Review: Thunderbolt Tea Castleton Moonlight (DJ-118) (2nd Flush 2012)

Darjeeling Tea, Oolong Tea, Single Estate Tea, Thunderbolt Tea Add comments
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Thumbs up!"The smell was like a return to spring."
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The Castleton estate was new to my attention last year, but quickly became one of my favorites by producing one particularly exquisite oolong. It quickly became my favorite Darjeeling of the entire year's crop. I even had the chance to compare the first flush version to the second flush- the latter of which being magic-incarnate. I hoped the same would be the case this year.

Through a tea swap, I was able to acquire some Moonlight 2012 second flush put out by another vendor. And...it was simply awful. I don't know if it was a matter of shipping, spoiling, rotting. It tasted like rotten spinach - easily the worst Darjeeling of 2012. However, I wanted to give it a second chance through a different outlet.

Thunderbolt kindly sent me a batch of Moonlight along with some other Darjeelings, which arrived - oh - just today! (October 16th, 2012, mind you.) The leaves were dazzling in their greens and browns; there were even some silver tips in the fray. The smell was like a return to spring.

I went a little stronger on this one, and opted out of gongfu-ing it like I did with Darjeeling oolongs of yore. I brewed 2 tsps. in a pint mug of boiled water for three minutes. A little less delicate than I'm used to with Darjeelings, but I was just that excited.

The liquor brewed up amber with a dazzling reisling-like aroma - sweet, fruity, mildly dry. Taste-wise, it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It had a bit of a muscatel front, followed by an apply/grapy middle, and trailed off nicely with no astringency. Dare I say it was within neck-and-neck of last year's offering? Yes, I dare.

At the time of this writing, this was sold out. In fact, many sold out of the Moonlight second flush within months of receiving it. No surprise really. I would've hoarded it.

— To purchase Thunderbolt Tea Castleton Moonlight (DJ-118) (2nd Flush 2012), or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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