If I had to pick only one color group of ink to use for the rest of my life, I would have a really tough time choosing between blue-blacks and browns. I really like brown ink, as can be seen by my love for Maruzen Athena Sepia (which is next to impossible to find in the US), as well as the much more available J. Herbin Lie de The and Pelikan Brown, I ordered this ink sample in the hopes that it might prove to be a viable alternative to my beloved Sepia but alas, it is not.
If you would like to start by taking a look at the written review as a whole, here it is:
Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice brown color. My only complaint about the color itself is that I don't think it offers anything special as a brown, it's just very solidly brown. The flip side of that is that it's nice and inoffensive, so you could definitely use this ink at the office or for schoolwork.
Well, as long as you don't need your work to be waterproof, because this is not. That's another area where I find this ink to be lacking. It also smudged a bit when highlighted, but not horribly and I would not consider it to be a troublesome highlighter ink as long as you let it dry all the way.
I also found this ink to feel really dry. To be fair, I used it in a brand new pen and so I don't know if maybe it was the pen, but it really felt like I was putting a lot of effort into moving the pen along the page. But it wasn't scratchy, if that makes sense? I suppose that this is a good lesson that I need to really standardize the pen that I use for my ink reviews, because then I would know if it was the pen or the ink. Noted.
A positive of this ink is that it does offer a bit of shading, even though it is quite dark.
If you couldn't tell, I didn't love this ink. I'm definitely glad that I only got a sample because it would be tough to be faced with an entire bottle of ink that I'm not excited about. I did swab the other browns that I have available at my apartment, so you can see how it compares to the other browns I have right now (note that I haven't reviewed any of these other inks except for the sepia):
Overall, my real complaints about this ink are the lack of water resistance (as usual, I know) and the dry writing. Add into that the fact that this ink is not that easy to get and it's a bit pricey, I think around the $30/bottle mark. Yes, they are fancy bottles, but for this shade of brown and performance there are a lot of other options out there in the Private Reserve and Diamine lines that are more budget friendly.
This ink was purchased with my own money and I am not being compensated for this review in any way. All opinions above are my own and you are free to disagree with them if you like.