2011 Spring Top Concubine Oolong from Hsin Chu
A more beautiful Concubine
Cultivar: Qinxin DaPang
Harvested: Spring 2011
Origin: Hsin Chu county, Taiwan
Process: medium to high oxidation and roast, rolled leaves.
The leaves are small, dark and not very tightly rolled. The brew has an excellent clarity and beautiful dark orange color. The open leaves confirm that the leaves are indeed small and therefore very concentrated with flavors. They open up well, but remain a little hard due to the strong roast.
The dry leaves have this intoxicating scent that is typical for aged Oolong. It's almost alcoholic! In this top version, the scents are a little less woody, but more dark fruity and malty. The brew produces a mix of dark sugar, molasses and dark chocolate. It's almost like whiskey! There are also heavy roast scents coming from the open leaves.
Amazingly smooth despite the concentration of flavors in the cup. It melts on the tongue, wets the throat and lasts several minutes. It has lots of sweetness.
Conclusion: This is the top version of the 2011 Concubine from Hsin Chu I've selected in the past (and that is almost sold out). It comes from the same farmer. The aromas are very similar, but here the leaves are smaller, darker and more concentrated. This is like moving from the second wine to the first wine of an estate! I recommend using an Yixing zisha teapot in order to mellow the roasting aromas.