New Noodler’s Ink: American Aristocracy

Noodler’s Ink has just released its newest ink: American Aristocracy.

This burgundy/purple ink is a part of the fast-drying ink line, following Bernanke Black, Bernanke Blue, Q’Ternity, and Berning Red. It is not waterproof, but designed to dry quickly which is great for lefties!

What is really unique about this purple quick-drying ink is that it is really three different colors. Intentionally.
Each batch (like all Noodler’s ink) is made by hand, and hand-bottled to achieve the three distinct variations.

We asked Nathan Tardiff, the founder and creator of Noodler’s Ink, why he intended the color variety and the story of the label, and here is his reply:

Henry Gage (3rd Viscount Gage) son of Thomas Gage (Royal Military Governor of Massachusetts) was responsible for the purchase of an estimated 19,000 bottles of wine including the most popular at the time among the aristocrats: red port, dark sherry, and Madeira… As the aristocrats surely were not giving the wine to those commoners paying the excessively punitive taxation of empire, but instead were using it to pry influence and connections from fellow aristocrats…in order to better distribute the largess and grandeur of state power and wealth amongst themselves – Noodler’s Ink has modeled “American Aristocracy” as an ink bottled individually, one bottle at a time with each bottle thus being purposefully unique…to resemble a conservative colonial semblance of the three most aristocratic colours: red port, dark sherry, and Madeira.

These reflect a series of plum burgundy hues – a very old style royal purple ink, traditionalist in tone due to the distance of the colonial era and age of the collective memory of it – yet fairly dramatic in the contrast of its lines upon the page. Hopefully, the memory of that “ancient regime” may give pause to those who may otherwise be prepared to embrace a new one that is surprisingly similar in its motives and behaviors.

It is being introduced simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic with an apology to His Majesty, King George III of Great Britain printed upon the content side of every label. As it is hoped any form of aristocracy never again establishes a permanent presence in both New England and Olde England… the ink is not bulletproof. A swatch of the ink utilizing a fresh cork from Portugal seems appropriate given the provenance of English aristocratic wines….

So all that being said, we’re pleased to offer this new ink at, at the normal price of $12.50 for a 3oz bottle. However, given the varying nature of the three different colors, we are not able to reliably offer samples. We also cannot honor any special requests for a specific color of the three available, so it’s a bit of a risk you’ll just have to be okay taking.

What do you think of this newest creation from Noodler’s?

Write on,
Rachel Goulet

2017-10-11T14:37:51+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Ink Reviews|40 Comments
  • Would be in love if I could choose the color (and honestly I’d probably get all three), but I find the “well, you get what you get” attitude from Noodlers here off-putting. Seems like a marketing vehicle to deal with batches of color they could not make consistently.

    • ❤ Purseonality ❤

      Agreed. It’s a bit cheeky to make it a lottery as to what color you get. I’ve had enough of Tardiff’s games.

      • I think it’s all part of the entertainment value of his inks. 💗(I kind of love it.) 💗 There are so many other ink makers that have straightforward colors with un-political labels, and no batch variation – buying Noodler’s ink is basically an expression of the mostly-free market. Personally, I’m happy that Noodler’s exists, and makes such insane colors with special properties. I don’t think a “regular” ink-making company would ever bother with glow-under-black-light, bulletproof hot pink. (I’m looking at you, Dragon Catfish Pink!) I think of Mr.Tardif as an ink artist…what other company could express so much in colored-liquid form?

      • Kathy

        Agreed. I like many of the Noodler’s inks, but the games of selling fountain pens that require constant tinkering because of poor quality control, and now buying unknown colors of inks, are quite tiring.

  • Giovanni’s Roomba

    I personally LOVE the idea of not being sure which colour you’re going to get (assuming you’re okay with all three colours). It’s like a child’s grab-bag for grownups.

    That third variation up there is basically a fifty-fifty mix of the other two colours, right?

    • If you’re up for the surprise, it’s a fun way to try a new ink! 🙂 The third color is definitely the darkest shade of all 3, and it would be interesting to try it out with different nib sizes and paper.

