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September 5, 2016

Black Note E-Liquid Review

E-Cigarette Reviews | 6 comments

Black Note e-liquid is a company that rebels against just about everything about the current state of the e-cigarette industry. Sweet e-liquids are more popular today than ever before. You can see it when you look at any e-liquid company’s “premium” line. When the e-cigarette industry first began to take hold in the United States, there wasn’t a lot of flavor variety. A typical e-cigarette company offered a tobacco flavor and a menthol flavor. Some offered a few fruit flavors. That was pretty much it.

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Black Note E-Juice Review

Today, though, hardly any company would dream of offering an e-liquid just called “Tobacco.” Instead, it’s a tobacco-infused almond torte served with a deconstructed custard bread pudding topped with raspberry coulis.

And custard.

And fruit loops.

Did I mention the custard?

To many e-cigarette users, that flavor probably sounds delicious. Minus the fruit loops, maybe. Some e-smokers, though, probably feel disappointed about the lack of effort among e-liquid companies to develop more innovative tobacco flavors. Well, the goal of Black Note e-liquid is to change all that. Are you ready to rekindle your love of tobacco?

Black Note E-Liquid

Visit the Black Note e-liquid website. E-liquids start at $29 per 30 ml bottle, and shipping is free. Sample packs start at $39 if you aren’t sure what you want. If you don’t like Black Note, you can send the e-liquid back for a full refund within 90 days. You won’t even need to pay the return shipping charge.

[green_box]Quick Take: Black Note, more than any other e-liquid, mimics the taste of tobacco. Pure, simple, real tobacco, with all of the flavor complexity that can only come from a whole plant product. If you’re a smoker or dual-user looking for an e-liquid that will make you love the switch to vaping, Black Note is it. If you’re an experienced e-cigarette user and the standard custard-almond-fruit loops-berry-cream concoctions are starting to wear thin, Black Note is for you, too.[/green_box]

Black Note E-Liquid: Overview

Black Note E-Liquid Review

Black Note’s goal is to become a luxury e-liquid brand for tobacco connoisseurs. At $29 per bottle, Black Note e-liquid is one of the most expensive brands on the market. This isn’t something that you chain vape mindlessly, draining tank after tank without pausing to savor the flavor. This is something that you get for yourself as a special treat and save for that special moment when you’ll appreciate it the most. Maybe it’s an afternoon spent alone, watching the rain. Maybe it’s enjoying a bit of late night reading by the fire, or sharing an after-dinner beverage with a loved one. This is the e-liquid that you reach for when you want something truly special.

Until now, no company that has really attempted to position tobacco e-liquids as premium products. To get consumers to accept a “premium” label, most e-liquid companies simply add more flavors and lots of sweetener. They usually try to improve the packaging, too.

Black Note is entirely different. This is a company that makes nothing but tobacco e-liquids. Each contains real tobacco essences cold extracted for six weeks. Black Note also has full lab reports available for all of its products. There’s really nothing else quite like this e-liquid.

Top Customer Service Among E-Liquid Companies

Black Note ReviewAs I mentioned above, Black Note ships all orders for free. They also guarantee that the postal service will deliver your order within three business days. If not, your entire order is free. You do have to allow one business day for processing before the order ships, though. Black Note also has an entirely hassle-free return policy. If you don’t like the e-liquid for any reason, Black Note will refund your money. They’ll even pay the return costs. The return policy includes no stipulation about the maximum amount of e-liquid you can use before initiating the return.

Black Note has the most generous, most customer-centric shipping and return policies of any e-liquid company on the planet. You might pay a bit more than with other companies, but you get a lot.

The comparison to Five Pawns is inevitable, since Five Pawns charges famously high prices. Five Pawns ships all orders over $25 for free. It appears, though, that Five Pawns has no return policy. It seems that if you don’t like your e-liquid from Five Pawns, you’re out of luck.

NET E-Liquids: Background Information

Black Note E-Liquid

A Black Note e-liquid review can only begin with an overview of what Naturally Extracted Tobacco (NET) e-liquids actually are. As with pretty much any other botanical extract, you make a tobacco extract by combining tobacco leaves with a solvent. Some popular solvents include grain alcohol, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Grain alcohol leaves a “perfume” flavor behind — something I’ll talk about more later.  I suspect that it provides for more of a full-spectrum extraction, though.

