Tested on: Kanger Subtank (RDA @ 0.4 ohm’s, around 25 watts)
Five Pawns is a rapidly expanding community of gourmet and boutique e-liquid vendors. I had the opportunity to get my hands on their flagship flavors and quite honestly, I jumped at the chance.
I had been hearing some very good things about their juice and after wrapping up the first of their reviews, for a juice called Grandmaster, I was quite impressed at the overall quality and balance of flavors.
While I usually tend to change it up a bit from review to review, I decided to go with their Gambit for the second review in the series, another dessert style flavor, simply due to buzz it had been generating.
Gambit is defined by Five Pawns as a mellow apple pie flavour with flaky crust & decadent caramel, lightened by a dollop of French vanilla ice cream & unsweetened whipped cream. Smelling the juice, it smells like pie. & vaping it also makes me think if cake, with the caramel & vanilla there to sweeten the deal.
The flavor is rooted in the idea of apple pie a la mode, a difficult flavor to replicate in e-juice form due to the wide variety of elements found in the profile.
A single juice that is able to incorporate every flavor in a slice of apple pie a la mode, including the filling and it’s various components, the crust, and the sweet creamy vanilla ice cream, and more importantly, getting them all to “pop” at the same sweet spot, was one I had a hard time wrapping my head around. Putting my doubts aside, I opened up the well steeped bottle of Gambit and carefully dripped it into a fresh atomizer. The first and most obvious flavor in the profile is the apple pie filling, and Five Pawns nailed that one from every perspective.
It’s sweet with the flavor of caramelized baked apples and the earthy flavor of Cassia cinnamon, the more common of the two types of cinnamon and the one found in most US grocery stores (and every respectable apple pie).
The degree to which this tastes like apple pie filling is almost mind-boggling. The cinnamon makes it appearance almost immediately as the sole occupant of the front side of the vape.
The flavor of baked apples, which is strikingly natural and completely devoid of the candy-like green apple that seems to be everywhere lately, is next up in the profile.
The apple, however, for me, is not that pronounced. & I also think the actual apple flavour could be better. It might just be me that spoiled with great apple flavour lately, but somehow I’m stuck with the feeling that I’m tasting an apple pie where they could have used better & sweeter apples, & maybe some more of them as well.
That flavor quickly mingles with the creamy vanilla flavor of the ice cream which is less potent than the rest of the flavors in the profile, but I would speculate that is by design.
As with the genuine article, the ice cream is there only to enhance the flavor of the pie itself rather than to steal the focus of the profile.
The flavor of crust is also present throughout the back end and finish of the vape, not what I would call abundant, but present nonetheless. In those respects, the juice is a rousing success. All that being said however, I do have one small issue that should be addressed.
There is an ever so slight, subtle perfume-y overtone that I simply can’t get rid off. Regardless of how much steeping this one goes through, both cap on, and cap-off, the flavor persists…it’s slight, and many vapers could easily overlook it, but it is present.
Then again, I’ve tried a couple of apple juices lately (& also some earlier vaping), & I’ve discovered that there are different kinds of apple & I’ve seen others around the web that loves this juice. The creamy pie taste is not at all bad, but for me, this juice doesn’t quite get up there with the rest of the Five Pawns juices I’ve tried.
To put the degree of this mild perfume-y note in perspective, I have every intention of vaping this juice until the bottle is bone dry…it’s just that tasty, and remarkably true to the genuine article.
The sweet spot on the Gambit is definitive. While it’s still tasty at lower wattage, the flavor is deeper and richer, with higher highs and lower lows when it’s given the appropriate amount of heat, an even 10 watts (5v on a 2.5Ω atomizer), which not only yields the intense flavor of fresh homemade apple pie (ice cream and all), it also produces a solid throat hit and a very respectable cloud of vapor.