Noodler’s Golden Brown: Ink Review

Hello, ink loving friends! Madigan here, bringing you another fantastic ink review on Noodler’s Golden Brown. It’s one of our top shading inks and Jenni used recently used it in a Monday Matchup. Despite being a fan of brown inks, I hadn’t used this one. It exceeded my expectations not only because of it’s beautiful shading but because of its unique color and properties. Read on to learn more!

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Medium– This was a pretty average ink with a dry time of about 20+ seconds. Not the quickest but shouldn’t cause too many problems when writing quickly, unless you are lefty. In which case, maybe try a different ink. 

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Medium– Like a number of the most unique Noodler’s inks, this ink has a layer that moves and then another layer that is permanent. While this isn’t the most waterproof ink I’ve ever used, I wouldn’t be worried about losing an entire manuscript if a glass of water spilled on it.


  • Low– The light brown hue of this ink allows for a lot of additional color changes when more ink is added. This allows for the intense amount of shading you can see in it, and makes it fantastic in art.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Easy– The light shade of this ink makes it a breeze to clean out of your pen. With the permanent aspect, however, I wouldn’t leave it in your pen indefinitely.


  • High– This ink has truly glorious shading! It goes from dark brown to a golden honey.


  • Wet– This is a fast and free flowing ink. This means it’ll work well in flex pens, which will give you the greatest chance for maximum shading.

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • 3oz bottle with 2ml ink samples available
  • Utilitarian bottle with a large mouth for easy filling
  • Pretty standard Noodler’s label, nothing special
Inks Similar in Color:

This is truly a unique and interesting ink! With fantastic shading and a some water resistance, it’s a great option for correspondence, journaling, note-taking, you name it! Obviously it’s an insanely gorgeous ink to use in art, as Jenni proved. I’m definitely adding this one to my list of favorites and will be recommending it from now on.

Do you have a favorite brown ink? Let me now in the comments below!

Write on,

2017-10-11T14:37:51+00:00 October 19th, 2016|Ink Reviews|4 Comments
  • Tom Johnson

    I tried a sample of Golden Brown a couple of years ago, and wanted something darker so I got Noodler’s #41 Brown, and it has been a favorite since then. But, the way Golden Brown looks in the broad nib is so dark and rich, and the shading so wonderful, I’ll have to try it in more pens than I did then. Jenni’s map makes this ink pop. Great review Madigan, this ink will have to go on my wish list now. Thanks.

  • Josh Solar

    About two years ago I was looking at purchasing my first non black ink. I wanted something that was still professional but still quite unique. So I looked at brown inks. I really wanted the Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan but it was out of stock so I got the Noodler’s Walnut. Right from the start I fell in love with brown inks and their huge range of color dependent on the nib. If I was to get another brown ink I would probably get this or the Polar Brown.

  • Waski the Squirrel

    One quirk I’ve found with this ink is that if it sits in the pen for a while, it starts to take on a reddish color, especially the bit in the feed and nib. (This seems to write out which is why I don’t think it gets into the body of the pen.)

    • Tom Johnson

      Maybe this is from slight evaporation. I have had inks in the feed become heavily saturated over time as the water evaporated, giving the ink a longer dry time on Clairefontaine or Rhodia papers. Certain inks still flow well when this happens, while others stop flowing. Iroshizuku Yama-budo actually nearly dried up in my Sheaffer Prelude but still wrote. But the color was gone, all that could be seen on paper was the gold sheen. Topping the converter with distilled water restored the ink back to its normal color with a nice hint of its normal sheen. This may have happened to Golden Brown, which I think might be a nice effect – seeing the ink slowly change as you write.