review: diamine syrah

318Scan10006I’ve had this ink for a long, long time. I only purchased a sample but I put it in a fine nib, and then filled a second extra-fine nib with the same ink. It’s been pulling its way through, that’s for sure.

Diamine Syrah is a lovely burgundy color. Red and purple together, kind of, like red wine. I’m not very good at color theory, but that’s what it looks like to me. This ink has the well-known (possibly coveted?) characteristic called “sheen”. This is when an ink, when viewed at certain angles, almost seems to be “haloed” with a shiny, gold-green color. There’s nothing wrong with your ink if you see this! Diamine Syrah tends to sheen even with fine nibs, which I think is very interesting. Some inks needs a broad nib, other inks need really excellent paper that resists the ink. If you want to try evoking a little bit of sheen on your correspondence, consider trying Diamine Syrah. I think this is a pretty great ink for correspondence, although I’d be hard pressed to find a formal situation I could us it in. Maybe like, wedding calligraphy or something?

Unfortunately, however, Syrah will more than likely stain your pen.  Our nice pal over at Peninkcillin did a quick run through which you can check out. This ink also takes forever to dry. I wouldn’t be surprised if you put this ink on paper and mailed it halfway around the world, and the ink still smeared when touched. I actually wrote the samples below a few months ago, but when I scanned them last week, I managed to get imprints of letters on my fingers and spread them to other pages. I think this might be a result of that sheen, although I’m probably completely wrong about this. This could be a big issue for you depending on the way you write (maybe you’re a lefty like me and you smear your hand across the page like you’re trying to scrub the ink right off of it?), so just keep this in mind! This is definitely not an ink you wanna touch if you get sweaty hands like me.

Diamine Syrah doesn’t have that much shading, but it is visible, especially with broader nibs. Here are two samples done with a Nikko spoon nib and a Nikko G nib on Tomoe River paper. A spoon nib lays ink down more consistently and with a thinner line, while the G nib has more flex and lays down more ink.Scan10017Diamine Syrah has little to no bleeding even with the dip pen nibs. This is especially true with fountain pens: it’s very difficult to make this ink bleed. There is light showthrough, because it is a dark, saturated ink, but it’s not too bad. Feathering is practically a non-issue, especially on better papers. You’ll definitely see some on cheaper papers, like the 20 lb. printer paper you find at the office supply store, but if you’re using cheap paper you’re pretty much resigning to your feathery fate.Scan10017b

You can buy an 80 ml bottle of this ink from Goulet Pens for $12.95, or from JetPens for $12.50.


Please note that the colors present in this review may not be perfectly true to life: there will be color differences between monitors. Scans I post online are as close as I can possibly get them to the ink that I have. Please keep this in mind, as different factors (such as whether or not the bottle was shaken, the pen used, the paper used, the lighting in the room, etc.) could affect the color!

I’m not at all affiliated with JetPens or Goulet Pens: just a happy customer!

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  1. Pingback: WINKS #23, Technically THINKS – Weekly Pen, Paper & Ink Links #PPILWINKS – Heath Cates | Christian, Husband, Father & Entrepreneur. | Ephesians 3:14-21

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