The dry leaf smells quite a bit like a Yunnan dianhong. It is sweet, malty and chocolatey. In a preheated teapot, I get some more unusual aromas like cherries, chicken nuggets and barbeque sauce. The wet leaf smell is relatively less pungent and display a little more of the leathery side of the spectrum.
Likewise, the taste blends malty and smoky notes. It is very well balanced with some cranberry sourness that’s very present and woodiness in the background. Later steeps also have some distinct sweet brown sugar note. There is the slightest bitterness and some lingering astringency too. Ultimately, the balanced nature is what makes me so drawn to this particular tea.
Its mouthfeel is super soft and coating. Sometimes even after swallowing I still have a sensation of the liquor in my mouth. It is not the most thick black tea, but I didn’t find it lacking in viscosity.
Even though not spectacular, this Golden Monkey is one of the very best black teas I have tried among those that don’t have the “wow factor”.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cherry, Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Smoke, Sour, Sweet, Wood