Flavor reviews

I recently decided to start sharing my reviews over at the Redd, mostly to just get more exposure, and seeing more than a handful of people citing my reviews there, and wondering why they weren’t there LOL.
Obviously they’ve had some STELLAR, in-depth reviewers over there like ConcreteRiver (and others) for some time, but it felt like there was an entire niche (mine), that was missing. While seriously in-depth reviews are exactly that, very in-depth, very long, and can take quite some time to get through, I started to see that many people wanted LESS in-depth reviews, easier to read, more “boots on the ground”, and with some sort of scoring system. Hence my review format. I think in comparison to the really deep reviews which are almost novels, mine are like the “tabloid” versions hehe. Quick, big points, real initial, mid-point, and final takeaway thoughts.

Someone just asked how in the HELL, I did, what I did do, or at least, what my rating system was based on. Thought it was worth a share.

Unrelated. What criteria do you use for your ratings? What score system do you use to keep track of what dictates what score?

That’s easy u/xIcePickAbortionx, it’s ALL in my head !!!

When I first started doing tests, years ago, I had considered using a more rigid, checkbox, attribute go/no-go type of rating system, but I decided against that. I try to take an “every day mixer” kind of approach to reviewing flavors. Accuracy, off-notes, strength, and dimensionality all help shape my reviews, and scores. Typically if something falls flat, I (at times) will re-test at a different weight, just to make sure that I didn’t over/under flavor a particular flavor. If it still falls flat, I score it accordingly. There are some flavors, that I actually DUAL rate. If they are NOTHING like their namesake, BUT, they are still an excellent flavor, I will dual rate, and comment why. I guess you could call it a subjective rating scale, and I do always stress that people should test for themselves.

I think in the very beginning, I was just taking notes for myself, and people started asking what I thought/felt about flavors, and I shared my notes. People seemed to like them, and asked for more, and whammo, my torturous torture was realized.

I appreciate you taking the time to ask, and hopefully this helps clarify the process to some degree. Beyond what I have stated above, I take a lot of notes, and always pay close attention to the initial perception, mid/duration, and final thoughts, in every flavor review.


Though I only vape a few flavors, with one menthol tobacco mix being my ADV, I have always appreciated your reviews. With things like vape flavors, taste can be so individual and subjective. You have an amazing ability and willingness to offer your impressions in a clear, easy to understand manner. So keep on rockin’ it.


Thank you very much @Cary1, very kind words.


Well said @Cary1.

Your reviews are exceptionally good SD; great attention to details and optimal size of reviews. My taste buds are not as good as yours; i make my own notes and i often re-check your notes later - to find out exactly what i haven’t found myself in the flavor at that moment / had problem describing it. Thanks for posting them @SessionDrummer (and everyone else too!).


I WAS hesitant to start dropping them on the Redd @Cary1, as they have a MUCH different format over there, as an example:

Flavor Review Friday: FA Decano Tobacco -- isuamadog

Flavor Review Friday: FA Decano Tobacco

Flavor Review

FA Decano Tobacco

Setup : mtl STNG 0.57 Ohm 2.0 ID 28/40 clapton 28.5W

nose: spicy leafy with a slight alcohol note… maaaaaybe something fruity; reminds me of 7 leaves but i didnt compare side by side

2(ish) percent - I really wasn’t planning to write a review of this. I mainly picked it up because, if I am remembering correctly, u/hesherette spoke highly of it and I decided to get over my FA tobacco aversion to try it. I had low hopes so I more or less just squirted some in the bottle at a little over 2% and let it sit for a few days and then let her rip. I was already pretty put off by the smell in the bottle when I was mixing it. It reminded me of my first foray into tobaccos where I tried one shitty FA tobacco after another desperately hoping for something to taste like happiness. I was new. I was not confident enough to say, “Man, this shit sucks and I will never try this again.” I hate vaped through those tests. Fuck, that may even have been what drove me to both deep dive on tobaccos (since at the time Vaperstek was a bit unusual to buy from) and to stop stf-ing for an unhealthily long time. That’s how bad they actually were to me.

Despite all this, I put on my Rosie the Riveter Overalls and gave this one a whirl. And, boy am I glad I did. It is unusual by both FA standards as well as compared to the many tobacco flavors that I have tried. Unusual is interesting for novelty’s sake and describing this one is going to be hard. The best and worst analogy I can use is it’s like an FA tobacco version of FA Soho. Best because that’s kind of true to how I experienced it and worst because it is in so many ways nothing like Soho. Soho is a great AP like flavor that is very forgiving and can work at all kinds of percents to produce all kinds of results. I don’t see that happening here. namely, because it is conveying a complex series of notes that sometimes poke out and sometimes blend together. I can totally see this being an interesting ‘secret ingredient’ to pizazzing up some straight tobacco blends in the place of ry4, caramel/vanilla, or some kind of spice accents for both variety and nuance.

