Papier Plume makes its fountain pen inks in the back of its store in the French Quarter of New Orleans, by hand, in small batches. They will make 120 bottles of each of Bootlegger’s Sacrament and Da Blue.
Last year Papier Plume also made two special inks for the Chicago Pen Show: Ivy 108 and Lake Michigan Summer. The 2017 Chicago inks were summery colors. This year’s inks are rich, dark and wintery-feeling.
The first 2018 Chicago ink from Papier Plume is Bootlegger’s Sacrament.
As the name implies, Bootlegger’s Sacrament is a nod to Chicago’s history during Prohibition. I didn’t know this, but sacramental wine was exempt from Prohibition.
The ink Bootlegger’s Sacrament is a dusky purple with a red tint, a little like grape skin. The wax seal on top of the bottle cap is white to represent the Eucharist.
Papier Plume’s second 2018 Chicago ink, Da Blue, is a tribute to an entirely secular devotion: the love of this city for our Chicago Bears football team, who are sometimes dubbed “Da Bears,” in the local patois immortalized by Saturday Night Live.
Da Bears have uniforms of navy blue, so Papier Plume came up with an ink called Da Blue.
Da Blue is a blue black, and, as one would expect of any ink named after Da Bears, it is 100 percent awesome. If Da Blue were coached by Mike Ditka this ink would beat the New England Patriots 99 games in a row, even though it’s an ink, not even a football team. It is that awesome.
Because of the incredible demand for last year’s Chicago inks, this year Papier Plume will double the number of Chicago inks made to 120 bottles of each, as noted above. Papier Plume will take the entire batch to the Chicago Pen Show to sell, starting Friday, May 4. If any bottles remain, Papier Plume will sell those on their website after the show. The inks will cost $10 and come in one ounce (30 ml) bottles.
Papier Plume said they intend to not make these Chicago inks again. Like Super Bowl victories by the Chicago Bears, then, bottles of Da Blue and Bootlegger’s Sacrament seem destined to be once-in-a-lifetime events. If you’re interested, don’t let them pass you by.