Tutorial Tuesday - My First Recipe

Howdy Folks,

Gonna see some more out of me for my summer series. I have a few things I want to spit out for all y'all to marinate on. I've got two sets of ideas for posts. One looking back and one looking forward. Hopefully they will meet in the middle to the now.

This is the first in my looking back. It comes close to the time of my first recipe saved in ATF on July 8th, 2018. Prior to this date, I had used only ELR because it was free. At that time, ATF was a paid subscription and I wasn't about to shell out $2 a month when I had already been using ELR for a few months. At some point, I'd realized that I like me some tobacco flavors and I was starting to branch out into the bacco realm. So, it's no surprise to me that my first saved recipe on ATF is a tobacco and I can guarantee you, it isn't good sucks. Let's have a look:

chobacco cigar


% Vendor Flavor
0.5 FLV Connecticut Shade
1 FLV Oriental Tobacco
1 FLV Red Burley

That's it. Simple as that. Now, why do I say that this recipe sucks? Well, just have a look at it. Two things right off the bat: (1) The concept and (2) Flavor choices. Let's get to it...

The Problem

It's called Chocobacco Cigar for a reason. Except it's not a Chocobacco Cigar. I'd heard around then that Red Burley has a chocolate note and I knew that Ct Shade was supposed to mimic cigar wrapper leaf so sure, let's slap those together. However, that isn't really how these flavors really come off. If I were to think now, this is the profile I want: Cigar with Chocolate notes, it would be a different story. I'd think, ok a cigar is a musky, full bodied sensation. RB can bring a musky wet sensation, but do I want it drier? How dry/wet should it be? Some of that would be solved with actual testing combinations, but it's pretty obvious that wasn't happening in the original. The OG was a stab in the dark.

And what's with those percents! I've had CT Shade up to 1.5% before. I liked it (minus the sheer coil gunking that happens). If you are gonna go that route, however, You need at least some other stuff to push up against it. Here we can solve two problems at once with the addition of the no-brainer FLV Cured. It'll dry it up a bit and add body. That leaves you with room to tweak percents to see which combination you like best. RB:C 2:1, 1:2, 2:4, 3:2, 1:4!?! Maybe those numbers dont mean much to you now, but they sure do mean something to me. I can vaguely picture it in my head, like fading two distinct instruments through Left and Right Speakers. Now, all we have to do is drop that CT Shade to something manageable like 0.2-3 and we have the beginnings of a much more pleasant mix.

The Tweaks

At this point, we are going purely theoretical because I havent actually tried it and I'm not going to. I want it to lean more Cigar so I'm opting for pushing Cured up to 3 (any more and I'll have to change my cotton all the time and I'm not doing all that). I'm losing the Oriental completely, it has no business being in here imo. I may want a bit of counterpoint so a little bit of KY for ash or Native to round out the Cured either at 1% depending on whichever one is more to my liking after I have tried it just RB/C/CT. I may be trying to overcorrect something that isn't even an issue yet.

If it's dry, we have options. We can start with the basic accents: Lovage for more musk without tweaking the baccos, sweet cig for some neutral sweet musk, mild tobacco for some blonde caramel depth, ry4 of choice to boost the additional complexity that CT brings, SC/FE baccos to boost the chocolate notes, actual chocolate flavors, a bit of anything AP, vanilla, spices... the list goes on and on until we are either satisfied or sick of ourselves.

The Real Problem

The real flaw in the reasoning here as far as I see it is that 2018 me didn't do his homework. 2022 me has the added benefit of 4 more years of information at my disposal. If, today, I truly wanted to make a chocolate flavored cigar(ish) bacco vape, I would follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify which aspects of this profile I really know nothing about (chocolates) and then find the corresponding Noted episodes (Ep. 73, and play them in the background while I think/research the rest.
  2. Think about what I would want from a cigar-like vape and pick out the bare minimum flavors to carry the bulk of the bacco.
  3. Specifically brainstorm a list of tobaccos that have supporting notes I may need to support any desired notes. (chocolatey, AP, Nutty maybe, sweet, leafy etc)
  4. Start small with actual testing if I'm unfamiliar with the flavors (in this case I am not) and make a modest first attempt to get my bacco layer down. Perhaps even come up with two or more separate approaches to the concept to see if a particular combo chances up.
  5. Add in modest increments accents and tweak until I am pleased with the taste.

Chocolates

In the case of chocolates, I agree with the Noted cast in Noted Episode 123 Chocolate Cake that FLV Choc Deutch is a great chocolate addition to tobaccos. The bakery aspect blends in easily with the general AP heaviness of many tobacco flavors. HS Australian Chocolate is another potential flavor I can use as it is not exceptionally sweet and may allow for sweeter baccos to be used in higher than usual amounts. Lastly, FLV Milk Chocolate is a last resort as it delivers MC at as low as 0.2 and could be a support if we really want to go full sweet dessert.

