Shah has recommended this tea to me recently and I am glad he did (i.e., thanks Shah!) for two reasons - first, it made me discover finepuer and sampletea, second, it made me discover this particular tea.
Although I think that Yongde is a sort of darker brother to Mengku, dry leaves smell in such a way that I could hardly tell it is not Mengku. On the other hand, I'm quite miserable when it comes to telling things about tea based on the aroma of dry leaves.
And a detail... it looks like there are spider legs in the bottom left corner, does it not?
Wet leaves smell good, pleasant and very much "going together", nothing sticking out. There is a soft-ish mixture of wood barkk, leather, darker fruit (plums?) and a bit of incense. Here, I believe that the incense aroma is quite natural, it just appears in some teas.
The taste is quite alike to the aroma - the liquor is sweet, fruitish (ripe plums), woody-leathery and a hint of incense. This could sound like a light pleasant drink, but it is a bit "darker" - not in color (in that too) - rather in the dark/light side of Force. The taste is slightly muted (by the thickness of the liquor I guess), but not too badly.
The bitterness is low, but the small piece of bitterness does not transform too much (it's the kind of bitterness I associate with wild growing trees). On the other hand, astringency is quite high here.
Although the taste is quite nice, the best in this tea comes, I believe, after the taste. The cooling feeling is quite good and lasts many steepings - it's like tiny crystalline spiders wove a cooling net all around the mouth cavity. Then, a pleasant and "friendly" energy embalms the mind. When I consciously awoke from the nice state of peace, I realized that the tiny bit of bitterness still does not transform, that the aftertaste is not particularly interesting and that the high astringency makes a slightly unpleasant feeling in mouth. But all these things are forgotten of one wants to "live" the tea, instead of mere analysis.
This tea is a bit different from what I usually drink, but it is not different enough for me not to enjoy it. I actually enjoyed it a lot. I like how the tea does not have significant weak spots (I guess that the high astringency should age away eventually) and it has certain components amply developed. It is a good contrast to the 2003 Bada which surprised me by its great taste and very nice feeling afterwards, while this tea had "only" nice taste, but performed great after the liquor is swallowed.
The 500g cake costs $58, which is about $46 per 400g cake and that is a very good price for such a high quality tea. Good that it has not been made by anyone famous for I'm afraid it could be sold for a lot more money.