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Review Darkstar Bottle Shot ZOLO SMOOTH + Guide

Discussion in 'E-Liquid Reviews' started by Vapaneezer Scrooge, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    I bought myself a load of new Darkstar Bottle Shots as I'm hunting for a new ADV, I have tried a few before some great and some meh so I was super picky about the ones I chose and read the on site reviews.

    Not only will I be reviewing the flavour but also a mixing guide and a cost per 10ml calculation, along with a few tips.

    If you are familiar with Bottle Shots you might find some useful tips so still worth a browse through.

    Also as I have quite a few to review I have decided to keep the same mod, coil setup & RDA for consistency as flavours vary depending on your setup, so I will be using my best setup to exploit full flavour. (more on that later)

    **** You can buy ready mixed PG/VG which is far easier, but I don't use this method for a few reasons which I will explain later - personal choice preference mainly***

    Today I am reviewing the first one to steep:

    Darkstar ZOLO SMOOTH Bottle Shot 250ml 20% Flavour
    Infusing grapes with mellow fruits and an intricate concoction of ripened forest berries.
    If you don't like your sweet juices this one isn't for you but I am loving it, again more on that later)
    https://www.darkstarvapour.co.uk/shop/bottle-shots/bottle-shot-zolo-smooth

    ZoloSmooth-2.jpg

    Here is everything you need to mix you own juice:
    Flavour Bottle Shot
    PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG)
    VEGETABLE GLYCERINE (VG)
    Nicotine Shots 18mg (VG)
    And a 10ml syringe (a larger one is more useful but 10ml will do the job fine and 20 pence each)

    ZoloSmooth-1.jpg

    The cheapest way is to buy larger sizes, my pricing is based on the following:

    PROPYLENE GLYCOL 1 Litre = £4.50
    Cost per 10ml = £0.05

    VEGETABLE GLYCERINE 5 Litres = £10.00
    Cost per 10ml = £0.02

    Nicotine 18 x 10ml 18mg VG
    Cost per 10ml = £0.89

    Flavour = Zolo Smooth = £10 for 20% flavour (50ml PG)
    Cost per 10ml = £2.00

    Darkstar often have discount codes which reduces these prices by a fair chunk but I am just using the standard selling prices, if you get them cheaper obviously your cost per 10ml will reduce.

    I tend to buy my PG & VG like this, 1 Litre of PG & 5 Litres of VG, always buy more VG than PG as it's mixing ratio always favours more VG even in 50/50 mixes as the flavour concentrate is already PG.

    VG-PG-Value.jpg

    Nic Shots

    You can buy these in all sorts of 10ml 18mg combinations:
    100% VG
    100% PG
    50% VG / 50% PG
    70% VG / 30% PG

    Economy wise it's best to buy in bulk, 1 shot is £1.25 but 18 bottles is £16 so £0.89 per bottle.

    NicShots.jpg

    So that's the ingredients covered - so how to mix:

    Mixing is so damn easy! - I remember my first bottle shot last year and took a few minutes and was very rewarding as a middle step to self mixing, here's all you need to do:

    Firstly you need to work out what mix you want, I am going to be using 70VG / 30PG for the example mix, I highly recommend using the Steam Engine mixing calculator, very easy to use:
    http://www.steam-engine.org/juice.html

    Here's the results I had for a 3mg nicotine strength:
    • Nicotine base (VG) = 41.67 ml (rounded off to 40ml - 4 x 10ml bottles) = £3.56
    • Flavor 1 (PG) = 50.00 ml Which is your Bottle Shot = £10.00
    • VG = 133.56 ml (rounded off to 135 ml) = £0.27
    • PG = 24.77 ml (rounded off to 25ml) = £0.13
    • Total = 250.00 ml = £13.96
    Which works out at £0.56 per 10ml of finished juice

