Black Note: introduction
Black Note is well known for its naturally extracted tobacco (NET) e-liquids. Rather than artificial tobacco flavorings, Black Note extracts the flavor directly from real tobacco leaves. This is one of the oldest styles of e-liquid, but few makers of NET e-liquids have been as popular as Black Note.
Natural tobacco extracts are often described as tasting like tobacco smoke, but what they really taste like is tobacco without combustion. Think of the smell of a tin of fresh pipe tobacco, then translate that into a flavor. That’s what NETs are like!
We’ve combined two reviews in this look at Black Note. The first — and most recent — by Dave Kriegel, is a look at the company’s newest V Line of e-liquids. The second, older review — by Alex Kendell — is of Black Note’s original line of NET e-juice flavors.
Black Note V Line: $23 per 30 mL
Black Note regular line: $29 per 30 mL
V Line collection (new)
Pop (English blend)
Flavor description: A fruity background works behind the scenes in this English blend, producing a fully aromatic experience reminiscent of pipe tobacco. This rich and relaxing blend is both pleasant and impressive, with a vivid flavor that stirs up the senses.
Thoughts: Ask any pipe smoker and they will tell you that fruit flavors and tobacco pair together quite nicely. The fruit taste in Pop is subtle and although it gives a sweet note, it doesn’t stand out as any particular type of fruit. I wish it did. In general, it tastes more like a sweet and mellow tobacco flavor. Pop is good, but I would’ve liked more “oomph.”
Jazz (American blend)
Flavor description: This American blend gets its special flair from aged and fermented tobaccos in oak barrels, which adds a woody tone to its overall essence. The extremely pleasant and satisfying taste features just a hint of natural sweetness that further enhances the complex blend.
Thoughts: A woody and complex tobacco blend. There’s a tiny bit of sweetness, but not as much as Pop. They chose the perfect name for this juice. Much like jazz, it’s an acquired taste, unlike “Pop” music which is easier to digest the first time. If you love robust tobacco, it will probably satisfy your craving.
Reggae (Menthol blend)
Flavor description: Reggae starts with a bright base of blended flue-cured bright Virginia tobacco grown in the French plains. The blend is then enhanced with an overlay of natural mint, extracted from fresh peppermint and spearmint leaves, for an invigorating fresh menthol taste.
Thoughts: As soon as I vaped Reggae, I was met with a blast of icy coolness. One of the first cigarettes I’ve ever tried was Newport. This flavor reminds me of that feeling I would get when puffing on them. It has a refreshing mint taste. It uses real peppermint and spearmint oils to create that “Kool” experience. Bottom line: menthol smokers should try this one if you try any one Black Note’s V Line.
Black Note e-liquid (original)
Sonata (Cavendish blend)
Flavor Description: Dark ripe Virginia tobacco is treated to a centuries-old curing process, producing a robustly rich and intense blend. Virginia tobacco leaves are precisely primed, oak barrel-cured, and steamed to brilliant intensity.
Thoughts: Sonata has a subtly sweet touch to it — but it’s a Cavendish type of sweetness from the curing process, not anything like fruit sweetness. It’s a mild tobacco flavor, suitable for those that want the taste without the hard edge of tobacco. If you’re looking for a complex and mild tobacco juice, this is for you. If you want something unrelenting, go for any Black Note juices with a fire-cured tobacco (like Quartet!).
Legato (Kentucky blend)
Flavor Description: Enjoy the earthy and nutty flavor of Italian Kentucky tobacco, fire-cured to release the plant’s natural resins. This American tobacco cultivar is grown in Tuscany and features an undeniably earthy flair.
Thoughts: Legato really stands out in terms of flavor complexity. It has a woody flavor on the inhale with a legit smokiness on the exhale. Consistent throughout the vape is a nutty taste which reminds me of State Express cigarettes (or 555-style ejuice — like Halo Prime 15). This is probably best suited for those that want more than a straight tobacco taste because of the multi-layered flavor profile.
Prelude (Virginia blend)
Flavor description: Virginia tobacco sets the stage for the light, bright and naturally sweet taste of Prelude. Grown in the sandy plains surrounding the Italian Alps, Virginia tobacco leaves are flue-cured to perfection.
Thoughts: Prelude has a lovely sweet buttery Virginia tobacco flavor, which was absolutely to die for. Despite me not normally liking tobacco flavors that much, I would vape this e-liquid as my all day vape for sure! This for those that want a tobacco juice with a smooth and mellow profile.
Solo (Menthol blend)
Flavor description: Turkish small leaf tobacco is sun-cured then overlaid with a menthol extract derived from genuine peppermint leaves. The result is a fresh, crisp, mellow and ultra-smooth experience.
