I got a 25gr sample if this tea to see if I wanted more. I was warned that 90% of the people didn’t like it and the 10% that did were mostly Russian customers. Something in my Russian heritage must have come alive because this is a wonderful find.
The aroma is quite strong, pungent and a little smoky. The fist infusion was little light but the flavors were noticeable enough to pick out some hints of what was to come. The second infusion was fantastic, like a hickory smoked meat or cheese but without the saltiness.
You can really taste the age of the tea, the woodiness has a little more kick to it. There isn’t much if any fruity notes that I have found in Shengs even as old as 2003 so I think that speaks to the wet storage speeding up the aging, creating the darker, richer brews. The liquor was a deep orange, Grade B Honey hue.
I’m 10 infusions in and not going to quit any time soon. This has high potential for my Puer class menu!