Keemuns vary so much, not only from year to year...but there are all different grades. I have several 2005 Keemuns, some better than others, but none as good as in years past, bad years happen to all tea produicing countries. Keemun tends to be strong...sometimes knock your socks off strong. My Keemun supplier will state if a tea is smokey. If it is , they have other keemuns to choose from. I don't care for smokey tea either. I still have several 2004 Keemun that have a nice sweet aroma and some with an amazing sublime chocolate aroma (they are unflavored!!!)
Steve, I would not give up on them yet...I know it can be frustrating. If you like a strong bracing cup of tea in the morning, nothing beats Keemuns. The 2005 Mao Fengs were better than the keemuns, but again there's variety there.
I used to get equally frustrated with Darjeeling. There are so many estates and grades. I want my Darjeeling full of fruity and/or flowery aroma and taste and not too astringent. I have not been disappointed lately.
But it took patience...a lot of patience till I figured it out. And asking for advice from my suppliers. If you never ask the right question, you won't get the answer you need in order to make an informed decision.
Keemun, I have to admit, I am still working on.
Try using a little less tea and make sure you brew it for 4-5min...or even a little longer. I use a scale, 2.25 grams (the exact weight of a new dime) for a 6oz. cup.