Few reviews of this tea could be found on Steepster, which probably reveals that not that many folks are into smoked Lapsangs. And I can’t blame them to be honest: this tea is a fine representation of the type but its complexity cannot compete with other Whispering Pines reds. One has to be really into the taste and smell of campfire to enjoy it – and, luckily, I kinda am.
The dry leaves are quite small and not very interesting. This is one of the fairly strongly smoked Lapsangs, so the taste of the tea itself comes out only at the end of a sip: initially it’s all about smoke. Now, the smoky component is great: strong, clean, very natural and “real”. A lot of complexity in the smokiness but it is not a usual tea palette at all. I know it’s a cliche but the Islay Scotch fans would find plenty to enjoy in this Lapsang.
The tea taste comes later and it’s all about the honeyed and fruity sweetness, which goes fairly well with all this smoke and softens its austerity a bit.
Ashes of Autumn is a very nice representation of the type, with no corners cut and nothing artificial or one-dimensional about the smoke – which is, regrettably, very common with many Lapsangs. Still, this tea is certainly not for every day but for a very specific mood. As the name aptly suggests the late fall could be a good time to sip it, while looking at fallen leaves, starkly naked tree silhouettes, and caravans of birds flying away.
Flavors: Campfire, Fruity, Honey, Smoke, Wood