Okay, I’m having the exact same problem as sophistre with this tea. I am not quite sure what to make of it – it confuses me. The smell reminds me of Samovar’s Scarlet Sable but the taste is different. Both the EG and smoke flavors are stronger in this one. The EG is more… perfumed? But not in a evil perfume-y EG way that makes me think I’m drinking those little decorative soaps. The smoke flavor is more… acrid? But not in a thick, tarry way that feels like a combination of smoke, road tar and syrup. This one doesn’t have quite the same smoothness as Scarlet Sable and is a bolder tea. Overall, I prefer Scarlet Sable but I’m not writing this one off yet.
I need to play with this more, spend a bit of time with it, before I can give it a rating. Something in the taste of this makes me feel that there is user error involved – the balance seems a little wonky. Like I used too much leaf or steeped too long. Perhaps it needs more sugar or less milk? Or maybe no additives at all? I feel like this is right on the cusp of greatness and then I screwed it up.