The decano flavor itself has that slight bit of FA leafiness that I almost don’t like. It presents to me as a bit acrid and sour which kind of ruins (sours) my appreciation for this hint of woodiness. Meanwhile, there’s pockets of vanilla (particularly on the finish which is nice), slight grainy sweet, and a nice blend of AP dryness without being actually dry. If there’s a coffee note here, it isn’t big, nor is it burnt popcorn. There’s an almost-but-not-quite grassy element that takes whatever is that dark sweetness and bends it just slightly enough away from feeling like a caramel to make it really neat for those who like to add some sweetness to a bacco without, idk, actually adding sucralose to a tobacco (ick). Sometimes I even imagine a bit of lemon in there but it might just be my own FA weird predisposition to assuming they’ll add it everywhere. Perhaps there’s a hint of citrus, maybe it’s just a natural affinity? Overall, I like how this is a mild ry4ish type flavor that has a distinct vanilla finish with some grassy/woodsy notes that are relatively unique, pretty subtle here at 2% and seem particularly inoffensive and bendable. Mild sweetness means I can add this to many different flavors potentially for a variety of unknown effects.

Suggested percent: 2% actually seems like a reasonable amount MTL to get some flavor, but I suspect some playing around will be needed to see what happens for science’s sake when it goes up to that 4-6 range. Not sure I’m that brave… yet. I would probably try it at 3 if it were to be the main note using other baccos sub 1 as accents or at 1-2% to bend a bacco blend away from being plain.

Pairing ideas: I could totally see using this in that vein of just slapping this with your favorite ry4 and being totally happy. Add a bit of this or that each time to alter it in some way. Frankly, I intend to use it this way for a bit to see how it plays. And then moving on to pairing with my favorite caramels and vanillas with accent tobaccos to ply it around a few bends. I just feel like that smooth vanilla finish would be really well suited to being filled out a little in the mid-exhale. And then there’s that unidentifiable fruit note that could react unpredictably to various boosts. Honestly, I kinda dig how this flavor overall is a bit oddball and I appreciate the challenge it’s presenting, if even just for the novelty.

Second Opinions: Noted Review There was definitely some areas of consensus and some disagreement. I agree with Hesh and Dave mostly that there’s a light sweetness and some leafier notes with out that FA bell pepper tobacco off taste. That it would work as an interesting tobacco additive. Dave picked up on citrus specifically which is kinda what I got but Mindfloodz mentioned some Grape Juice type and Hesh and others mentioned some vague fruitiness. All that to say, it’s an oddball of a flavor. I basically picked it up since Hesh raved about it and I like it enough to want to see what it will do in some mixes.

u/SessionDrummer’s notes:

Decano Tobacco (FA) 2.5% (6-5-21) – Decano translated means literally the Dean, or Professor, so your takeaway on the name or meaning may vary. The Professor of Tobaccos ?? This one WAS a complex one, no other way to put it. The main note it centered around an RY4 main note, but the other notes, swirling around, made it hard to nail down. At times I almost got an orange nuance, but without the sharp citrus punch, and others I was picking up a slight dark choco, maybe even a coffee. More often than not, I was greeted with a dark earthy, almost slightly smoky finish. Hehe, yeah, this one’s hard to nail down. There was a creamy element thrown into the main RY4 note, that wandered around a vanilla, but not consistently, but it was there none the less. If you think it’s hard to perceive this one, try to explain it hehe. I’d love to hear others thoughts on this one, as it WAS a great, complex ride for sure. All in, this one was QUITE the mysterious one, and in a GOOD way. I’m going to have to leave this one as a very complex RY4-ish mix, with some slight fruity notes, a good creamery element, with an interesting slight chocolate/coffee/smoky finish. 2.5% felt really good, mid level sweet, and just a swirling deliciously mysterious one this one was. Going high for the complexity, blending, and overall effect. 9.8/10 .

Redditor u/Hazozita writes:

It’s one of those odd “tobaccos” from FA so it’s hard to pin down. I mostly get a darkish chocolate-like flavor especially at lower wattages. It’s good on its own (2%) – a enjoyable vape, but it felt sort of incomplete. Tried some lighter tobaccos, bit it didn’t seem to want to work and play well with those. I tried a little FA Dark Vapure but it got too heavy and muddy. VT Red Date worked better (0.5%) – dark and earthy but not overly so. Next on my list to try with it are some dark berries and perhaps some dark licorice or maple (got my doubts about the latter, but still worth a try).

ELR User Steph Abbs:

Single flavour at 2.5%, steeped one month: tobacco with a lot of fruit, sort of caramelised fruit, like part-dried jammy apricots with a caramel sauce, maybe some darker fruits, plum? Very interesting single flavour simply to vape on and wonder just what is in there. A bit thin on mouthfeel but that’s how I taste tobaccos.


