I love testing new inks but reviewing a new brand altogether can be even more exciting. So is the case with my first ink from Sailor, Jentle Grenade. Once again, this is just a sample that I picked up to review, and not a full bottle. I will admit that the name of this ink is rather peculiar. "Jentle Grenade" sounds like an oxymoron, unless "Jentle" has nothing to do with "Gentle". Apparently the word "Grenade" comes from pomegranate and I can see how that would make sense, considering some of the seeds mimic the color of this ink.
Speaking of color, Goulet Pens (from where I bought the sample, no affiliation yada yada) categorizes it under "burgundy" so I will do the same. I really can't put it under red, nor purple, nor brown.
Because I had a feeling this ink might be interesting, I decided to use it in my TWSBI Diamond 530 with a broad nib unit. This is still my best fountain pen so it made sense to pair it with Sailor's ink. Without further ado, let's dig right into my impressions of this ink.
My sample only holds 2ml of ink but if you were to buy a whole bottle you would get 50ml or 1.7oz for $12.50. At $0.25 per milliliter, this is one of the more expensive inks but I find it worth the price.
Color and saturation
As I already mentioned, Sailor Jentle Grenade is a deep dark burgundy, somewhere between red and purple. I'm not a wine drinker but it reminds me of it. The saturation is also high. On the photocopy sample I compared this ink with Waterman Havana Brown which also has a very lovely brown color with hints of red. Unfortunately it isn't a very apt comparison because the color of the two inks differs greatly.
Sailor Jentle Grenade has some of the best shading I've seen in an ink. It is definitely on par with the other awesome ink I tested (and incidentally the one I used as comparison on the sample), Waterman Havana Brown. Layering the ink also shows varying shades of intensity. The shading is very nice and apparent when used with the broad nib of the TWSBI.
None that I could notice.
While most inks tend to bleed through the cheap photocopier paper when applied with a q-tip, and Jentle Grenade is no exception, it merely ghosts a little when used with a pen. This is expected behavior considering how dark and saturated the ink is. It doesn't bleed or ghost on Rhodia.
Flow and lubrication
I prefer wet flowing inks and although Sailor Jentle Grenade flows well, I'm not 100% satisfied. I have a suspicion it might have something to do with the TWSBI, whose flow is known to be a little dry. I'd give it a 6-6.7 / 10 but I would prefer an 8/10. Either way, this isn't something that kills my enjoyment of the ink.
Here's where the performance of Jentle Grenade varies quite a lot depending on the type of paper used. With cheap, spongy copy paper, it dries quickly, a little over 5 seconds. With the high quality, glossy Rhodia 80g it takes up to 20 seconds. Bear in mind that this is using a broad nib which puts more ink to the paper. Still, even 20 seconds is not too bad, if you know what to expect and give it a little time to dry.
Smearing when dry
I love it when an ink manages to sneak in a bonus feature. While this ink isn't labeled waterproof (to my knowledge), it seems to be a lot more water resistant than most regular inks. Holding it for over a minute under running water managed to make a mess of things but didn't completely wipe it off the paper. The writing is still legible. Notice though how Jentle Grenade sheds its layers when exposed to water. It seems that this ink has red and blue components. The blue component is more water resistant than the red which is the first to wash off. It's a very interesting behavior but it still doesn't make it a waterproof ink.
Jentle Grenade represents my first successful foray into Sailor's line of inks. The color and saturation are beautiful and the shading is gorgeous. It flows well in my fountain pen and it's a pleasure to write with. Hey, you might even get away with using it in a formal setting. As an added bonus, the little water resistance it has can save your precious writings in a pinch. Don't let the slightly higher price detract you. If you like this particular shade of ink, Sailor Jentle Grenade is a definite buy!
Following are the two samples on photocopy and Rhodia 80g paper, respectively.