Montblanc Inks, Part 1


Recently a pen friend from my local pen club was very kind and gave me samples of his Montblanc limited edition inks. Since a lot of these inks are no longer available, I decided to lump them into 3 reviews. Today’s inks are:

  • Meisterstück Ultra Black, a companion to the Meisterstück pens, first released in 2016.

  • 90 Year Permanent Gray, celebrated Montblanc’s 90 year anniversary, released in 2014.

  • Wood and Tobacco Gray, from the Elixir Parfumeur Collection, first released in 2018. This ink can still be found at retailers-a 50 ml bottle of this ink retails for $85 at Montblanc.

  • Heritage Spider Web Gray was released in 2019 and is still widely available.

  • Leonardo da Vinci Red Chalk was released in 2013.

  • James Purdey and Sons Single Malt was released in 2018 and can still be found at some retailers.



Left to right: Ultra Black is a dark black with a purple undertone. 90 Year Gray has a blue undertone that can be seen in lighter shading, Tobacco Gray leans a bit brown so the name is very fitting. Spider Gray is a cool toned light gray. Red Chalk is a vibrant red-brown. Single Malt is a bright brown-orange.

Both Tobacco Gray and Single Malt are supposed to be scented inks. Since I’m not a drinker or a smoker I don’t know what whiskey or tobacco usually smell like, so I have no idea if the scent is true-to-name, but they do smell different than the average ink.

Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low

Other properties: low shadingno sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was lots of feathering in every nib size as well as a lot of bleeding, so I would not recommend these inks for cheap paper.


Dry time:

ranges from 5-60 seconds.

Comparison Swabs:


Ultra Black has a bit more purple than Sailor Ink Studio 023. 90 Year Gray reminds me of Robert Oster Graphite. I don’t have any inks similar to Tobacco Gray. Spider Gray is warmer than Diamine Silver Fox. Red Chalk is lighter than Diamine Ancient Copper. Single Malt has a bit more red in it than Robert Oster Toffee.


Currently Inked:

I used a Bond Travel Gear A5 notebook (Tomoe River 68gsm). All of the inks had an average flow.

I used a Bond Travel Gear A5 notebook (Tomoe River 68gsm). All of the inks had an average flow.

Overall, out of these six inks Single Malt is my favorite. I love the color and the little bit of shading. Tobacco Gray’s price tag blows me away, the cost is way beyond my personal comfort level for a single bottle of ink.

Disclaimer: This ink was provided by a pen friend for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and is not sponsored in any way.