2011 Gold Dayi in 2018
The famous 2011 Gold Dayi has tripled in price in the last two years. Good luck finding it at less than 400$ today. I’ve tried two versions, a Korean stored and now a Taiwan stored version. This has turned out to be one of the most well-regarded post-2005 dayi productions, and as such you will have to pay an extra large Dayi surtax if you choose to buy this cake, which I can’t justify myself.
The dry leaf is smoky, not the iodine smokiness of Xiaguan and not the meaty food-smokiness one sometimes gets, but a sweeter woodsmoke. The wash is noticeably thick, smoky, sweet wood smoke.
- The initial steep is quite dark yellow and this strong yellow colour persists throughout the session. Roasty greenness comes through, with some sweetness and clear thickness. The really good aspect right away is the thickness. It also seems to give roasty hay, which reminds me right away of a hint of Banzhang style. Inspiration. Numb mouth and strong burps.
- Continued thickness. Lots of sweetness and juiciness but quite harsh – green. The type of perfume reminds me of the Peacock Mengsong, that really strange smoky perfume violet like aroma. Strongly warming. Opening airflow. Potent. ECA is mild pungent incense ash, but not very pungent and not very sweet in aroma.
- Strong sweetness with slight wateriness.
- Juicy. Long lasting oily aftertaste mouthfeel.
- Quite thick. Acidity cuts the bitterness. Still roasty green. I enjoy this but it is clearly too young.
- Very strong face heating
- Still decently good after long steep. But clearly not as potent. but still thick.
- Not that interesting. Long steep is still decently thick but it’s not so interesting.
After this session I decided to try a 2010 7542 to compare, also stored in Taiwan. This was slightly more orange/darker than the 2011 gold, and not nearly as smoky, but it was more roasty, if that makes sense. Green-roasty. It had clear initial black teabag arrival, which I didn’t like, and had a flatter taste. Thin in comparison to the 2011 gold, not as much body. But it was alerting, and very bitter. Extremely bitter in comparison to the 2011. Drying, astringent, thin texture. 2010-7542 dry and wet leaves below:
In comparison with the 2010 7542, it is clear why the 2011 gold Dayi is so well-regarded. Potent, with Banzhang notes, very thick, with decent resinous content and with plenty of aftertaste sweetness, it has a lot of good aspects. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of longevity, and it is clearly processed greener than the boutique Taiwanese brands, but it is also processed greener (and better) than for example the 901-7542, which also has some of the flaws I found in the 2010-7542. The main problem for me in the 2011 gold Dayi is its price in comparison to how interesting it is. I think if the excellent first three steeps would lead to something more interesting, this would be a very different review.