I am not sure in what sense of the phrase gu shu is this tea a gu shu, but I think it’s quite clear that it is not a plantation grown tea. It brews up very dark, has a nice mouthfeel that’s not too thick though, and somewhat muted and bitter taste that lacks complexity in my opinion. However, I think this is still only about a year along its journey since fermentation. I think that the taste will become much clearer in the future that will also bring out the complexity. At the moment, the price is not justified for immediate drinking. However, I am pretty sure this will age into an incredible tea. Especially if you add the fact that the cha qi is the strongest I’ve experienced from shou by far, stronger than a lot of sheng at this price. It is heady without much of a caffeine rush.
I would rate this tea 70 for the flavour, 80 for the mouthfeel, 95 for the cha qi and 100 for aging prospects.
As for particular notes, the aroma is mostly reminiscent of prunes and nuts. The taste is bitter and herbaceous with flavours of coffee, sage, stout (beer), and in late infusions also floral ones like gin. Aftertaste is dry and not too strong, but lasts for a while. There are hints of seaweed, wood, roasted nuts and camphor. The mouthfeel is slick, chalky and very mouth-watering, and I’d say the liquor has a medium to full body.
Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Camphor, Coffee, Dried Fruit, Drying, Floral, Herbaceous, Nuts, Plum, Roasted Nuts, Sage, Seaweed, Wood