I am a BIG fan of browns and reds, including all those maroon and burgundy mixes. I'm also partial to water resistance. Looking for an ink that checked off both of those properties got me to Noodler's pretty quickly; while plenty of companies have iron gall inks or pigmented inks for permanence, they all trend toward blue/black.
So Noodler's. Burgundy. I read plenty of reviews for Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses, but it looked a bit loud for me. English Roses seemed a little more subdued, likely more appropriate at work. Also, I might as well check it out and try to give it some attention - it would be a tragedy if the loud Aussie overshadowed the conservative Brit.
Using it in my Pelikan M215 with 'Extra Fine' nib, the soft steel allows the ink to exhibit more of its shading than in a nail. The flow is fine, wet with no hint of hard starts or drying out. Oddly enough, however, when I ran this ink in my Vanishing Point, it seemed to need random priming. Perhaps the VP's trap door wasn't sealing all the way from crusted ink? I don't know. If I find BSER dry in future pens, I'll udpate.
Back to the shading. I purchased BSER for 1) it being burgundy and 2) it being water resistant, but my secret third reason was the search for another awesome shader. While BSER does shade, it's much more subtle than I had expected. [See the Rhodia above, compared to the Fabriano EcoQua below - I feel like more shading is evident on Rhodia] It goes on very dark and lighten some as it dries. Sometimes the dry word exhibits variation. Sometimes, at least for my eyes, it's just one flat, static color. If you really want this to shade, you're going to need a big (probably italic) nib, or a vintage flex nib that offers significant change in line thickness. I also ran this ink in my Pilot/Namiki Falcon and it was no different than in my Pelikan.
So what am I left with? A pretty dark burgundy that actually fits in pretty well at work and doesn't disappear in the face of coffee spills. That actually sounds pretty good to me. What's the catch?
Staining. I do not recommend this ink be used with any transparent pen bits that are important to you. I would not use this in a Parker Vacumatic or even an Aerometric Parker 51. I would use this in a TWSBI, though. I probably won't put in in my Pel again, as I'm already prepared to give it a robust cleaning when this load is through.
And how does it stack up to some other inks in the area? Diamine Oxblood is still my favorite, by a wide margin. But I do like BSER more than Diamine Merlot or Private Reserve Black Cherry. And it's one of the few in the entire group that can stand up to water, which gives it a sizeable situational advantage.
If this sounds like something in your wheelhouse, pick up a sample. If you're a real fan of brown burgundy rather than purple burgundy, then you might as well just pick up a bottle. It's good stuff,