Ink Review: Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red

Montblanc Velvet Red

This is the last of the Montblanc limited edition inks for the week. I picked up William Shakespeare Velvet Red ($19 for 35ml) at Pen Place in Crown Center. It’s positively lethal to have access to fountain pens and ink and paper within walking distance of my office!

Montblanc Velvet Red bottle

I haven’t quite figured out the logic behind why Montblanc sometimes uses the square faceted bottles, sometimes uses the long rectangular bottles and then sometimes uses these round bottles. I’m assuming certain themes go with each but the Miles Davis Jazz Blue went into the square bottle, which somehow I would have assumed would go into the round bottle like this one with the other “legends”.And I think last year they put the Permanent Grey in the round bottle so that blows my theory too. So… I don’t know? Do you?

Finally, the splotch of ink on this bottle is very unbecoming. Of all the Shakespearian related things you could possibly have considered, a red splotch?

Montblanc Velvet Red Swatches

For this review, I’m going to start with the swatches because what I found fascinating was that when I swatched this ink, and I did it twice, the color on the swatch card turned out extremely dark. It did not have much shading either. I thought maybe I had over-soaked the card so I did it again and got the same results. Velvet Red appears to be a fairly dense ink, or it can be. So, I thought I’d like to note that first. Especially, compared to other deep reds like Sailor Grenade and Oku-Yama and Diamine Oxblood and Matador Red.

Montblanc Velvet Red Writing Sample

I also tried very hard to adjust the photo of my writing sample to be as accurate as possible but its always difficult to get exact reproductions and adjust for monitor differences. Velvet Red does hint at the tonal variations present in velvet red. How it sometimes looks very red but will have a brownish undertone. However, that same color variation is also very reminiscent of something else: dried blood. And while that is certainly an overriding aspect of many of Shakespeare’s plays, I couldn’t quite get past the fact that it looked like I was writing with dried blood.

This could be quite handy for a Halloween missive or for the more Gothic among us but I found it a little morbid for my Monday calendar notes. Out, out damned spot!


DISCLAIMER: Some items used in this review were sent to me free of charge by for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I always thought the red splotch on the bottle was the feathers of a quill pen, as it’s resting in an ink well…

  2. This ink shades magnificently. I have enjoyed using it in my Montblanc 146R–the color seems just perfect for it.

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