Golden Moon Sampler No. 2 of 31. Eyes wide shut random drawing.
I’m gonna run a few laps today, I think. Maybe three. This one, the remaining bit of my Life in Teacup sample, and the Samovar sample.
As I think about it, this may end up being a mistake. I may not be able to get the smell of smoke out of my pores and nose hairs for a few days. (So I’m going to stop thinking about that for fear I might chicken out.)
Before I begin, a disclaimer about sample size. My Samovar is the biggest (about 1.8 cups worth) and its steeping instructions call for a cup of water. According to my scale, this is too much water for this sample. Of course, according to my scale, the GM sample is enough for 1.4 cups. So I’m going to steep the GM and the Samovar in the same amount of water in my 12 or so ounce cup and hope that evens things out a bit, even though there will have been more water in the GM than the Samovar (as the GM had no instructions as to the amount of water). The Life in Teacup sample is the last little bit, about enough for .4 cups. So I’ll adjust water volume accordingly, but the memory of its taste is still quite fresh from my last tasting so that ought to balance things out a bit as well.
On to this one. The dry leaves are dark, brown/green. Greener than, and slightly shorter than the others, but not shorter by much. Their dominant scent is ash, but there’s an interesting chocolate note in there. It’s the smell of the air in a calm residential neighborhood on a fall evening when many houses have lit up their fireplaces for the first fire of the season.
The steeped aroma is gently smoky. There is pine, and a tobacco note as well. The liquor color is medium amber. I expected darker, but it’s a very appealing color.
Now here’s where I scratch my head a bit and wonder if I used too much water (though I think I used the right amount). Full-bodied, this is not. At least not in my view of full-bodied. I would call this medium-bodied. It has a high coffee note, and of course, it’s smoky. But unlike my last lapsang experience, it’s not entirely about the smoke. There’s a strong woody flavor; it’s almost as woody as it is smoky. And by woody, I don’t mean woodsy/piney/sap/evergreen/conifer stuff. I mean it evokes an unfinished furniture store or a lumberyard. (Not to be confused with sawdust. It’s far deeper and more appealing than that.) It’s a pleasant taste and endearing to me, as it reminds me of my long dead grandfather whose trade in the old country was cabinetmaker.
It’s only my second lapsang souchong, and I’m looking forward to exploring more. I may change my mind as I sample more but for now I’d definitely drink this again as an alternative to the deep, almost tarry, pervasive smokiness of a more full-bodied lapsang.