Okay, as promised I revisited this one today in the middle of the day to give it a fair chance. And I tossed milk and sugar in since that’s how I prefer my straight blacks.
It has redeemed itself. Actually with milk and sugar it’s a delightful cup that may become one of my black tea staples in my cupboard. There’s definitely malt and astringency but at the same time with the milk it mellows to a great morning kick, which is what I prefer.