Famous rock oolong cultivar which is classified as one of the Si Da Mingcong's (the famous bushes of Wuyi Rock Oolongs). This tea has a premium price tag because the Golden Turtle cultivar does not yield high amounts of tea and the production process is very skilled and secretive. This one is top shelf Shui Jin Gui from the protected area of Zhengyan in Wuyi. It has intense Rock Rhyme of Yan Yun.
I have been tasting the top range Wuyi Cultivars for decades and there are a few which will always command high prices such as Tie Luo Han (Iron Monk), Bai Ji Guan (White Crest) and this Shui Jin Gui (Golden Turtle). Most of the time I feel that whilst they tend to be above average teas, the price is not justified compared with the experience. However, sometimes I am sent tea like this which, despite the high ticket price, is such a pure experience of what makes Rock Oolongs (Yan Cha) so special, that I had to buy a tiny quantity (5kg).
This Golden Turtle is everything that you would want from a Yan Cha in terms of flavour and aroma - dried cherries, vanilla, leather, chocolate and charred woods. However, what I love about this tea is the Yan Yun (Rock Rhyme). Yan Yun is an often discussed quality marker for Wuyi Rock Oolongs, but it can be a little confusing to define. For us, Rock Rhyme is the sensation of the tea after swallowing - the echo or reverb of the tea. In practice, this means the combination of a few things - a mineral, almost metallic sensation on the tongue, a sweet and flooding juiciness in the mouth and throat, and a thick, vaporous aroma which rises and falls as you breathe.
If you would like to experience full-on Yan Yun then I highly recommend grabbing this limited batch tea while you can, it is the pinnacle of Rock Oolong.