Extraction Temperature

Heat allows for quicker tobacco extraction. Just like with coffee, though, heat also results in a harsher flavor. So, Black Note uses cold extracts. The tobacco leaves steep for 6-8 weeks before reaching the filtering stage.


Filtering is another crucial part of making a tobacco extract that actually tastes good. Early tobacco extracts had a tendency to create “ashtray” flavors when used in e-liquids. That’s because the filtering process left too many tobacco solids in the final extract. I detected no ashtray taste in any Black Note e-liquid, which tells me that they take the filtering process seriously.

The Final Blend

Black Note Review E-LiquidThe most secretive aspect of NET e-liquids is the final blending process. During this process, PG, VG, nicotine and flavors come together with the tobacco extract to create the final e-liquid. It’s my understanding that you wouldn’t want to flavor NET e-liquid with tobacco extracts alone. Instead, you want to add flavors that balance the tobacco extract for a fuller experience. Exactly which flavors a given company adds to its NET e-liquids is, of course, proprietary. However, Black Note does not use artificial flavors, dyes, colors or chemical additives.

Black Note is the world’s first NET e-liquid will a full suite of lab reports. On the website, you’ll find lab reports certifying Black Note’s e-liquids. Black Note e-liquids contain no diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, acetoin, acrolein, diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol.

Black Note e-liquids contain a 50/50 base mix of PG and VG. The available nicotine strengths are 0, 3, 6, 12 and 18 mg.

Black Note E-Liquid Review

Whew! That was a long intro. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Thanks for boring me, but is Black Note e-liquid any good?” Yes. Yes, it is.

At the time of writing, Black Note e-liquid is available in nine flavors. My Black Note review sample included eight of the flavors — I received it before the ninth flavor came out. Hopefully I’ll be able to add it to this review in the future. The full flavor lineup is:

  • Legato: Kentucky tobacco
  • Solo: Tobacco with menthol
  • Sonata: Cavendish tobacco
  • Adagio: Havana tobacco
  • Cadenza: Basma tobacco
  • Bravura: Perique tobacco
  • Prelude: Virginia tobacco
  • Forte: Burley tobacco
  • Quartet: Latakia tobacco

Of the nine flavors, Quartet is the one that I haven’t had the opportunity to try yet. Quartet is more expensive than the other flavors — $39 rather than $29 — and it sounds truly special. Evidently, Black Note was able to purchase a lot of Syrian Latakia tobacco that had been cured for eight years. They used that tobacco as the basis of the Quartet e-liquid flavor. Apparently, it’s only available until the extract runs out.

Try Steeping These E-Liquids

Black Note Juice Review

If you’ve spent any time on this website before, you may know that I’m not particularly an advocate of e-liquid steeping. However, steeping can have some value when an e-liquid contains alcohol-based flavors. I’m pretty sure that alcohol is the solvent used to create these tobacco extracts. I believe that my Black Note review kit was still quite fresh when I received it. The longer I waited between tasting sessions, the more I liked the e-liquid.

Remember that you have 90 days to return e-liquids that you don’t like. If you have the time to wait, I do recommend steeping Black Note e-liquids for a little while. The tobacco flavors come through really well after those “perfume” flavors dissipate.

Black Note Flavors: My Thoughts

I recommend starting with a sampler when you buy from Black Note. All of the company’s e-liquids taste very distinct from one another. Taste is also a subjective thing, and you may not agree with every product description on the Black Note website. If you like the flavor of tobacco, though, you will find a Black Note e-liquid that you love.

Best Black Note “Smoke” Flavor

In writing this Black Note review, I had to keep in mind my maxim about what e-cigarettes can and can’t do. An e-cigarette can mimic the flavor of tobacco, but it can’t mimic the flavor of combustion. That being said, Black Note’s Cadenza (Basma) flavor probably tastes more like tobacco smoke than any e-liquid I’ve ever tried.

