First to write a note on this? Unbelievable.
I tried to fix the picture but I couldn’t. (Why? I tried several different ways and all I can get is more images farther down the page.)
I wasn’t sure I’d like this one from the smell of the dry leaf. It has no sweetness in the dry leaf aroma and a rather ashy fragrance that usually spells dislike for me with lapsangs.
But you can’t judge a book and all that. The aroma of the steeped tea is quite different — sweet, molasses-like, leafy and tree-like, with a lot of depth and surprisingly little smoke. The smoke is really verging on not there at all, except in the aftertaste and fortunately it doesn’t add bitterness to the lingering flavor. The liquor is dark amber with a reddish tinge and clear.
The flavor has a quality that reminds me of black coffee, but not as bitter. The smoke, molasses, and tree are all there in the flavor as well in pretty much the same way they were in the aroma. Thankfully there’s no ash, no meat, and no resin (though if you like those things in a lapsang, I guess that’s not a plus).
I’m torn because I think this is great compared to others I’ve had recently, but that’s because it departs from qualities I associate with lapsang that make me view it as a once in a while thing. If this is the sort of flavor Churchill prized, I can see why he drank lapsang daily.
I haven’t had the Samovar in a long time. I rated that one 90 as well, so I think I should taste it again sometime soon and see if adjustments are warranted.
But it makes it a bit easier to decide which is the next sipdown candidate in project lapsang sipdown. It won’t be this one.
Flavors: Coffee, Molasses, Plants, Smoke