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Private Reserve Spearmint


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#1 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:24

When I first got into fountain pens a few years back, this was the only ink that I used. Their inks served as the foundation of my collection for years. They've changed their bottles since that time, it seems, and I don't much care for the new ones. They're just not as nice-looking.


Spearmint is a vibrant green that reminds me of that fancy green that you get on golf course grass. It doesn't really have any shading to speak of, but it is a nice consistent green that looks good even in a fine line like the one my Hero 616 lays down. It didn't feather or spread, and it only showed through on a really cheap pad of paper. The rest of the time it was well-behaved.

The flow on this one is pretty smooth. It's not a very thick ink, and that's a bit of a surprise since most of the PR inks that I have tend towards the thicker side. They'll coat the inside of the sample (vial or jar) and leave a residue there. Spearmint doesn't do that and, as a result, it was really easy to wash out of my pen.

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(This was posted on my blog, as well.)
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#2 raging.dragon

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:32

I find that on non-absorbant papers like Rhodia and Clairfontiane this ink dries extremely slowly and smears after drying. On more absorbant papers this isn't a problem. Except for this caveat I like the ink.

#3 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 14:59

Yeah, it dried relatively slowly on the paper that I used, but it seems to dry quickly enough on the office-grade papers that I used it on.
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#4 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 21:25

It doesn't really have any shading to speak of, but it is a nice consistent green that looks good even in a fine line like the one my Hero 616 lays down. It didn't feather or spread, and it only showed through on a really cheap pad of paper. The rest of the time it was well-behaved.

The flow on this one is pretty smooth.


I am an English professor and grade with PR Spearmint. Students print out papers (occasionally I will have them write in-class responses on notebook paper), so the quality of paper I deal with in my line of work is poor at best. However, because Spearmint does not shade or feather and just lays down a nice line that everybody can read, it's perfect for me. I use it in my new old Pelikan 400NN, Sheaffer Snorkel, Parker Sonnet, and an old cartridge Wearever that is the best darn writing pen ever for a cheapie.

Thanks for the review, and I am glad I can add my 2 cents (they don't even put the cent character on keyboards anymore; I remember when they did...)
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#5 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 21:30

I'm a philosophy prof, and I find that I can't grade with just one color. I was grading a batch of exams last week and I switched between Noodler's Tienanmen, Widowmaker, this Spearmint, Pilot's Asa-gao, and Noodler's Hunter Green.
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#6 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:29

I'm a philosophy prof, and I find that I can't grade with just one color. I was grading a batch of exams last week and I switched between Noodler's Tienanmen, Widowmaker, this Spearmint, Pilot's Asa-gao, and Noodler's Hunter Green.

Please, please don't get me wrong - I use Spearmint for my green Snorkel and a black Sheaffer Balance, PR Blue Suede for my blue Esterbrook and Waterman Laureat, J Herbin Rouge Cyclamen for my red Esterbrook and Parker 51 desk pen, Waterman South Seas for my other blueish pens, and Noodler's Kiowa Brown for my golden Parker Sonnet. It's WONDERFUL to see another prof who doesn't use red ink. Hot pink is as close as it gets for me, although Tienanmen is a nice, rich red, not like the red Bics (yes, I'm sorry I had to say it) that I saw way back in the days of high school.

Maybe we could discuss the philosophy of different colored inks sometime...
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#7 2GreyCats

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:16


I'm a philosophy prof, and I find that I can't grade with just one color. I was grading a batch of exams last week and I switched between Noodler's Tienanmen, Widowmaker, this Spearmint, Pilot's Asa-gao, and Noodler's Hunter Green.

Please, please don't get me wrong - I use Spearmint for my green Snorkel and a black Sheaffer Balance, PR Blue Suede for my blue Esterbrook and Waterman Laureat, J Herbin Rouge Cyclamen for my red Esterbrook and Parker 51 desk pen, Waterman South Seas for my other blueish pens, and Noodler's Kiowa Brown for my golden Parker Sonnet. It's WONDERFUL to see another prof who doesn't use red ink. Hot pink is as close as it gets for me, although Tienanmen is a nice, rich red, not like the red Bics (yes, I'm sorry I had to say it) that I saw way back in the days of high school.