Best Black Note “Cigarette” Flavor

Legato (Kentucky tobacco) and Prelude (Virginia tobacco), on the other hand, taste the most like tobacco cigarettes in my opinion. By that, I mean they taste the way that tobacco cigarettes might taste if you could somehow consume the tobacco without eating or burning it. I haven’t had a cigarette in a very long time. The taste of Legato and Prelude, though, remind me of what the experience might be like if you held an unlit cigarette under your nose and inhaled deeply.

Best Black Note Flavor for Relaxation

My final favorite was Adagio (Havana tobacco). Adagio is rich and decadent. Supple. Buttery. Adagio tastes like an expensive indulgence. In contrast, Legato and Prelude taste like the daily drivers that you gave up when you switched to vaping.

All of the above are just my opinions, though. That’s why I strongly recommend starting with a sample pack — or both of them. It’s probable that your favorite flavors won’t be the same as mine. You’ll only know if you try them all.

Black Note E-Liquid Review: The Bottom Line

With many of the products that you can buy, the treatment that you can expect to receive from the seller correlates roughly with the amount that you spend. E-liquid is a funny business, though. Some of the most expensive e-liquids on the market come with little customer service and no guarantee of satisfaction. At the same time, I’ve seen some really low-priced e-liquid companies that do a great job of taking care of their customers.

Black Note e-liquid is something different entirely. I know of no other e-liquid company that will accept a refund request regardless of how much e-liquid you’ve used. I also know of no other e-liquid company that will pay your return shipping. The product might not be cheap, but Black Note also takes care of its customers like no other e-liquid company I’ve ever seen. It is actually completely true to say that you have nothing to lose by giving these e-liquids a try.

When you do try Black Note e-liquid, I imagine that it’s going to amaze you. As I mentioned above, there’s no way for an e-liquid to mimic the taste of combustion. The Cadenza e-liquid comes close in my opinion, but you still have to use your imagination a little.

What Black Note does do — far better than any e-liquid product I’ve ever tried — is mimic the taste of tobacco. Pure, simple, real tobacco, with all of the flavor complexity that can only come from a whole plant product. If you’re a smoker or dual-user looking for an e-liquid that will make you love the switch to vaping, Black Note is it. If you’re an experienced e-cigarette user and the standard custard-almond-fruit loops-berry-cream concoctions are starting to wear thin, Black Note is for you, too.

Visit the Black Note e-liquid website. E-liquids start at $29 per 30 ml bottle, and shipping is free. Sample packs start at $39 if you aren’t sure what you want. If you don’t like Black Note, you can send the e-liquid back for a full refund within 90 days. You won’t even need to pay the return shipping charge.

Black Note E-Liquid Review: The Pros

  • Cold-extracted essences help to create amazingly rich tobacco flavors with every puff
  • Customer-centric shipping and return policies make it possible to try with absoltely no risk
  • Extensive lab tests available to the public
  • All-tobacco lineup means that there’s something for virtually any taste
  • Guaranteed delivery within three business days in the contiguous United States

Black Note E-Liquid Review: The Cons

  • Premium price; not for chain vaping on sub-ohm devices

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  1. Ziyaad

    Hi would like to know the ratio content of Alcohol in black note Solo plz do reply asap thanku

    • Vapegrl

      Hi Ziyaad,

      You’d have to try contacting Black Note for that information. I’m not sure what their policy is regarding disclosing ingredient ratios.

  2. Mama Bear

    Wonderful review! I’ll be purchasing some to celebrate my 1 year sober anniversary! That’s about as special of an occasion as I can get imho

    • Mont3000

      nice congratulations. This month is my Year too.
      I took a few pulls but after that, there is no doubt this is the best to go with your drinks(alcohol) and beyond. Pound for pound its in my top two.

  3. phil

    Ugh! I just went to their website to possibly order some Adagio on your recommendation and I think they no longer carry that flavor (I couldn’t find it). I’ll definitely try another flavor or a sampler. Decisions.

  4. Pamela D VanCleave

    Hi I would like to ask what you mean by “steeping” and how one would go about steeping? Thanks for great info!