This ink is a collaboration between Mont Blanc and James Purdey & Sons the very very expensive British bespoke sporting guns and rifles maker. I was not sure how guns would link to a single malt but according to Mont Blanc this scented ink is inspired by single malt whiskey and the post-hunting ritual.
I could write pages and pages about malt whiskey so will just stick to the Purdey association.
James Purdey & Sons was founded in London in 1814. Prior to opening his business James had worked for Joseph Manton, the leading gunmaker of the time. James’s son took over in 1858 overseeing significant change in the development and design of guns. James the younger took out many patents for technical innovations. In 1900 Athol Purdey took over from his father retiring in around 1929 being followed by his sons James and Tom.
The business was sold to the 1st Baron Sherwood in 1946, the last member of the Purdey family to be involved was Richard Purdey (the 6th generation) who retired as Chairman in 2007.
Purdey & Sons are best known for their shot guns but they also make rifles. The guns are custom-made with a new shotgun starting at around £90,000. Purdey & Sons currently hold three royal warrants.
Mont Blanc call this ink single malt though the colour on the box it comes in is more orange than single malt. It is a scented ink and one of their more expensive I paid NZ$87 (US$54.50) buying directly from Mont Blanc. I haven’t looked at the prices overseas.
The packaging is the standard Mont Blanc box of outer hard sleeve with a drawer inside holding the ink bottle. The bottle is square glass and looks like crystal, the Mont Blanc logo is on the cap.
According to the packaging this ink is orange.
And that is certainly what you see on opening the bottle.
Let me start with the scent – I am a single malt drinker and this smells nothing like whiskey. I can certainly smell the alcohol but not the whiskey. I will give Mont Blanc some credit though as there are so many different styles of whiskey depending on where it is distilled that it would be hard to capture one whiskey.
On col-o-ring some shading starts to come out and it appears a little more brown and whiskey coloured i.e. the orange doesn’t dominate. I still haven’t swatched all my inks and of those that I have the closest I could find to this is Lamy Copper Orange.
For the writing I used a Birmingham Pen Co 6th Avenue with a medium nib. I started with the cheapest of papers – big mistake. There was no joy in writing and the colour was dull.
At this point I went back to using copy paper for the cheapest of the papers. The scent is strong.
The next paper was Rhodia and this was my favourite for the ink. It is such a nice shading orange ink and will be very usable if I can get past the scent.
Midori paper is becoming a favourite of mine but I do not like the ink on this paper. The shading is not as good as on Rhodia and it lacks any wow factor.
I like the colour of this ink on better quality paper but at present can not get past the scent. With more use it should become less noticeable. This is an expensive ink even by Mont Blanc standards (US$1.09/ml), I got entranced by the gimmick of a whiskey scented ink as I am a single malt drinker. I wouldn’t buy it again or recommend it to others because of the price, the scent and the fact there are cheaper dupes out there.
Saturation – high
Shading – yes depending on the paper. Stunning on better quality papers.
Sheen - no
Flow - good
Nib dry-out - none
Nib creep – none that I saw when I used the fountain pen
Start-up – immediate
Feathering – a lot on cheap paper
Drying – on the slow side at about 30 secs
Cleaning – easy
Water resistance – not sold as waterproof but pretty impressive water resistance, a lot of colour remained when no more ink ran off the paper.