Thoughts: This is perhaps the nicest most refreshing mint/menthol flavor that I’ve tried (and I’ve tested many). The natural mint extract is really flavorful and pronounced, but I find you can’t really taste the tobacco flavor underneath, as the mint flavor is quite overpowering. If you like menthol vapes then this is definitely a must try e-juice for you!
Forte (Burley tobacco)
Flavor Description: Burley tobacco provides a rich, smooth experience in this crowd favorite. Cultivated on the foothills of Italian volcano Vesuvius, the tobacco is sun-ripened, shade-cooled and bursting with full-bodied flavor.
Our Thoughts: The tobacco flavor and overall taste is very clean and smooth. There’s not much complexity to it, or any other frills and extras. This is more of a pure tobacco leaf taste. Of all the flavors from Black Note’s regular line, this one is easily the most straightforward.
Quartet (Latakia blend)
Flavor description: Quartet is rich, intense smoky-peppery tobacco. The blend embraces the Syrian Latakia process of sun-curing the tobacco, then smoke-curing over controlled fires of Valonia oak, Aleppo pine, Lebanon cedar, Greek juniper and indigenous aromatic herbs. The result is a powerfully distinct symphonic delight for the senses.
Thoughts: The most complex and and true tobacco taste from Black Note. This is for the hardcore among us! For anyone familiar with Latakia, this is an uncompromising smokey flavor from a fire-cured tobacco. It’s an intense flavor for those not accustomed to tobacco, but it should impress smokers or ex-smokers. Out of all Black Note liquids, this one tastes the closest to smoking… but much better.
The Black Note e-liquids are completely free of chemical additives and synthetic flavors. Even their mint flavor is naturally extracted using the same cold maceration process as their tobacco.
Their e-liquid does not contain any diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, acrolein or acetoin. Black Note backed up its claims of being completely chemical-free by providing a lab report of their e-liquids. The testing was done in an independent U.S. laboratory.
Black Note e-liquids cause far less “gunk” build up on your coils than most NETs, meaning they will last longer and vape better without needing a dry burn and re-wick (or coil replacement). This was very noticeable when using our RDA with the Black Note e-juices. Stock coils will also last noticeably longer with this e-liquid, way more than juices from Want2Vape (one of the original NET vendors)
Black Note e-liquids are available only in a 50/50 PG/VG ratio.
The Black Note packaging and branding was the best branding we have come across on any e-liquid. Everything was stunning down to the finest details. The e-liquid bottles and cylindrical tubes (as well as the prices) are reminiscent of Five Pawns, and the leaflets that come with the boxes are very informative and look great.
Black Note has 10 different flavors — six in the regular line and four in the V Line — with names all based on musical terms. They compare their e-liquids to the sounds produced by a saxophone, which cannot be replicated by electric instruments. The same can be said for the majority of tobacco e-liquids which fail to mimic the true tobacco flavor. See what they did there?
Black Note e-liquids are not cheap at all though. One of their 30 mL e-liquid bottles costs $29, but this does include free expedited shipping. If you are unsure which flavor to try, you can get the Ensemble that comes with the full regular line all in 10 mL bottles. The Ensemble is a great choice for those who want to try all the regular line without breaking the bank. But if you want their less expensive juices, currently you’d have to pony up full price for the 30 mL bottles since the V Line doesn’t come in samplers.
Shipping to the U.S. should take around 1-3 business days and if it doesn’t arrive in that time to the U.S., Black Note will give you a full refund and let you keep the e-liquids as a gift. Yes, you read that correctly. Black Note also delivers around the world. International orders are sent via USPS priority international mail. Ours arrived in Germany in around 4 business days.
Black Note e-liquids really surprised us with their quality and flavor. None of the flavors were really harsh, sour or bitter like you can get from a traditional tobacco juice. We really loved that if there was sweetness to the e-liquid it was a very subtle, smooth, and very natural tasting. They’re easily some of the best-tasting natural tobacco e-juices we’ve ever tried, and even those who aren’t the biggest fans of tobacco flavors may love these — particularly for those currently trying to make the switch.
We can’t say that you will love them all, but if you are looking for authentic tobacco flavor, it’s almost impossible to not find one that will satisfy you. The fact that they are transparent in their manufacturing, and don’t add any synthetic flavors, dyes, or chemical additives to their e-juices makes them a bonafide natural tobacco vendor with no funny business. We highly recommend Black Note to anyone searching for true tobacco flavor in ejuice. Make sure to save 10% below on Black Note using our exclusive coupon code: vaping360.