Well this is far from what I was expecting & very distand [sic] from a plain / straight tobacco, its very unusual & although not unpleasant its not something to my personal tastes, there is a little background tobacco to it, but for me at least the primery [sic] flavours here with seem to be dried fruits, something along the lines of fig & pear maybe?, its also got for me at least a somewhat unpleasant something, not enough to warrant an off not, but something I certainly do not really get along with, like a herbal type of vibe, it vapes smoothly enough & may well be more to others tastes than my own, but its a hands down no from me overall sadly, almost into the realms of medicinal to my taste.
It is an interesting & unusual flavour, just not one I appreciate.

Final Thoughts

So, I’m going to say that this isn’t what I thought it would be. It’s a hard to describe flavor, easier to say what it isn’t, almost. I agree with u/Hesherette’s suggestion that this was supposed to be a pear infused tobacco type, but they got the flavors all oddball. There’s some FA 7 leaves style leafiness but it’s more like 2 Leaves and I got a strong vanilla finish where SeshD got chocolate. I bet there’s some darker fruit note for the ‘raisiny’ type note that came across to some as Grape or vague dark fruit, but I didn’t catch that. I am willing to bet the success u/Hazozita had with VT Red Dates was to bend up those darker flavors.

I tried it at 2% paired with some Holy Ry4 to see how it would do being pulled heavier towards a mild Ry4 experience. Just a vaguely bacco sweet caramel was my expectation. It did not sit well with me. I felt they never quite blended and just clashed up a bit. Totally unexpected. So then I got up off my lazy ass and mixed a blend with some baccos I am familiar to see how it got bent.

% Flavor
2 FA Decano
2 FM Caramel
0.75 FLV Cured
2 FLV Turkish

The idea was that I would iron out the caramel with the FM Caramel and pull it straight into a defined flavor. Cured I figured would latch on to the leafier parts of the Decano and get to be a fuller version of itself while the Turkish was bumped up to lend some ‘spicier’ notes to the bacco and maybe suck up some of the odd-er notes from the Decano to bend a bit into something newish. The result was fairly promising and so much more enjoyable than my ry4 pairing that I was surprised. Was it because the flavors I used were just much better and elevated the Decano? Did the blending work?

IDK but I can say that I normally use FM Caramel at 3 percent when there is no other sweet going on. (FM is a bright golden and sweet caramel which you maybe dont have, unfortunately and quite good. You can probably sub it out with 1-1.5 FA Caramel or whatever floats your boat.) I found the overall effect was a bit too strong for my tastes. I would probably mix again with about half of what I would use normally for any added caramel (assuming it were the only sweet note) as the Decano sweetness is already there. Unless you are one of those icky people who put sugar in your baccos. But, hey, you do you. I’m just your puppy, not your pappy.

Overall, the mix was successful; I was excited to vape and finish it when I feel I’ve overdone the FLV baccos and have been kind of burnt out on them. So, using the Decano to bend them into a new-ish kind of vibe to keep it fresh worked enough for me to be happy. With Zero public recipes on atf using this at the time of publishing, it will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Fixed it up a bit:

Bacco Blend No. 6 (sweet Ry4-ish, leafy, caramel, spiced tobacco)

The idea was to use some caramel to pull FA Decano into more of an Ry4 ish territory and complete it but still retain its odder notes pairing it with Cured for heft and body, Turkish for spiced bacco notes,

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have FM Caramel, I’d guess FA Caramel to be an accessible sub at 1%, but I suspect that your caramel of choice would suffice. I would just keep it brighter rather than darker.

I would maybe add more spice accents to this base such as:

  • FLV Arabian 0.1% for sharper spice/ash/more bacco
  • VT Bakery Spice 1% for some light clove
  • FLV Pumpkin Spice for the holiday season? IDK the sky’s the limit.

I can see Turkish being swappable for something more affinity for citrus like FLV Oriental and add on some fruit notes / VT Red Dates for a darker bass counterpoint as suggested by u/Hazozita on Reddit.

% Vendor Flavor
1.5 FM Caramel
0.75 FLV Cured Tobacco
2 FA Decano Tobacco
2 FLV Turkish Tobacco

Now isuamadog, and ConcreteRiver do OUTSTANDING, in-depth reviews over there. The format is COMPLETELY different, and takes quite a while to parse. Doesn’t mean they’re bad, but it just means, for the entire segment of the members who want a more quick, “Down and Dirty” review, get left out. I took a risk, and injected the Redd with some of the DandD style. Hell, some of them use the Flavor Note Generator which again, is fine, but it does go VERY in-depth.

They haven’t banned me yet, hehe, so there’s that. Apexified has been more than a lot of help over there, so I really appreciated that.

So long story short @Cary1, thank you, and also for reminding me why I started, and continue to do this.


Thank you @Mikser. Hehe, I won’t say it’s always easy, as that is often NOT the case, but you know that. Thank you for your trust, kind words, and …

Being my Mixing Mentor !!!


I think you know SD, that I really value your flavour reviews, and am forever grateful for your dedication and perseverance.
Thank you.


Thank you @Tworrs, I appreciate that very much.


Yeah, boots on the ground testing / scoring is the most useful to the “every day mixer”… :+1: