Setup: Recoil w/ flavor barrel, Dual 15 wrap 26g 3mm Nifethal 70 coils @.17 ohms. 60w power, 450F temp limit. Full Cotton Wicks.
Testing: FW Sassafras @ 3%, 60/40 VG/PG, Steeped 16 days.
Flavor Description: Like wintergreen without the mint. Relatively dry herbal flavor, earthy almost musty notes and a molasses sweetness. It's hard to describe this without mentioning root beer, so it tastes like an herbal version of the sharper note from root beer.
Light, herbal and slightly sour on the Inhale. Exhale is herbal sassafras. Dryer musty notes like a natural licorice flavor pushing almost into an oak or cedar. Similar to horehound. Tastes like bark, but in a really good way. Sweetness is there, but not overwhelming. Almost a light molasses or even a real maple syrup sweetness. Gets a lot more pronounced with extra heat. Exhale is smooth and moderately dense. Lingering bitterness, with just a bit of a medicinal vibe.
Off-flavors: Nothing I wouldn't expect.
Throat Hit: Light. Bitter medicinal vibe on the exhale isn't harsh on the throat but it does sort of anethestize your mouth a bit.
Uses & Pairings: The obvious one is a more herbal punch in a root beer. Would take a root beer barrel candy flavor into a more realistic root beer. Should also be a good main note for building your own root beer with some added mint and vanilla. Using something like FA Oakwood or TFA Red Oak would give you more of a birch beer flavor.
Just mixing this with a spearmint will give you a pretty awesome wintergreen flavor. Especially cool, just because all the wintergreen flavors I've tried have been really weak.
Mixes well with TFA Horehound to give you a fuller, sweeter herbal cough drop kind of flavor. In the same vein, I could see this being used in a licorice or anise candy flavor to give more herbal depth.
Mixing at 2% and under will lend a more natural, less HFCS kind of note to colas, dr. pepper, or whatever else kind of dark sodas.
Mixing beyond that is going to be interesting, just because this comes off so strongly as "root beer" flavor.
S&V concentration testing, I get mostly molasses at 1% and under, with that bitter finish. Herbal notes are present but indistinct at 2%. 3% starts gets you to root beer, while keeping the balance between molasses and herbal flavors. 4 and 5% push that molasses down into the backend and come across as sort of musty root beer. Anything above that just starts to come apart. The actual herbal flavors get a bit too sharp and spicy for me after that. I'd mix this at 4-5% as a primary note in a root beer, just knowing that it'll be a dominant root beer taste. I'd mix at 2% if you just want that molasses and herbal complexity, and 3% if the hint of root beer isn't going throw your recipe off.
I was a fan of LA Sassafras, but unfortunately that's oil soluble. This, according the the Flavorwest website FWIW, specifies that it's water soluble. It's less sharp, and there is quite a bit of molasses here.