Maybe we could discuss the philosophy of different colored inks sometime...

Okay, apparently I'm an odd duck (well, we knew that already... ;-)), but I DO grade with red ink where there's *definitely* a right and a wrong answer -- say, on a grammar quiz where a student has answered, "Tim have wrote three emails this week", or something like that. But on compositions, I use green to mark grammatical errors such as typos, fragments, run-ons, missing words, etc., but purple or violet or something else for comments in the margin (e.g., 'I really like the simile you used there').

Speaking of a red ink for grading, I'd love to find a deep red (oxblood? claret? dianthus?) or else a vermilion (like Flanders poppies). 'Pink-ish' cold reds do nothing for me at all. Funny how atavistic we are about colors
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#8 Jimmy Joe

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:22

Speaking of a red ink for grading, I'd love to find a deep red (oxblood? claret? dianthus?) or else a vermilion (like Flanders poppies).

Diamine's Poppy Red is my red for grading. It's bright and bold but still, to my eye, pleasant to look at.

#9 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:27



I'm a philosophy prof, and I find that I can't grade with just one color. I was grading a batch of exams last week and I switched between Noodler's Tienanmen, Widowmaker, this Spearmint, Pilot's Asa-gao, and Noodler's Hunter Green.

Please, please don't get me wrong - I use Spearmint for my green Snorkel and a black Sheaffer Balance, PR Blue Suede for my blue Esterbrook and Waterman Laureat, J Herbin Rouge Cyclamen for my red Esterbrook and Parker 51 desk pen, Waterman South Seas for my other blueish pens, and Noodler's Kiowa Brown for my golden Parker Sonnet. It's WONDERFUL to see another prof who doesn't use red ink. Hot pink is as close as it gets for me, although Tienanmen is a nice, rich red, not like the red Bics (yes, I'm sorry I had to say it) that I saw way back in the days of high school.

Maybe we could discuss the philosophy of different colored inks sometime...

Okay, apparently I'm an odd duck (well, we knew that already... ;-)), but I DO grade with red ink where there's *definitely* a right and a wrong answer -- say, on a grammar quiz where a student has answered, "Tim have wrote three emails this week", or something like that. But on compositions, I use green to mark grammatical errors such as typos, fragments, run-ons, missing words, etc., but purple or violet or something else for comments in the margin (e.g., 'I really like the simile you used there').

Speaking of a red ink for grading, I'd love to find a deep red (oxblood? claret? dianthus?) or else a vermilion (like Flanders poppies). 'Pink-ish' cold reds do nothing for me at all. Funny how atavistic we are about colors


I do grade in red (as well as all of the others), and I don't have a good justification for what color I use in any particular case. I just get bored easily and I like to use lots of different colors. When I take notes on things I'm much more disciplined, and I use one color to reflect the argument of a particular author, another for my thoughts on those arguments, a color for things I want to make sure to teach in class, and another for vocabulary that I'm pretty sure they won't know.

I posted reviews of Tiananmen and Widowmaker on my blog last week, but I haven't transferred them over here yet.
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#10 dcpritch

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:28

I'm so glad you did this review. Spearmint is one of my favorite colors - I've been through a couple of bottles and always like to have a pen inked with it. Here's a photo I posted in another thread that shows the depth of color in PR Spearmint (and notice you can get some shading on better paper - I used a Rhodia dotpad for this writing sample). Sorry, I don't do any grading, I just like to write with this ink.

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How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

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#11 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:38

That's a really nice picture, dcpritch! I like the shading, there. I should get my hands on a Rhodia pad, I think. I didn't get much shading on anything I used that ink on. Paper can make such a difference. I also notice that you have a broader nib on that pen. I was using it in a pretty fine-tip Hero.

Thanks for adding your picture here!
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#12 dcpritch

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:08

... Paper can make such a difference. I also notice that you have a broader nib on that pen ...

Thanks for adding your picture here!


Thanks for not being offended - I certainly didn't intend to steal your thunder by adding a photo to this review. Its just one of my favorite inks.

