Hello, I’m back again!
I’ve been doing a lot of research on the flavour and here are some of the things I can surmise:
There have been at least 3, but maybe four recipes of Cosmic Fog’s Shocker.
The first one I ever tried was in a clear bottle with the old style branding in a 50/50 blend. It was available in 3/6/12 and 18mg. This was around until late 2015, early 2016. This one was very tart/acidic in nature and was predominantly lemon in flavour. There was a small amount of strawberry discernable and sometimes a tiny amount of mango or apple (this is going off memory), The amount may have been more but may interact with the lemon. As a flavour profile though it was lemon through and through. Some reviews stated it had little to no discernible flavour. Lemon though can be a real ball ache with vaper’s tongue.
The second arrived early 2016 going off memory and was in a black bottle (15/30ml), available in 70/30 in 0/3/6 and 12mg. This was my favourite. It was more citrusy than before with a sour lemon bite that I have not experienced since. There appeared to be notes of mango and strawberry and tropical but it was all held together with this wonderful citrus high note. This one was awesome, and my ADV.
The third appeared mid 2016 and looked identical to the above. This was where to me the flavour profile was lost. Gone was the high citrus/sour note, replaced by a jumbled up fruit concoction. The previous side notes of Strawberry appeared to be boosted up to be stronger. To me it was more of a ripe fruit salad as opposed to a “Shocking” taste bud explosion.
Early 2017 saw the TPD over in Europe so 10ml is now standard issue. With it I believe CF again tweaked their recipe. This one, similar to the third is very fruit salad, but appeared slightly more balanced with an attempt at getting the citrus back in the mix. However it doesn’t compare to the second or first in citrus tartiness.
My goal is to get something near to the second or first one. At the moment I’m pretty exhausted from trying. I contacted Cosmic Fog and they confirmed the recipe has been changed in preparation for submission to the FDA PMTA. This gave me a few clues. There was something in the formulation which would probably be flagged. This gave me the idea of looking at FlavorWest stuff as I know they’re known to have not disclosed ingredients. I’ve gone through almost the whole lot… Hawaiian Limeade, Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Citrus soda, Fuzzy Naval, etc etc, literally all of their soda type flavourings. One or two appear reminiscent and others like Natural Mango is used in other juices like Cali Collada and Passion Punch from Liquid State, but none seem to be in the ballpark for the Shocker. Since then I’ve been buying up almost every citrus lemon/lime type flavour I can get my hands on. I know it’s not going to be “one flavour” but I’m kind of feeling that if this elusive ingredient suddenly touched my tongue, I’d be able to tell it straight away. I’ve got all the usual TFA, CAP, FA, FW, Flavorah, Inawera and Flavour Express Lemons/Grapefruits/Limes etc to no avail…
Another angle I’ve looked at is getting hold of pre TPD stock to help with cloning. It’s hard enough with a fresh bottle in front but without it’s needle in haystack territory. I managed to get hold of a bottle of the first Shocker which dates back to 2015!! The shop should not have sold it to me as it’s technically illegal now in the UK as it’s over the 10ml threshold, however I did learn some other things from vaping it. First is that the citrus element had all but faded away. No surprise there as it’s well past it’s sell by date. What this did reveal however was the Eliquid base. I detected a marshmallow undertone, along an absinthe anise taste. It even reminded me of Milk and Honey, also by Cosmic Fog. The amount however is so so low, it would probably never be detectable, had the citrus been fresh. I’m pretty sure of this being a combination of a marshmallow to sweeten, and then absinthe anise to work in conjunction with either/or manic/citric acid to sour it up. I’ve worked on trying to create a base flavour for use with it and the VG imparts a sweet taste that I’ve struggled to mask. I’m thinking of using some bitter wizard/magic mask to try and neutralise this. I’ve also read up about ascorbic acid (vitamin c) which has apparently been used to lower PH, but apparently this doesn’t impart a citrus taste per-se.
I guess I’m at a roadblock here. I really really underestimated how complex cloning a juice really is, even something that appeared on the surface to be straightforward. As it is now I’m running out of avenues in flavouring to explore (or at least I think I am). I’ve got an order coming today with some Solub Arome flavours, there’s also Jungle Juice Lemon I need to try but then what? Give up!!!
If anyone here has any advice at all (apart from the obvious one I’d be really grateful for your time. Maybe someone knows of some random, oddball or rare lemon citrus flavour that I’ve missed. I’m specifically thinking it may be a US brand. I’ve toyed with getting hold of Lorann’s Lemon oil (not Lemonade) but it’s on the list of “dangerous to vape” so I’m really wary of that one. It is apparently an essential oil rather than in an oil base but all the same. The citrus I’m after really is a zinger. I read a review once describing it as getting a lemon, inserting electrodes and vaping the fumes!! That is so true. I know that far more sensible people than me would have moved on long ago, but my flavour profile is so so narrow. It’s either citrus based or tobacco and that’s pretty much it. Thank you for reading my rant this far, and any pointers, however insignificant really would be appreciated.