Regular readers may remember the frantic Internetly amusement (and corresponding nuclear fall-out) caused by the 2005 Douji / Yisheng cakes, which come in red / purple colours and, seemingly, spring / autumn variants. I loved the 2005 Douji "Purple", and later compared the 2005 Douji "Red Autumn" with the 2005 Yisheng "Red", deciding that both were lovely, but that the latter was outstanding. My original thoughts on the Yisheng may be found here, which remain unchanged after much subsequent tasting.
Being a good sort, Scott of Yunnan Sourcing made some of the 2005 Douji "Red Spring" available, also known as the "Hongyisheng" (red "Yisheng", referring to the characters in the centre of the wrapper, and not to be confused with the 2005 Yisheng cake, which was mentioned above). These went for a relatively decent $62 - Scott's prices remain very fair.
The distinguishing factor here is that the cake is a 400g chubster, as marked on the wrapper, whereas the autumnal version is the usual 357g (and which is not marked on the wrapper). I have a cake of the autumnal version from Taobaowang, which was the source of the comparative article, and so look forward to comparing this spring version to it. We would assume, a priori, that this spring cake is probably more gutsy, which is A good Thing.
The good-sized leaves, pictured above, have a slight rustiness about their colour, which gives me hope for some decently-aged material. The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the tasting...
I like pudding, and I like this tea. The aroma is a punchy, heavy tobacco, which is just charming. Despite the heaviness, it remains bright and cheerful, with a good potency. It unfolds into a robust maltiness that is distinct from that sometimes associated with hongcha-style processing / accidents.
Bear in mind, gentle Reader, that Douji cakes usually adhere to a fairly consistent house style, and this cake is no exception. If you like that dark, dense character, then this cake will probably thrill you. If you are a drinker of tieguanyin, this may not be for you. Let the chips fall where they may.