Paper makes a huge difference, too, not just with Spearmint but with almost any ink. I've heard people say that the writing experience is 1/3 nib, 1/3 ink and 1/3 paper. I'm not sure I could quantify the aspects of writing like that, but there is much truth to the concept that paper, ink and nib all work together. I am a lover of large nibs on pens, and also flexible nibs - and you will find the shading characteristics differ dramatically between pens based on nib size and flexibility, and also based on ink flow.

Sorry, I'm getting long winded so I'll stop now. Thanks again for your review.
How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

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#13 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:00

Offended? No way.

I don't actually have anything broader than a Lamy M, and that's not particularly broad. One of my favorite things about reviews on the FPN is that there are lots of them, and each will show something a little different. I should find a broad nib for reviews, but I don't really like writing with them. I'm a fine-line sort of guy.
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#14 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:12

Okay, apparently I'm an odd duck (well, we knew that already... ;-)), but I DO grade with red ink where there's *definitely* a right and a wrong answer -- say, on a grammar quiz where a student has answered, "Tim have wrote three emails this week", or something like that. But on compositions, I use green to mark grammatical errors such as typos, fragments, run-ons, missing words, etc., but purple or violet or something else for comments in the margin (e.g., 'I really like the simile you used there').

Speaking of a red ink for grading, I'd love to find a deep red (oxblood? claret? dianthus?) or else a vermilion (like Flanders poppies). 'Pink-ish' cold reds do nothing for me at all. Funny how atavistic we are about colors


2GrayCats and MyDarnSnakeLegs, you guys have convinced me to revisit using red to grade. I have been judgmental about red in the past, but all that is over now. I now need suggestions: I like to grade with fine points since I have to write in between double-spaced typing and sometimes get wordy in my comments. Any thoughts about a nice darkish red that would flow well with firm fine points? I don't use my flex nib pens because I have to write a lot and write in a hurry; I like to keep those beauts all to myself and my innermost thoughts.

Edited by GradesWithFPen, 07 May 2012 - 04:13.

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#15 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:19

Noodler's Widowmaker. It's my favorite red so far, but I have several more that I want to test.
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#16 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:31

Noodler's Widowmaker. It's my favorite red so far, but I have several more that I want to test.


Thanks, SnakeLegs - I have three Noodler's Bulletproofs (Iraqi Indigo, Dostoyevsky, and Hunter) but not in red. My next ink purchase will definitely be a red!
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#17 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:33

Man, I love Hunter. That's my favorite green.
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#18 raging.dragon

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:46

Speaking of a red ink for grading, I'd love to find a deep red (oxblood? claret? dianthus?) or else a vermilion (like Flanders poppies).


Diamine Red Dragon is a nice dark red that leans toward brown instead of purple, pink or magenta. Diamine Oxblood may have too much brown for marking. Or if you'd prefere a purplish dark red instead of a brownish dark red, there's Diamine Syrah. Noodler's Widowmaker and Tiananmen are also dark reds worthy of consideration.

#19 raging.dragon

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:55


Noodler's Widowmaker. It's my favorite red so far, but I have several more that I want to test.


Thanks, SnakeLegs - I have three Noodler's Bulletproofs (Iraqi Indigo, Dostoyevsky, and Hunter) but not in red. My next ink purchase will definitely be a red!


The Noodler's reds mentioned so far in this thread are all part of the standard line with no claims of water proofness, archival durability or fraud resistance. I believe Empire Red is Bulletproof (waterproof, archival and fraud resistant) and Fox Red is Eternal (waterproof and archival).

Edited by raging.dragon, 07 May 2012 - 07:55.


#20 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 20:17

lovely color, it is very close to mb irish green

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 08 May 2012 - 20:23.

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#21 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:36



Noodler's Widowmaker. It's my favorite red so far, but I have several more that I want to test.


Thanks, SnakeLegs - I have three Noodler's Bulletproofs (Iraqi Indigo, Dostoyevsky, and Hunter) but not in red. My next ink purchase will definitely be a red!


The Noodler's reds mentioned so far in this thread are all part of the standard line with no claims of water proofness, archival durability or fraud resistance. I believe Empire Red is Bulletproof (waterproof, archival and fraud resistant) and Fox Red is Eternal (waterproof and archival).

