The doubts are forgetten when the little package is opened though. The aroma is so sweet, honey-like, with dried plums. A part of it must have been in the original material, but certain balance and sort of sweetness is, in my opinion, to be found mostly in a slightly aged tea. The leaves are quite green (possibly more than the photograph suggests), but no trivial floralness is to be found there - it is a balanced, summer-like meadowy good aroma.
With a rinse, the beautiful spectrum is made only more beautiful and sweet.
The taste can not really hold the extraordinary fullness and sweetness of aroma, but it is still very good nevertheless. It is smooth and thick, but feels perhaps a little empty (this is a criticism of a very good tea overall, it is not like this tea is hollow as a trunk of a tree from King's quest). The taste character is similar as the aroma suggests - mostly honey with dried plums. It is quite pleasantly light in character - a very friendly tea indeed.
The taste lasts... oo ... long! It is also rather active for this genre too - no dull flowery soup at all.
It rather reminds me of aged Dong Ding tea - I had one or two of these which, on top of the lovely taste spectrum, had the full fullness a tea can offer, which is why I considered them better. But for a rather casual oolong drinker such as me, the price difference is simply not worth it. This 2006 Benshan sells for $6 per 50g, which is basically a joke. For $8-10 per 50g, I'm used to decent oolongs, without major faults, but often lacking in aroma, being too bitter, etc. This tea is simply better than that - it is not an awesome oolong perhaps, but very good nevertheless. Yum!
The next post will have a look at a 1999 Tie Guan Yin, which offers quite a different experience.