Rare Tea Cellar
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the first Quanzhou milk oolong I’ve had in awhile. I’ve always been fascinated by all the care that goes into making an oolong that reminds me of buttered popcorn. Seriously, that’s what it tastes like – well, minus that feeling of artery-hardening failure afterwards…and greasy hands. Great way to start the mornin’.
There are certain words that will instantly trigger my interest. Five of them are “whiskey”, “barrel-aged”, and “Lapsang Souchong”. When combined…my head explodes. No, not literally, that’d be messy.
I had mused on what a whiskey’d Lapsang would taste like. There was no doubt that I’d enjoy it…but I didn’t know how much. It seemed perfect. Well, the first time I tried it, it almost was. Almost. Something was missing. Then I decided to steep the heck out of it for five minutes. Holy wow…flavor country dialed up to eleven.
Oddly enough, in and around the time I tried it the perfect way, I was gearing up to see The Great Gatsby. Naturally, I had to draw parallels between that flavorful experience and the movie I just watched because…well…science.
You can read that tangent here: http://steepstories.com/2013/05/16/carried-away-by-whiskey-tea/
As if I hadn’t had enough caffeine today, I decided to rip into a bag I received from Rare Tea Cellar – an oak-aged Keemun. I’m a sucker for anything that says “cask-conditioned” or “oak-aged” in the title. Although, that usually applies to beer, not tea.
This is very much a Keemun through-and-though, only a lot bolder. Like Assam bold, only with a bit more seniority. It’s hard to pick up on what the oak barrel contributes, but it is easy to see that this has all the trappings of a semi-aged hong cha. The flavor has a sense of “experienced” to it. Funny thing, too, the wood-sweet aspects of the Keemun are there, but there’s a wildernessy presence as well – usually a trait found in Yunnan blacks.
All said, I’m sold on the oak-aging thing.