After this last pen show at Atlanta, I've realized that I've established a pattern in regards to Akkerman inks. I buy a bottle at every pen show I attend. The latest show in Atlanta introduced me to one of the brilliant Akkerman blues -- Passage Blauw.
Passage Blauw was one of the samples available at the Vanness ink testing station, so that's a primary reason for why I picked up this particular ink. It's also the reason I picked up another ink, but that's another review.
After testing the ink and weighing the many, many options available at the show, I chose to go for the Passage Blauw. I'm really glad I did, because it's one of my new favorites.
First off, the bottle is killer. You get the same type of bottle with every Akkerman ink, but I still think they're extremely cool. It never gets old watching the top reservoir fill with ink from the bottom — all thanks to an ingenious marble system inside the bottle neck.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this ink is the color. After all, every Akkerman ink I've tried is very well-behaved and a joy to use. After that point, it's all about the color and specific properties of the ink. In this case, the color is a bright, happy blue that springs off the page with its translucent, Caribbean glory. It's very similar to Iroshizuku kon-peki, but a bit lighter. It's also very similar to Iroshizuku ama-iro, but a tad darker. It's somewhere in between these two inks, and that's just fine. The color is gorgeous and worth owning even if you have other similar colors.
The shading is the other killer aspect of this ink. It shades like a palm tree (I'll see myself out now). In pens with wide nibs, it shows off the shading characteristics like a champ. There's something tropical about watching a medium blue ink pool in the slower parts of letters while you're writing. It's my affinity for this effect that makes my blue ink collection continue to grow.
Dry time was actually a surprise here. It normally dries in less than 10 seconds in most cases. And, most of the tests were done with a medium cursive-italic nib. In a German fine nib, the results were similar. Either way, that's a spectacular dry time and it really impressed me.
Bleeding and show-through are minimal unless you are using a cheap paper. In that case, it feathers quite a bit. But, as long as you're using decent paper, it performs admirably.
In both pens I've tested so far, the flow and lubrication are top notch. This is an extremely well-behaved ink that I wouldn't hesitate to use in any pen I own.
Lastly, the price is a bit high at $28, but you have to remember that this ink is imported from the Netherlands and also has a super fancy bottle. For the joy I get from this ink, the price is completely fair.
I've gotten an Akkerman ink from the Vanness table at every pen show I've attended, but you can also order a bottle at any time from their website. If you're unsure about a bottle, go for a small sample first!