The dry leaf smells like a campfire—no surprises here. The liquor has a nice smokiness which easily impresses my friends, but it’s hard to detect other aromas more inherent to the leaf. There’s notes of grape must/basalmic (but the acidity is subtle), and a vague woody incense (sandalwood?). After the last sip there’s a honeyed date aroma which lingers in the cup. No matter what I do, the overall taste is a bit thin for a black tea, and the astringency is comparatively overwhelming and disruptive. It makes my tongue feel like a sandpaper-skinned slug. This is the only lapsang souchong I have tried, so I can’t compare it to any other tea, really, but I do plan on exploring this genre further.

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