I had wanted to try this ink for some time and included it in an order from The Writing Desk (one of the few UK suppliers to hold a comprehensive range of inks).
It's a large and well-presented bottle, when the cap is taken off the ink looks very vivid and I was certainly impressed. The manufacturers make bold statements about its abilities to withstand extremes of climate but as it was just a UK standard November day (grey, unimpressive and with an air of faint gloom - much like my old school uniform) I had no immediate plans to test the efficacy of this ink in sub-zero temperatures whilst dealing with frost-bite and indigenous carnivores.
To me Noodler's Polar Blue flows well and I like the general feel of using this ink. I also particularly like the colour despite being previously a fan of much more vivid hues. There is something about this ink that just seems to state clearly that the user means business (but without any underlying threat of grave and imminent physical harm). It is a shade that pleases me greatly.
However, one of the first things that struck me was that I didn't like the tendency of this ink to bleed through paper, it is not manifest but it is sufficient to be annoying. There is also slight but perceptible feathering (I have used Rhodia paper from a No:15 pad for this test, a paper which is supposedly Fountain Pen friendly). Also, as has been reported by others, there is a degree of nib creep that some may find off-putting, it doesn't bother me at all but is worth mentioning. The following scans show some detail of these attributes:
I am won over by the colour of the ink and the way that it sets down on the paper. The nib creep is something that I can quite happily live with but the bleed problem and what I perceive to be slight feathering would cause me to be selective in my use of it - that is not a factor that I like to have at the back of my mind when I reach for a pen.
Bearing in mind that it was created for a specific purpose I imagine that employed in the environs which dictated its formulation, it would be pretty well unbeatable, but in the drear day-to-day existence that I now claim as my own it is perhaps something more of a whim or fancy for me.
Would I recommend it? To novice Fountain Pen users or anyone who is less than an enthusiast I would say no - I do not consider it as an ink that will enthuse those who are uncommitted to using a real pen. To people who know what they are doing I would say that it is certainly worth trying out. As I have observed, I like the colour and if the bullet (and probably heat-seeking missile) proof qualities are to be given credence it will be my ink of choice the next time I am parachuted by night onto a glacier to go about some death-defying derring-do that I wish to accurately chronicle for my memoirs. I like this ink, but in all honesty I would like to like it slightly more.
Edit: All references to camel spiders removed along with obscure Sanskrit quotation bemoaning the rising price of sacrificial daggers. Just kidding, it was syntax...
Edited by I am not a number, 30 November 2007 - 21:59.