E-liquid review: Sonata (Black Note) 10 ml – received by the manufacturer
Nico: 3 mg/ml
Declared base: 50 PG / 50 VG
Expiry date: 12/2018
Devices: Cloupor plus 50w + Hcigar Fodi F2 RDTA single coil (Kanthal A1 0.40 mm 26 awg) 0.8 ohm with japanese organic cotton.
In the international scene of the e-liquids, tobacco e-liquids are increasingly relegated to the role of supporting actors, literally overwhelmed by the continuing growing demand for creamy and fruity products; even smaller appears to be the segment of the liquids extracted from natural tobacco. Although Italy represents a notable exception in this sense – just consider the large number of Italian manufacturers of tobaccos extracts – it is also true that the names of these manufacturers rarely reached the visibility and notoriety they would deserve on the foreign markets. A globally recognized name for this niche market is without a doubt Black Note, US brand specialized exclusively in the production of N.E.T. e-juices.
Today the Flavourist embarks upon its journey through the creative note of the famous Californian brand.
The first liquid in our score is Sonata:
Robust and intense cavendish tobacco blend.
Dark Virginia tobacco is treated to a centuries-old curing process, producing a robustly rich and intense blend. Real Virginia tobacco leaves is precisely cut, fire-cured and steamed to brilliant intensity.
The bottle in my possession is in 10 ml transparent glass with childproof cap and dropper tip with beak. Black Notes liquids in the 10 ml version are TPD ready and therefore easily available in our market. As for the packaging, I’d like to dwell at length on this point and I’d like to praise the stylistic choices made by the American brand, but probably an entire article would not be enough. I will only say that the packaging and labels by Black Note are amazingly elegant, in classic vintage style with meticulous attention to details. You can see the reproduction of a pentagram on a sort of old parchment paper. You have to have them in your hands to understand how much attention to detail has been paid to the packaging of these products. In the 30 ml version, the bottle is contained inside a cylindrical cardboard tube, rigorously made of recycled material. Chapeau.
The olfactory test, as always happens with tobacco blends free from Latakia or Kentucky, doesn’t help us much. We can recognize a slight vegetal aroma and a slightly sweet Virginia, accompanied perhaps by a vague alcoholic tinge. Everything is so mild that the boundary with a virtually odorless liquid is very labile. It didn’t scare me, as I’ve become accustomed to this kind of situations. So I step with curiosity to the vaping test, that I decided to run on a little known RDTA but incredibly valuable to taste tobacco extracts: Fodi F2 by Hcigar.
The puffs of Sonata appear clean but at the same time vigorous and enveloping. Although this is a Virginia, this blend has a rather penetrating structure. The Virginia tobacco leaves (the manufacturer tells it’s a Dark Virginia) were fire cured and have later undergone a meticulous Cavendish process, pressed and steamed after an appropriate cut. The cold maceration completed the creative process of this e-liquid.
Although on the inhale emerges the typical sweetish note of a classic Virginia, the core of Sonata is definitely dry and the puffs are intense and rich, with real tobacco taste. Sonata is essential and reassuring. Its clean and technically faultless mix allows you to enjoy a tobacco liquid full of character, sometimes vaguely ashy, that never looses its underlying sweetness. In Sonata you can find the Virginia you don’t expect, a dark Virginia showing pungent notes that can pinch and tickle your taste buds with absolute composure. The high sugary concentration, typical features of a Virginia-based tobacco liquid, appears to have dissipated in the fire cure and in the steam treatment, thus giving us back a stronger tobacco: a non-classic Virginia indeed.
The bouquet reveals a toasted-like note and an apparent nutty background, but it is only apparent because ultimately there are no noteworthy aromatic facets in the e-liquid structure. The aromatic persistence is very light too and releases delicate sugary scents within our palate. It’s undeniable that with Sonata you will be faced with a pure first-class tobacco-juice, perfect as an all-day. On condition that it’s vaped at low power, because that’s how an elegant tobacco extract e-liquid deserves to be tasted.
A slow Sonata for tasting sessions…
Pro: The pleasure of savoring a dark Virginia with Cavendish treatment.
Cons: Black Notes defines it as a “robustly rich and intense blend” but those expecting strong analog feelings will be a little disappointed.