Pocket Size Review 35: Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator, Noodler’s Ink Baystate Blue

I don’t eat crabs or other shellfish. In most places this dietary preference might only be relevant when bowing out of an invitation to a seafood dinner, but living in Baltimore, or elsewhere in the Chesapeake Bay Area, it comes up more often than you would think.

The “bay” in Baystate Blue is actually not my beloved Chesapeake though (even if it’s a great shade for drawing our local blue crabs), but rather it is the four different bays (Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Bay) that give the state of Massachusetts it’s aforementioned nickname. Massachusetts being the home of the (in)famous Noodler’s Ink, that makes sense. Baystate Blue has a reputation mirroring that of its maker; it is beautiful to look at, but it not as “safe” as inks from other brands. I have not conducted any experiments of my own, but one doesn’t have to go far online to find accounts of this ink dissolving feeds and causing permanent stains. I will say that after filling this pen I had a blue spot on my hand for a week and a half. The common advice for using this ink is to “sacrifice” a pen to it, that you don’t intend to ever use with other ink, or at least one that you don’t mind dying blue.

An actual blue Koloro Demonstrator is a Tate pen, having only been produced as a special edition before, so I decided to make my own. I reviewed the Red Koloro Demo in a previous post on Instagram, and I still love this pen for all the same reasons. This one still has the stock Jowo nib (I swapped the other for a Franklin -Christoph Shadow SIG, but I don’t want to “sacrifice” a SIG nib to this ink.)

You can see why so many people face the “risks” and use this ink anyway. It is a beautiful blue color that almost glows. There is no shading to speak of, just that luminous blue hue. One more thing worth mentioning, though, is that it ghosts fiercely. Here’s a rare look at the back of my page. After some reviews there may be a spot or two of ink, but this time I almost could have just posted the back of the page instead of the front.

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