(Brunner: Mich&Bo's w Ads, Just, Paul and Newan) Dark, viscous, inviting, with salted caramel, soy, preserved wintermelon, hospital/lab disinfectant, teak/mahogany, toasted walnut/pecans, oyster sauce, butter menthol, treacle, golden and maple syrup. Unending layers of complexity waiting to be teased out, peeled and enjoyed. Focused, balanced, tight, yet with an intriguing lightness and softness to it all. No fireworks, just a constant, glowing ember, ending long and sustained with eucalypt menthol notes, lingering well into the night. Remarkable stuff! [edit May2014: Apparently made in the the mid/late 70's before the truth in labelling laws were required: a tawny port blended from a range of years the average of which was 1956, meaning there's stuff older + younger than 1956!]
Dinner at Michelle and Boren's (Sydney, Australia): This had a really complex, interesting nose, with musky shades of earth, mahogany wood and a whiff of penicillin wed to malty aromas of pecan pie, treacle and golden syrup. The palate was still really sweet even after over sixty years, so much so that I thought this needed more acidity. However, it was far from imbalanced or cloying. In fact, it was actually really yummy, with rich, thick flavours that echoed the nose in tones of treacle and golden syrup, pecan pie and malt, sprinkled with sweet five spice notes over a molasses filled finish. This had superb complexity wed to a delicious more-ishness. Almost perched between a vintage Port and an old Madeira in character, it was a unique wine of real character. A treat.
(Chens@BengHiang) Toffee coloured, cloudy in glass, with a rich nose of toffee, raisins, plums and dried prune, salted caramel, butterscotch and dark chocolate, and a very beautiful and inviting medicinal smell (phenols+creosote?) which immediately brings JY back to Papa's old lab. Floral honey notes on the palate, with elegant smoke and tar, friendly old cupboards, ethyl ester sweetness, glycerol viscosity, finely textured with still some dusty velvet tannins, giving way to more caramel softness and butter menthol, ending with tingling eucalypt. Drinking beatifully now, this port is evocative, evanescent, complex, and beautiful on it's own, but gosh, it went even better with BengHiang's signature Kong-Ba-Pau (hokkien-style braised pork-belly-fat buns) - fitting hand-in-glove. Breathtaking.
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