Not as sweet as I was expecting from the description, although there are sweet notes in there that become prominent over more steepings. The dry leaf has a very strong aroma after hot water is added, although it smells very much like the taste of the first steep and a hint of the full flavor with a bit of sweetness. The color in my glass pitcher was a beautiful deep claret on the first steep that lightened to a fall-sunset-in-the-forest hue by the end of the session.
I used Smacha’s very own autobrewer to taste this (a very nifty, stylish, and super convenient number that I’ve been very pleased with, FYI) so I’m not sure how long each steep actually counts as as it automatically filters down from the top in a slow, controlled trickle that is probably not that long in terms of steep time, although the instructions are to wait 2.5 minutes to allow all the water to flow through. It seems to be somewhere closer to the gongfu style of brewing than western brewing judging by the number of steeps I seem to get out of leaves, though.
The first steep was a full woodsy taste with a light, but full body. Just a hint of sweet, and very slightly musty in flavor. Second steep lightened up the flavors considerably, was more aromatic and with a more prominent sweet taste. Third steep was similar to the second, but with a more floral, fragant element. Fourth steep was the sweetest of the bunch and my favorite with a light taste. Fifth steep was thin, to my taste, with more aroma than taste, so I stopped there. Overall, impressed by how long it lasted for such a delicate seeming oolong!
Flavors: Floral, Sugarcane, Wet wood