I was in Houston yesterday on business and went to a fabulous place near Rice University - Dromgoole's. Nice pens, inks, paper - felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. I didn't have but about 30 minutes to spend in there, which was not nearly enough, so had to make a quick decision. I went with a small bottle of PR Fiesta Red. Almost same color as Noodler's Tiennemen. I liked Noodler's Antietam, but knowing what I do of the Civil War, I just couldn't bring myself to buy it.

I LOVE the Fiesta Red! Not orange-y but more on the brownish side, which is fine for what I do. I graded fifteen research papers today, and the color was easy on my eyes.

I do apologize, though, for turning this Spearmint Green thread into a Red Thread. I must be more careful about my wanderings. Thank you guys for opening up my eyes to the possibilities of red again. My next red will definitely be Widowmaker.
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#22 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:39



Noodler's Widowmaker. It's my favorite red so far, but I have several more that I want to test.


Thanks, SnakeLegs - I have three Noodler's Bulletproofs (Iraqi Indigo, Dostoyevsky, and Hunter) but not in red. My next ink purchase will definitely be a red!


The Noodler's reds mentioned so far in this thread are all part of the standard line with no claims of water proofness, archival durability or fraud resistance. I believe Empire Red is Bulletproof (waterproof, archival and fraud resistant) and Fox Red is Eternal (waterproof and archival).

I will look into those because we do keep our students' research papers for a year before shredding. Thus the bulletproof. I have found, however, that my bulletproof green does not flow well in some of my pens--my Phileas in particular. Wonder why.
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#23 raging.dragon

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:18

lovely color, it is very close to mb irish green


Very true. At least for now, they're my favourite greens.

#24 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:28

Dromgoole's is really good. It was the first place that my wife said "Wow!" about fountain pens.

Why do you need the bulletproof inks for your grading? Are you worried about the ink fading off of the papers over a year's time? I've never had that sort of issue with any inks.
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#25 GradesWithFPen

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 23:04

Why do you need the bulletproof inks for your grading? Are you worried about the ink fading off of the papers over a year's time? I've never had that sort of issue with any inks.

Well, OK, you are going to make me say it...fear of spilling iced tea or water on papers before students get them back. Actually has very little to do with archiving (although that is a plus if I am confident that ink will stay readable).
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#26 2GreyCats

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 15:27

Oh, that's so pretty! My favorite kind of green -- almost a bottle green. I had a suit that color about 35 years ago...:-)

I'm so glad you did this review. Spearmint is one of my favorite colors - I've been through a couple of bottles and always like to have a pen inked with it. Here's a photo I posted in another thread that shows the depth of color in PR Spearmint (and notice you can get some shading on better paper - I used a Rhodia dotpad for this writing sample). Sorry, I don't do any grading, I just like to write with this ink.

Posted Image


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WTB: Looking for Sheaffer NN Nib section, Fine point (not italic).

#27 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 15:30


Why do you need the bulletproof inks for your grading? Are you worried about the ink fading off of the papers over a year's time? I've never had that sort of issue with any inks.

Well, OK, you are going to make me say it...fear of spilling iced tea or water on papers before students get them back.


Ha! That's a legit concern. I've definitely spilled coffee and Mountain Dew on stacks of papers before.
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#28 raging.dragon

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 17:20


Why do you need the bulletproof inks for your grading? Are you worried about the ink fading off of the papers over a year's time? I've never had that sort of issue with any inks.

Well, OK, you are going to make me say it...fear of spilling iced tea or water on papers before students get them back. Actually has very little to do with archiving (although that is a plus if I am confident that ink will stay readable).


Another concern would be students altering teacher comments and grades before showing them to their parents. Though this is obviously not an issue if you're teaching at a college or university, I could see it being a reasonable concern if teaching middle or high school.

Edited by raging.dragon, 10 May 2012 - 17:21.


#29 MyDarnSnakeLegs

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 17:31

Well, wouldn't anything that would sufficiently remove FP ink also remove printer ink? Also, most paper that students print on would be pretty wrecked if they tried to wash off a comment or a grade. They'd probably be more successful in trying to subtly alter a grade with the same color of ink, but I kinda doubt that my students have FPs sitting around inked with the colors I have aback able to grade with. Short version: I'm not all that worried about this sort of fraud.
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