Just finished my sample so I feel like it is time to do a final review on it. Dry leaf has quite a bit of gold to it and opens up to fairly burly leaf. The aromatics of this tea are all around great – dark, bitter chocolate with occasional hints of spice. Similar in both dry and wet leaf but once wet I can make out a bit of pile funk. Taste varies depending on how hard I leafed this. There is a very clear sweet spot where the mouthfeel is best and the taste doesn’t punch you in the face. I’ve had some of the 2011 production and age will definitely make this a nonissue though. Anyway, tasting notes are primarily dark chocolate though spice notes come in later alongside some medicinal cherry flavors. There is a fair bit of pile taste in the early infusions but I only do a brief rinse and honestly, it makes the tea a more interesting experience to me. Qi is pretty intense and sheng-like but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is one of the best parts of this for me. Though some of the first infusions can be almost chalky, once this gets going it has a very slippery oily mouthfeel. Aftertaste is lasting and interesting. This is a great purchase now for aging or if you like intense young shou but many people will probably want to wait a while to drink it. I’m planning on grabbing a bing or two though to drink when I get a taste for something strong.
Flavors: Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Medicinal, Pumpkin Spice, Spices