Bacco Layer

As for the baccos, I know Red Burley is going to be a part of this but I'm not going to hit this at 2% or higher to push out the chocolate notes. That's gonna wet this up and make it distinctly a RB mix. I want a bacco forward mix so I'll let Cured do the heavy lifting and we will start at 2%. I'm imagining a musky bacco vape with a hint of chocolate, but mostly darkness in there. Cured is a great dry vape because we can now add some of the sweeter, darker flavors to it. We can add a touch of CT Shade for some leaf and that already is gonna bring a melange of added coffee and leafy notes to the full body of Cured. We'll add that at 0.15 for now. I dont want caramel in there so I'm passing on the FLV Mild Tobacco, I could add FM TB Cohiba and get a more authentic Cigar but it's difficult to source and I think we can make this more accessible to me and anyone else if we pass. If we add FLV Sweet Cig, it will get a hint of muskiness but that comes with some added baggage of off notes that I'm trying to avoid since we are using CT Shade and potentially other complex accents. Too much chance for a conflict of flavors.

Other options

So now we have what I imagine will be a kind of one-note mix: Cured + CT Shade. RB could bring the musk and a choccy vibe but it will wet up the rest. We could try this as one way to go. If we add SC/FE Old Cap, we can get dark chocolate and fill in the bottom but we dont get any more actual bacco notes leaving Cured to be the only actual bacco in the mix. Virginia too light, Turkish unwanted spice, Kentucky a little ashy, more ciggie, and relatively unwanted. Arabian also ashy and spicy. Oriental is mild enough to work but not ideal.

What I really want is to boost up that slight coffee note in the CT, add some chocolatey bacco to fill out the bottom, and then add some moistness and density to the Cured. What I want is some kind of blend here. 0.5% Red Burley, 2% SC Cigar, and FLV RY4 1% in addition to Cured 2% and CT Shade 0.15% .

Reasoning:

  • Red Burley low enough to alter the recipe without taking it over and blend in with the Cured, wet it up a bit and add musk; it's not high enough to add chocolate.
  • SC Cigar for a neutral bottom base note that brings some choc. If more choc is needed, we can adjust by adding Old Cap but I think we will get enough with just choc Deutch when we get around to that layer.
  • RY4 will support the CT Shade notes without needing more CT Shade. Which is a good thing since CT can get very aggressive with the wrong combination and this is an easy hack to add coffee and some chocolate without any extra off notes. Unfortunately will add steep time to the mix until it is settled so will have to mix and then test every two days until 2 weeks is up to see if this is the right call or not.
  • Cured at 2 is a bit of a compromise. Not wanting to go full send (3-4) since it is wasteful and not really necessary to get what we want to achieve which is a full saturation and a blending of flavors. Any more and it will stand out, likely.
  • CT Shade at 0.15 is just enough to be tasted without potentially ruining everything. If it is too aggressive, boring or we hav an unidentified conflict, this will be the first to be removed. We can just up the RY4 a bit to compensate and find something leafy if necessary to add. For most, it wouldn't be missed.

I'd try this first before even considering adding in a chocolate layer. Try this out and see how it shakes over 2 weeks, but I can tell you now that, hells yeah, I'm going Chocolate Deutch 1%, even if this pans out. How could it do anything but make this better? I wrote all this out to show you how I would approach this profile after messing around with flavors and learning a thing or two about how I enjoy mixing flavors.

How would you approach mixing a bacco blend with chocolate notes?

-i

I'm gonna try for weekly, but, hey, you get what you pay for.

Edit: I left out some key elements. One is to see what has been done before you and to try them. That will come up in future posts. Here's some cool lookin recipes that are chocolate baccos:

Xocolatl Smoke (Mayan-inspired Spiced Chocolate and Tobacco) by LonesomeRhoades. It helps that everything I tried from this mixer was worth trying. It sucks I don't have the patience (or all the flavors) to mix it. If you do, and you are so inclined, I bet it's good. Here we see HS Aus Choc with FE Black Mile (also choco baccy) with RB. Forgot about BM so yeah, another great add. Worth doing your research always!

Recipes Made Simple: Bourbon Chocolate Tobacco bt shakenvape007. This whole thing looks 100% stealable and totally confirms my guesses. Had I just looked, I wouldn't have needed to think.

Chocomint Bacco by u/TeslaDelMar. I've had this and his chocolate approach is lovely, the baccos are bangin, and idk what else to tell you. That's worth the shot, for sure.

Berries Chocolate Tobacco by nmc. Here we are starting to see some repeats. Obviously I overlooked Devon Cream as well. I'd have to check this out a little more closely to see what exactly I'm missing out on. Mixing this would be a good way to short cut to seeing how it plays.