So, I’d finally recovered my health in the wake of my travels to Japan when a business trip to New England during a flu epidemic (not to mention the usual winter concerns of simple head colds and sinus infections caused by forced hot air heat) took my health away again.

But, in the midst of all this chaos I did get my hands on a couple of bricks of this shu. It is true that one of them is being broken up into an unglazed ceramic canister for more aging, but the other will be consumed in the short term. Having tasted a bit of it yesterday, even if I’d intended to store them both away, I don’t think I could at this point.

As much as there isn’t nearly as much of a wide bell curve in flavor profile for shu as there is for sheng, it is always gratifying to taste a shu that reminds you they aren’t entirely the same as one another, either.

This cup was at the same time much darker, much mustier and yet over all much softer than the shu that has been my daily drinker for some years now (Upton’s “celestial tribute”). In a way that I can’t entirely put my finger on, this softer profile allows the cup to “open up” and something more than the usual wet cave stone and forest loam begin to come out.

Be aware this brick is tightly packed and you will want something better than a paring knife to pick it apart.

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