    For a 1.5mg mix which is My prefernce
    I won't put the exact amounts, just the rounded off totals which is far simpler and you won't notice the difference:
    • Nicotine base (VG) = 20 ml = £1.78
    • Flavor 1 (PG) = 50 ml = £10.00
    • VG = 155 ml = £0.10
    • PG = 25 ml = £0.25
    • Total = 250 ml = £12.13
    Which works out at £0.49 per 10ml of finished juice. (lower nicotine = lower cost)

    Now we have that worked out lets mix! (the fun part).
    We will use my 1.5 mg recipe, follow these simple steps
    :
    1. Open up your Bottle Shot and add 2 nicotine shots, it's easier to pull the spout off with pliers and pour it in or you can just squeeze it in.
    2. Pop the lid back on and give it a good shake.
    3. Now add the PG 25ml is 2.5 syringes full.
    4. Now add the VG 155ml is 15.5 syringes full (this is where using a beaker is easier)
    5. That's it - the recipe is complete, now all that's left to do is pop the lid back on & shake the living daylights out of it.
    Shaking is the key to a good steep with bottle shots, the more bubbles the better and I shake mine at least twice a day up to the suggested steep time, in this case the Zolo Smooth it only required 48 hours, most are weeks.

    Steeping

    Patience pays off, I know it's hard to resist trying straight away but you will likely get a very muted dull flavour as it's not properly infused and blended even if it smells great!
    IT'S NOT READY UNTIL IT'S PROPERLY STEEPED.

    You will hear many different steeping methods but here is the method that works for me.
    Shake vigorously at least once a day, the more bubbles the better (I shake 2 or 3 times a day)
    Store in a dark place such as a cupboard or draw.
    With longer steeps such as 2-3 weeks or more, open the cap to let it breath but only briefly, some people leave it open for an hour, this can lead to loss of flavour.

    Once it's reached it's steeping time try it in a vape, if you find it weak it might requires a longer steep, I have slagged off flavours before now only to find 2 weeks later they are awesome.

    This is an example of one of my mixes shaken, it's shaken until murky which is billions of bubbles, it goes back to clear after an hour or so.

    Shaken.jpg

    Okay that's the mixing and steeping covered, hopefully I covered everything but just ask if you have any questions, but now onto the most important part, was it worth it?
    ---------------------------

    Zolo Smooth Flavour Review:

    This only required a 48 hour steep, I am always sceptical about short steep times as I've rarely found them to be accurate and often require longer but gave it a try after 48 hours, I wasn't confident so only put a few ml in my squonk mod, what a fantastic surprise it was actually hot to trot and the flavour description was spot on and a very smooth flavour, here's the description on the bottle:

    ZoloSmooth-3.jpg

    I found Grapes to be the dominant flavour with subtle fruity tones and fairly sweet, I do like my sweeter flavours but not to sweet, this was spot on for my taste buds, and I see why they call it 'Smooth' as it really is smooth with no overpowering flavours or bad aftertaste, my few ml was quickly replaced with a full squonk bottle and gave it a good taste test in TC Mode for optimal flavour.

    I have been mostly been vaping this for 3 days now and it's clearly an 'All Day Vape' flavour for me, even favouring it over my usual ADV Lemon Pie Crust, I kept reaching for the Zolo Smooth.

    It quickly became clear I needed to re-order more so bought another 500ml and thankfully it's short steep time means I won't run out.

    If I had to find a negative with it, lets say I didn't know what the flavour was and someone handed it to me I don't think I could guess what flavour it is as it's got quite a blend of different flavours going on, but I would have still loved it even not knowing what it was if that makes sense so it's a minor negative.

    Only other thing is I'm not a fan of their descriptions, most don't bother me but some are just confusing, I wish they would just say what it was then put the daft 'mythical' descriptions after (see label photo), once you know what the hell it is then it's not an issue, but I did find myself going through their on site reviews for peoples description of the flavour.

