I had a sample of a 2005 Single Estate Meng Hai that was tough to drink due to the overpowering smoky palate until I hit infusion #10 or so, when the smokiness would give way to sweetness. I am out of the sample or I would do some testing myself, but what do you do in a situation like this? Can I give it a "rinse" of several minutes to skip the unpleasantness? Almost seems like a waste of tea.
Also, I am not sure if a 9-year old tea has much hope if the smokiness is this overpowering after years in storage, but could it subside with a few more years of storage?