The first few steeps drive home the resemblance to the Oriental Beauty which was also made with the Qingxin cultivar, the strong and lasting muscatel tartness, although the Three Moons didn’t seem to be so muscatel. From reading about it, I got a slightly inflated impression of how oxidised this tea was going to taste, but it seems pretty oolong to me. In the main steeps, some malt and mellowness start to dominate. There’s a cooling effect on the mouth and deep in the throat. I really like the combination of tart with the darker and plummier notes, which hits that coca-cola / root beer craving for me. (Maybe the source of the craving, historically speaking, is from old-time herbal sherbets.) There’s a cool hint of…. I really can’t place it well, but a dark perfume like vetiver. Aftertaste is strong and lasting and recaps all the main tastes distinctly. It’s quite tannin heavy on the stomach, I felt. Smell in the cup is sticky and nectary. I was struck by the aroma of roasted semolina. It might be sweet to try an oolong in which the roast taste actually comes out — that’s presumably what the Dragon’s Breath is like.
Comparing this to golden turtle, which I thought was as cool: I can’t decide. These oolongs are really making me appreciate each flavor on its own right, so that even my preference for darker teas is being won over.