Noodler's Heart of Darkness: Ink Review

Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink bottle on dark background with ink swabs

Noodler's Heart of Darkness is a popular water-resistant black fountain pen ink known for its very dark color and performance on absorbent paper; particularly its ability to resist bleed through and feathering. If you don't have a say in the quality of the paper you use, this ink is one of the best inks out there for daily use . Read on for our impressions!

Noodler's Heart of Darkness Rhodia Writing Sample

 Noodler's Heart of Darkness Tomoe River Writing SampleNoodler's Heart of Darkness Leuchtturm Writing Sample

Ink Review 

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • ~30+ seconds – Heart of Darkness is fairly wet and while it smears a tiny bit at the 30 second mark it may take a second or two longer to fully dry.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • High – Once allowed to set Heart of Darkness did not budge when water was introduced, perfect for important documents!


  • High – This is a deep dark black ink and there is no variation from Swab 1 to 3.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Medium – While the ink cleans out readily enough it can leave a slightly grey residue behind that may take a bit longer to fully flush.


  • Low – We did not find that this ink had any variation in it so if you want a deep consistent ink this is it.


  • Wet – As with most water resistant inks Heart of Darkness is pretty wet writing and has good flow in just about any pen you use it in.

 Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • One of the few inks offered in 4.5oz glass bottles with an eyedropper this offers a lot of ink for the price point. It is difficult to fill from because the opening is smaller, so it's not a bad idea to use an ink well.

Noodler's Heart of Darkness Fountain Pen Ink Bottle with swabs on dark background

If you're interested in similar colors, check out our Swab Shop where you can compare colors side by side.


When looking for a black ink finding the perfect mix of depth of color and paper compatibility Heart of Darkness is hard to beat. If you don't have control over the type of paper you use, this would be a great option to check out. 

Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink swabNoodler's Heart of Darkness Ink Swab

This color is available in a 4.5oz bottle as well as our ink samples.