Thanks to Nicole for the sample! I put the whole 4.5g sample in my 100ml gaiwan. Water mostly in the 90-95deg range. Steeps starting at 10sec, adding a few each time, then some longer steeps (using the “ignore it for a while, and then go ‘oh yeah, tea!’ method”).
The dry leaves are gorgeous, black with lots of gold. The wet leaves have a really rich, earthy and spicy smell. The liquor is a bit less sweet than I was expecting, malty and earth/woody and a little bit fruity. Quite a few steeps in, I’m starting to get a bit of a drying sensation in the back of my throat, but otherwise it’s fairly smooth. It’s good but not something I feel the need to buy more of. :)