  • Jenn H.

    I LOVE this idea and can’t wait to order some ink. I feel that Nathan is keeping true to himself in the manufacture of these inks, and really what more can one ask for? I know not everyone will like these, but Noodler’s offers plenty of other colors that give the security of knowing what you’re ordering. Nathan, just like his ink, is not for everyone, but some of us find the man and the ink to be quite fabulous.

    • Giovanni’s Roomba

      I think the fun factor in ink is highly underrated — most companies treat inks as such a serious concern, and as a consequence there are so many dignified, boring, samey inks out there. Noodler’s is happy to sell us a nuclear-pumpkin Dragon’s Napalm; Diamine wants to wow us with a bright-yellow-with-gold-shimmer Golden Sands; Rohrer & Klingner salts its collection of standard blues and blacks with dementedly vivid purples and reds like Solferino and Pernambuco. There must be enough of us to make these inks profitable: I know I have a bunch of them in my collection.

  • I suspect this is going to encourage a lot of bottle-swapping on FPN, for those who really want a particular hue. 😅

    • That’s definitely an option, chewy tulip! Are you thinking of getting a bottle?

      • It’s going on the wish list. 🙂 I’m most partial to the darkest shade.

  • Tom Johnson

    An interesting concept and I applaud Nathan for thinking outside the box and offering customers a little spice in their ink life. The colors are different, but not like yellow vs. green, so I would not be terribly disappointed at which color I got in an order. I wonder how this will affect the ink samples of American Aristocracy. Will Goulet choose bottles representing the 3 colors and fill sample vials from each of the three bottles? Or will the sample vials be one of the colors for a while, then another color, then the third color? Thanks for the update Rachel.

    • Hi Tom! Because of the color variation, we can’t reliably offer samples, so we won’t have them available at all for American Aristocracy. Sorry about that!

      • Tom Johnson

        That makes sense. If these inks appealed to me (and they would if they were waterproof), getting the precise shade would not be that important to me, they are all so close.

  • jane pilecki

    Honestly, I think Nathan has gone off of his rocker this time. I won’t be buying this because I want one of the colors, not any of them! I buy ink for the color first. What’s the point of ordering this if I cannot order the shade I want? If I were up for that, I’d order a random Goulet ink sample!

  • This is great fun! I love the element of mystery!

  • ec

    Does this mean the glass bottles are back? I hate those white plastic things.
    I guess this has an element of fun for some, but I don’t want to wind up with a whole bottle of ink in a color that I don’t particularly like, so I’ll pass this up.

    • Hi ec! We totally understand it’s not for everyone. Going forward, Noodler’s ink is coming in glass bottles, but we still have some colors with mixed stock. We’ll do our best to honor any requests on colors that have both glass/plastic stock. 🙂

      • ec

        It’s good news that the glass bottles are back! Thanks

  • Jane Eyre

    This is not such a good thing for those on a limited budget living outside of the US. Not being able to select which variation of the ink is bad enough but add to that international postage rates (Noodler’s ink isn’t available here in Australia) & it’s not a risk I’d be willing to take. Perhaps Goulet Pens should open a branch here in Australia offering all that they do in the US. There’s a big gap in the market over here that’s just waiting to be filled 😎

    • Hi Jane Eyre! Yeah, it’s a risk that you have to be OK taking if you decide to order this new ink. 🙂 We love that we have fans and customers in Australia, but no plans to open a branch there at the moment.

  • Kathy

    I applaud Nathan for trying something different, but this seems quite incongruent with Nathan’s typical insistence on giving his customers extraordinary value. If buying a number of bottles to get a certain color is his idea of value, so be it. It certainly isn’t mine. If some enjoy the surprise of not knowing what you are getting, enjoy. I like to know what I’m buying.

    • Hi Kathy! It’s definitively a risk, which isn’t worth it for everyone. What ink are you using and loving at the moment?