    Conclusion
    If you are a fan of sweet fruity flavours this is a no brainer for the price per 10ml (that's the way I work out value for money), I can't see myself getting bored with this flavour as it's blend of flavours and smoothness is interesting and not overwhelming, I have LOADS of flavours where the odd tank here & there is enough, but this one is worthy of filling my squonk flasks (which I only use for ADV's.

    Not sure about it? it's worth adding to another order if you are shoping at Darkstar anyway, this was a filler for me as I ordered a couple of Cosmix and thought sod it I will give it a try - glad I did! :)

    Pro's & Con's (for Zolo Smooth flavour and mixing)
    Hmm never done this on juices but I will try.

    Pro's
    • Inexpensive per 10ml
    • Easy to mix
    • Great introduction into self mixing.
    • Flavour is spot on, sweet grapes and berries - yum
    • Short steeping time
    • Free nozzle tip filler cap
    • Solid Bottles
    Cons
    • Sometimes confusing descriptions
    • If you didn't know what it was you wouldn't be able to tell what it was (if that makes sense) minor niggle as I would still buy it going by how great it tastes
    This review is purely based on current prices not taking into account any discount codes, you can save yourself even more when they do discounts (Most of my new ones were with their 48 hour 25% off so I stocked up big time!)

    Here's the link to it again to save you scrolling back up:
    https://www.darkstarvapour.co.uk/shop/bottle-shots/bottle-shot-zolo-smooth

    Finally.....
    Why don't I use the easier Premix bottles where you don't need to measure anything?

    2 reasons, it's slightly more expensive if you are mixing multiple bottles as PG & VG on their site is a great price, but the main reason is they do not take into account your nic shots, especially if you are on high nicotine as it dilutes the flavour using VG Nicotine, you can opt for PG nicotine but it will still affect the overall mix, doing it with my preferred separate measuring and using Steam Engine calculator I will always get a correct mix.

    I learned the hard way, bought 500ml of Lemon Pie and added VG nicotine for 6mg so an extra 8 bottles of VG really muted the flavour to near tasteless, it would have been better if I added 70/30 nic or 50/50 but too late for that batch.

    If you have 72mg nicotine obviously this dilution of flavour will be less and also If you are only using 1.5mg you will probably be fine and you can always get 100% PG nic or 50/50%.

    I've had it pointed out that if you want to mix the easier way then email Darkstar and tell them the nicotine content you desire they will advise the best nicotine shots to buy but I will try and find out for the next review.

    mixing kit.jpg

    Long winded due to the mixing guide for new mixers, next one should be shorter (I have bought 9 flavours that are steeping) but I hope you found it helpful.

    Comments, corrections, etc. appreiated
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Vapaneezer Scrooge, Aug 4, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  2. Lee

    Lee Vendor

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    What a good review, awesome photos and a in depth description.

    This is how reviews should be done and we need more like this.

    Go grab a beer sir
     
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  3. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    Thanks for the kind words :)

    Also glad to see my photos aren't going unnoticed.

    Yeah a beer is in order.
     
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  4. abujeee

    abujeee Achiever

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    Awesome review, clear and simple instructions
     
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  5. iqon

    iqon Achiever

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    I like it, it is my ADV.

    I am also just starting on the curiously cola
     
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  6. Gitchy

    Gitchy Achiever

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    Great review and a handy guide for anyone not already mixing.

    Well deserved beer for you mate.
     
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  7. Simon G

    Simon G Legend

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    TL/DR ...... shorter reviews please, I don't need a guide as well. .... Keep that for the guide section. ;)
     
  8. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    Okay, here's a shorter review for you:

    DS Zolo Smooth
    It's F**kin gr8 - buy it.

    The End
     
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  9. tony68

    tony68 Achiever

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    Fab stuff mate. Layman's terms all covered. Great help and info.
     
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  10. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    I can't put it down, my 500ml bottle arrived today.

    I have never tried Cola, or any soda type liquids, any good?
     

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