kept the solo vape interesting. From the beginning to the end of the vape it did shift just a little bit which was interesting. It wasn’t lacking, but not 100% sure it would carry the entire freight, and might need a little boost. Throughout the entire tester, I kept fighting the urge to toss it into one of my Custard bases, but I fought the urge. Nothing to take off for, but could use just a small boost, as it felt about 75% there. With that said, a great Red Raspberry, and felt really good at 7.5/10.
Strawberry (VSO) 5% (8-30-20) – Was holding OFF on this one, because do we really need ANOTHER Strawberry ?? !!! Maybe so. Read on, and see if you agree. Nearing the end of my first VSO run here, I started to notice a trend with how Shane puts a UNIQUE touch/spin on his fruit flavors. This Strawberry is no different, and despite chain vaping the hell out of it, I couldn’t really pair it with a “it’s kinda like …”. Nope, can’t do it. It was nice and full at this weight, and did present as somewhat complex (again with the complex). Complex in that it didn’t seem to taste like a cut and dry Sweet, Juicy, Jammed, Candied, etc., but kind of wandered around while vaping it. Hard to nail down, and that makes for an interesting vape. It had a fullness that many other SB’s lacked. It wasn’t a bright SB like FLV’s Alpine, and not a Ripe per se, but seemed to be a natural tasting SB with some sweetness, juiciness, and just the right amount of tart on the top end. Not jammed, and not overly sweet, but the fullness of the main body is what kept interesting me. I guess you could say, it had more mid notes with some low notes, that I don’t typically get from Strawberries. It’s a harder one to quantify. Because of it’s unique, multiple qualities, I could see this being used a LOT, as it could fit the bill in many types of mixes. I actually finished the entire bottle before writing this, as I was struggling to “nail it down”. It’s a GREAT SB, and if you are making a VSO must have, you can add this one to it. Could not find anything to take off on this one. For a really good natural Strawberry that has surprising body, is very unique, and could fit in almost any mix, this one might be for you. I’m glad I have a 30ml of it, let’s just say that. 10/10.
Watermelon (VSO) 5% (8-28-20) – Here is ANOTHER VSO flavor that out of the gate had me immediately comparing to Medicine Flower. Not identical, but at least in the same ballpark. Tested this at 5% so it is a non-ultra, but, it was damned good at this weight. VERY smooth watermelon throughout the vape, with mid level sweetness, The more I vaped it, the more perfect the sweetness level seemed. Had plenty of red, with some white, and maybe a touch of rind, but only a touch. Very natural tasting (DUH), and best part was, NO SEEDS. Just to see what’s what, I may try it in my Watermelon Explosion just to see what’s what. This WM had almost some honey/honeydew notes to it (but NO, not Honey, honey), and it worked to really fatten it out. Even though it’s not an ultra, it is damned good, and should be on your short VSO list. Handily a 9.8/10.