I’m very tempted to give this a perfect score, but seeing that this is my first tasting note, that’s probably bad protocol.
David generously sent me a sample of this and the 2008 Xingyang Shu nuggets as an introduction to Pu’er. The 2008 Shu was a fantastic horizon-expanding first, but this… I’ve been drinking this pretty continuously for two straight days.
With the 2008 Shu, I could see why a lot of people are turned off by Pu’er. My friend tried the Shu with me, and it was his first Pu’er as well. He simply described the smell as “fish” and the taste as “tree”. Overall: “best cup of tea I’ve ever had”.
With this Sheng, however, I can’t imagine why anybody would dislike it. The aroma it puts off reminds me of the aroma inside of a sauna. It’s just this excellent, warm, cedar-ish scent. I don’t really know how to describe the taste. I suppose the taste is pretty similar to the scent… Just imagine wood, but not in the musty, moldy, or damp sense. More like if someone were to refer to a nice Scotch as “woody”.
My favorite part of this, though, is the aftertaste. It realllly lingers in your throat, and you can taste it as you exhale. It’s surprisingly powerful, considering that the upfront taste is pretty subtle.
I know my review isn’t very useful. I’d say just try it for yourself!