Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel ink review 2015 edition

In the off-chance this review sounds familiar to you, let me tell you that I have, in fact reviewed Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel way back in 2011 at the beginnings of this blog, which puts it more than 4 1/2 years back. The current review isn't about an updated ink formula, or a new bottle I purchased. It's simply an update to the original review, to put it in line with my current (2015) format for ink reviews, as far as the writing samples are concerned.

My ink reviews have understandably evolved since I started this blog and I've decided to re-do some of the inks for which I bought whole bottles. Since the reviews are essentially the same, I will just add some updated impressions, and showcase the 2015 edition of the writing samples.

Without further ado, here are my impressions of Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel, in 2015. This time the ink went into my flagship fountain pen, the Pilot Vanishing Point with broad nib, and it's a good match, as you'll read below.

Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel shading

Right off the bat, I was impressed with how smoothly Gruene Cactus Eel felt in the Pilot VP. Whether it's the broad nib or the better-than-average lubricating properties of the ink, it makes for very smooth writing indeed.

While in my initial review I was pretty ambivalent about the shade of green, this time I felt a much greater attraction to it and I really enjoy it now. The broad nib also helps bring out the excellent shading, which is always a plus. I have a vague suspicion that sitting in a bottle for > 4 years helped "mature" the ink, though I don't know how accurate that is.

I've been using Gruene Cactus Eel in the Pilot Vanishing Point for almost a couple of months now, refilling the converter as I run out, and I like it so much that I don't really feel like trying another ink for the moment. I've also noticed that it doesn't really dry out in the Pilot VP, nor does it skip. I've had skipping issues with other inks in the VP, to the point where I was afraid that there was something wrong with the nib unit, but Gruene Cactus Eel belies that.

This time I managed to do a comparison with other green inks I've tested over the years, so here's Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel compared to Noodler's Hunter Green, Noodler's Marine Green, and Noodler's Green.

Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel vs Hunter Green vs Marine Green vs Green

You'll notice how the latter 2 are more "foresty", while Gruene Cactus does, indeed, resemble a cactus, being lighter. I still prefer the darker greens, but the shading is excellent for all 3 inks mentioned.

My 2015 conclusion is that I enjoy Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel a lot more the second time around, but I'm sure the pen also makes a huge difference. The water resistance is still a sore point but whacha gonna do now.

So here are the updated writing samples on photocopy, and Clairefontaine 90g paper, respectively.

Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel on photocopy

Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel on Clairefontaine

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