      • Kathy

        I love the new Pelikan Aquamarine in my new Aquamarine pen!

  • Ben

    I think this is an interesting idea, but honestly, I feel like Nathan’s regular inks are rather like this too often. Almost every time I buy a bottle after liking a sample, the bottle is a different color. Sometimes barely, but sometimes quite drastically. Some may find that charming, but I find it annoying and perceive it as a quality control problem. Sometimes I’ve liked the bottled color better, but too often I’ve preferred the sample color.

    • Hi Ben, I can understand your frustration. Since they are handcrafted, they can vary from batch to batch. But if you’re ever wondering if your color variation is more drastic than expected, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we can look into it further!

  • Thudthwacker

    When I want to spend money on ink and not know what I’m getting, I think I’ll just go with a “surprise me” sample from Goulet. A full bottle? Yeah, no.

    • Hi Thudthwaker! It’s definitely a risk to order a full bottle. The surprise me ink sample is a fun way to try a new ink, with minimal investment. 🙂 Have you ever tried a random sample and found a color you ended up loving?

      • Thudthwacker

        Not yet. That is, I haven’t tried a random sample yet; I may toss one in on my next order.

  • JuaSaysHi

    I’m surprised, given all the time Goulet is willing to spend blogging, making drawings, videos and matchups, that they’re not willing to spend a little extra time doing some quick n’ dirty swab-tests to color-sort a few bottles out their own inventory, the better to sell to people that want to know what they’re getting. Isn’t that why to follow Goulet in the first place? Because they’re the best at providing an ink’s details, the better to get what we expected, and avoid disappointment? A determined color person could check a lot of bottles in an hour. Lord knows I have, looking for the right blue on a certain paper. Why not offer the option of an “opened once” bottle that had been checked for hue?

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That’s a very interesting suggestion. I will have to pass that one along. I’m not sure about the logistics of testing and sending an open bottle but it wouldn’t hurt to share that suggestion.

      • JuaSaysHi

        If I were doing it, I’d use your already-made swatches as the standard, and have a bunch of small strips of card paper to “dunk” and a sheet to “swipe” onto. Open, dunk, swipe, close, compare, categorize (A, B, or C) apply a color-coding dot to the lid, throw out dunk paper, next. Should take 10-20 seconds per bottle.

    • Dave Busse

      I have to agree with your ideas JuaSaysHi. The folks at Goulet who handle ink every day know better than I, but another technique to ID bottles would be to put a blank label on each cap then swab the label. Sort a batch later. Two of the colors look very close in the posted image, so this may not be as simple as it sounds. Making sure the customer knows what the are getting is what I have always thought to be a hallmark of Goulet Pens.

      • JuaSaysHi

        Swatches on the lid! Brilliant!

  • HuRU

    Ordered some and can’t wait to see which one of the three it is, or if it’s a different color altogether. This is Noodler’s answer to PokemonGo, gotta get ’em all.

  • liz domino

    Honestly, if I knew I’d be getting all three shades, I’d buy three bottles. But without knowing, I don’t even want to buy one.

  • Dave Busse

    Having thought about this a bit I think my former post may be a bit of “shooting the messenger”. Making an Ink called American Aristocracy in an election year and stating you don’t know what you will get is clearly as much about making a political statement as it is about making an ink. And this can be expected from Nathan. Goulet Pens is simply adding this new ink to the line and being very upfront about what it is. I may buy a bottle just to join in the fun.

  • Uniotter

    I think it sounds like Nathan’s quirky and original way of doing things, and very innovative. But like all innovations, that doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily be successful. Still, gotta give him credit for thinking outside the box. None of the colors particularly appeal to me, so I won’t be picking up any personally. But I do think it’s an interesting idea. 🙂

  • Heather Cyre

    What a cool idea!! I think this adds to the fun of inking a pen…an inky roulette! I think all 3 shades are lovely…of course I have my favorite, but I think it’s such a neat idea and a silly side-note with this election year 😉 I wonder which I’ll get when I place my order today!?!?!