Notes: This ink really needs to be in a flex pen or a stub nib to show off its true potential. Black Swan in Australian Roses is the more purple of the two Black Swan inks. The English Roses leans much more red than this ink does. It’s hard to see the awesome shading this ink is capable of, but instead of admitting that I should have put this in my Eversharp Symphony, I’m going to pretend I wanted to do a non-flex nib review of the ink. Definitely check out some other reviews to see what this stuff can do in a flexy nib, I’ll link some posts at the bottom of the review. In a normal nib, the ink writes a bit dry. Since it’s more than likely to be used in a wet flex nib, the dryness makes sense. In a pen that lays down a ton of ink, the slight dryness would be a welcomed characteristic. The color of the ink is nice, as is the mild shading in the Sailor medium nib. When I pushed the nib a bit on the second page of the review, you can begin to see how well the ink pools at the bottom of the downstrokes. It’s actually pretty similar to the Iroshizuku Yama-Budo if I had to compare it to anything. I prefer my purple inks dusty (ie: Akkerman Vorhoot Violet, Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa) – but this one is definitely no dud. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the pictures!
Notes: Another day, another ink from Noodler’s. This offering is a medium-dark shade of blue that exhibits some nice shading properties, ranging from a light turquoise to a dark blue. It reminds me a bit of De Atramentis’ Plum, but without the green tone. When I think of Navy blue, this is not the color that comes to mind. I was expecting a dark blue with a bit of grey in it, like Diamine Midnight or Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts. The ink performs well, flowing effortlessly from the Metropolitan’s medium nib. Lubrication and smoothness are on point with what’s expected, but overall I’m not blown away by the color. There are other blue inks that I like more that I already have in my collection, but Noodler’s Navy is by no means bad. Just be aware that you’re not going to get that deep dark blue that comes to mind when you hear “Navy” blue.
Notes: It’s astounding how I do not already own a bottle of this ink. It has to be my second favorite black ink out there, and I’ve gone through 3 samples already. This ink does some awesome grey to black shading that I absolutely love. It’s dark, but not too dark, and could easily work as a go-to black ink. The dark grey elements in the ink make it unique, and give it some needed character, which is rare in a black ink. The name of the ink is also pretty cool. Here’s a link to the story, definitely check it out. Another thing about the ink that makes it more interesting is that it’s a reformulation of a vintage military issue ink. Most importantly, it looks and performs great. It’s nice and smooth, and the flow in the Levenger L-Tech’s medium nib is great. There’s no way that I’m not buying a bottle when this sample runs dry, I’m hooked.
Notes: Well…the infamous Noodler’s Baystate Blue…here it is. Noodler’s Baystate Blue has obtained a spot as one of the worst-behaving, pen-destroying inks out there. It eats vintage ink sacs, melts Pilot feeds, and turns any demonstrator you have into a blue pen. With that being said, it’s one of the most vibrant, saturated, and bright inks I have ever used. With all of the problems commonly associated with the ink, I decided to fill up my unruly Noodler’s Ahab. For some reason, two negatives make a positive here. The ink writes smoothly, and flows nicely in the Ahab. Adding some flex to the written line doesn’t make the ink shade, I suspect due to it’s high level of saturation. Writing normally is smooth and consistent though. The ink does manage to bleed through just about every paper I use it on, so every day practicality is at a minimum. If you like the color (which many do, myself included) I would suggest dedicating a cheap pen to the ink. On the positive side, it’s super vibrant, and smooth. On the negative side it feathers, bleeds, and eats pens. Proceed at your own risk when trying this ink!!! Also, huge thanks to Peter for sending me the bottle!
Lots of feathering and bleed through, even on good paper
Noodler’s #41 Brown is a very true brown. No crazy name, just a number and the word brown. Update: Well, I didn’t do my research…The name of this ink has a crazy political meaning with all of the expected undertones common in the naming of Noodler’s Inks. I only have a sample vial, so I was unable to see the label. For more information on the name, check out Noodler’s page for #41 Brown and Seize the Dave’s review for more info. The ink flows nicely and writes smoothly in the AL-Star’s medium nib. There’s something about a Lamy Medium that’s just perfect for ink reviews. This one happens to be a good specimen (some aren’t so great) and it’s smooth and a pleasure to write with. There’s some mild shading, which for me is always a welcome characteristic of ink (unless it’s a black ink). I’m not the biggest fan of brown inks, but this one is pretty nice. The color looks especially nice on cream colored, or off-white paper. I really like the ink on the “R” by Rhodia pads – which are a bit heavier and smoother than regular Rhodia. Noodler’s #41 Brown is true to it’s name. You really get what you would expect from an ink that’s called “Brown”. If you like brown ink, check this one out. I’m enjoying the sample, but this one’s not going into my collection of full bottles.
I shot these outside – let me know if you prefer the ‘laboratory’ look in other ink reviews, or the great outdoors. There are a few more reviews from this group of pictures, hope you like them!