Ink Review: KWZ Rotten Green

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

More than a month ago, I put Rotten Green in a modern Pelikan with extra-fine nib and in a Lamy Safari with broad nib. Until I had to clean the pens for this review, I kept them going with occasional refills.

KWZ Rotten Green is a very dark green with very little shading. In fact, it looks fairly close to a black ink.ย  Here is Rotten Green with a black ink, a blue ink and a blue black ink.

KWZ Rotten Green comparison with other inks

Rotten Green is a wet ink, and it tends to write a wider, wetter line. To bear this out, in the writing sample above, Rotten Green is in a Pelikan extra-fine, while Pelikan Brilliant Black is in a Lamy Safari fine, Visconti Blue is in a Pelikan medium stub, and J. Herbin Bleu Nuit is in a Parker 51 with a wide fine nib.

Because it’s so wet, Rotten Green takes longer to dry than average on paper like Rhodia and Tomoe River. I found its lubrication moderate to good. Its flow was flawless in the Pelikan. Rotten Green did have occasional hesitant starts in the Safari, especially as the ink level declined in the converter.

Here’s what Rotten Green looks like across an entire page of Tomoe River paper.

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

It’s a strong, dark color. I don’t see any sheen on Tomoe River, but there’s a bit of shading, if you look closely.

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

I really liked the look of Rotten Green on Rhodia, especially from the Pelikan with extra-fine nib.

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

Here is Rotten Green from the Lamy with broad nib on Rhodia.

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

Even with the broad nib, Rotten Green doesn’t have the heavy feeling that many dark, saturated inks have.

Rotten Green performed moderately well on lower-quality paper. It tended to feather, just a bit. Here is a closeup of Rotten Green on my everyday Staples Sustainable Earth legal paper, with the Lamy Safari with broad nib.

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

A bigger issue I had with Rotten Green on poor papers was showthrough and a bit of bleedthough. Of course this is one trade-off you make with such a wet, dark ink, but it kept me from writing on both sides of the Staples paper.

With that caveat, I liked Rotten Green on Staples Sustainable Earth. I liked the color, and it dried very quickly on the absorbent paper. Here is Rotten Green from the Pelikan with extra-fine nib on Sustainable Earth.

KWZ Rotten Green Writing Sample

Rotten Green does not have any real water-resistance. It washes off smooth paper very easily, and it doesn’t survive in legible form on the copy paper that usually holds onto more of an ink.

KWZ Rotten Green Water Test

But Rotten Green also cleans up very easily from a pen. A few flushes with water and it was gone, even after being in the two pens for more than a month.

I enjoy a dark green ink, so I had a few to compare to Rotten Green, and these are the closest.

KWZ Rotten Green Swabs Comparison

In that group, Rotten Green is on the bluer end, and as such it looks fairly close to both KWZ Foggy Green and Sailor Jentle Miruai.

Looking at the swabs, one would think KWZ Foggy Green might be darker than Rotten Green, but if you go to the linked review, you’ll see that Foggy Green is the lighter color. They both are wet inks, writing a wider line. Foggy Green seemed more lubricated-feeling.

Sailor Miruai seems so close to Rotten Green that I put my sample of Miruai into another Lamy with broad nib, to really compare the two inks. Here is a writing sample with Rotten Green writing the first line in each pair and Miruai the second.

KWZ Rotten Green and Sailor Miruai Writing Samples

I find these two very close in color. Miruai may shade a bit more, and it looks a tiny bit lighter and possibly a touch more blue or gray. Unlike Rotten Green, Miruai will sheen. In a pen, Miruai is more lubricated-feeling, but they are both wet inks and give a similar line.

Here is paper towel chromatography of KWZ Rotten Green.

KWZ Rotten Green chromatography

That’s an interesting mixture. I mentioned above that Rotten Green felt a little less heavy to me than many other dark and saturated inks. I wonder if something of the brightness of those dyes comes through.

Now here is KWZ Foggy Green on the left and Rotten Green on the right.

KWZ Foggy Green and KWZ Rotten Green chromatography

Here is KWZ Rotten Green on the left and Sailor Jentle Miruai on the right.

KWZ Rotten Green and Sailor Miruai chromatography

So, not very similar on the dye level. Comparing the two, it makes sense that the Sailor ink would have a slightly more gray or slate blue undertone. But I enjoy seeing how two such dissimilar mixes can create very similar ink colors.

KWZ Ink is available online from at least one US store and also directly from KWZ in Poland.

10 thoughts on “Ink Review: KWZ Rotten Green

  1. Philip, Vanness Pens does samples of the KWZ inks, so that’s a great idea if you are in the US. (I buy samples from them.) Vanness also sells the full bottles. Great people. If you aren’t in the US, I would contact KWZ directly to order samples. They are wonderful people, too. If you like blue inks at all, throw in a sample of KWZ IG Blue #5, which I think is fabulous. If I had a list of my top ten inks, IG Blue #5 would be on there.

    Before buying a full bottle of Alt-Godgrรผn, you may want to try a sample of the new Sailor Waka-Uguisu. I did a review of Waka-Uguisu recently, and I think it’s drop-dead gorgeous. (You may still prefer the R&K ink, but it’s worth trying.)

    J. Herbin Vert Empire? For a more neutral green-gray sort of ink? You could sample that, too.

    Um, yeah, I know what you mean about green inks. They multiply. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Thank you Laura. I bought my KWZ inks from VanNess but I didn’t know they did samples (I have samples from Goulet, which are great, but they don’t carry KWZ). When I look at reviews online I kind of start wanting everything, but once I have samples it is quite clear which inks will and will not work for me, and quite a relief how the latter is clearly the majority! Samples is the way to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OK I have decided that I cannot live without KWZ Rifle Green and one of either Foggy or Rotten Green, but how would I choose between those two? Also any notes on how the KWZ “murky greens” compare to Diamine’s Salamander?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still trying to figure out which to go for, between Rotten Green and Foggy Green, which I reviewed back in January. I think I’d probably pick Foggy Green, just because it’s a little lighter and thus a little more distinct from Sailor Miruai. But I think they are all winners. It’s a color range I really enjoy.

      In my opinion, Diamine Salamander is closer to KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold, which I reviewed this year, too, and really like (even more than the Diamine). Diamine Salamander and KWZ Iron Gall Green Gold are more yellow greens, more earthy in feel. Rotten Green and Foggy Green are closer to Diamine Green/Black, Diamine Sherwood Green or Sailor Miruai, in being bluer and darker.

      And thanks for the tip about KWZ Rifle Green. I’d never heard of it, but now I have to see if I can get a sample. ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Thanks Laura, although I think I’m even more bewildered now! I already have the KWZ IG Greens #1 (Teal, I chose this over their popular Turquoise), which I’m guessing might be in the Miruai/Foggy/Rotten range (?), and IG Green #4, which I was hoping would be Salamander but seems to be closer to Diamine Evergreen maybe? Anyway I am using the #4 as my daily writer (having sworn never to write in green – inks are sneaky things, huh?) and am very happy with it, but I still keep itching for something more neutral. I also have the KWZ Honey, which has gorgeous shading although it seems more suited to sketching than handwriting, and a Goulet sample of Rohrer & Klingner AltGoldGrun, ditto (such a lovely combo with the Honey I’m thinking I must buy a full bottle, even if not for writing with!) so IG GreenGold seems unnecessary.
        Do you know anywhere that does samples of the KWZ inks? Maybe “Try before you buy” and sample all four “Murky Greens” would be best!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is another great ink for everyday writing that is unusual enough if you want your writing to stand out, but still easy to read and not too outlandish. A subtle delight ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

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