This autumn has been the strangest on record in my 13 yrs in Los Angeles, sorta like we’re getting the May gray only five months too late. Anyway, such conditions has me reaching for the ripes and some of the smokier raws.
2011 Chun Hou is a dry-stored cake that meets up to its name, rich and mellow. It is sweet with a quick huigan and a balancing hint of camphor on the back side. Together with the chocolate notes, it evokes a sense of a grown up version of Junior Mints. Will brew nicely either through prolonged infusions or gongfu style. Surprising bit of tannins to this offering that stick on the tongue after all is said and done. Has definite storage potential. Ripe.
2006 Mao. I once left this one to sit over night, perhaps two nights. When I got to it, it was wickedly sweet. This has been dry stored and frankly perfect for anyone keen on Cultural Revolution kitsche. This is good ripe pu’er, solid body, rich colour, and a bit of nuttiness. Sure to satisfy the gullet of any true revolutionary. The characters at the bottom read “Following Chairman Mao’s revolutionary path to a victorious advance.” Ripe.
The 2006 Early Spring Shengtai Organic is a tightly pressed hockey puck of a puerh that’s bound to warm the cockles of even the coldest Canadian. Still I ask, “what is a cockle?” It seems that the Ba Jia Ting is not shy about dramatic productions that are a mouthful and smoky like Xiaguan.
Take some sweet ginger cookies, distill to its essence and you’ve got 2012 Golden Dragon. A shockingly unique blend that is quite spicy given its youth. No taste of greenness, flowers, or medicine, just warming complexity, like a newly discovered blend of horchata.