Oloroso Extraviejo 1/7 El Maestro Sierra

When they say “extra old” they really mean it. According to the ficha this has an average age of 80 years of oxidative ageing from a solera of only 7 botas (hence the 1/7) although fed in turn by 1/14 solera – which produces wines of  50 years old. They don’t make much of it: 100 bottles a year – this is 70/100 from 2014 (they also release 300 of the 50 year old). I love the recommended pairing – a good book.

The colour is a beautiful rich chestnut brown and there is real singe on the nose – furniture polish or extremely concentrated walnut. Sweetness in the nose too – real burnt butter caramel.  As the glass warms and empties there are more aromas – pine wood chips/cedar cigar matches and old tobacco. (My grandad was a pipe smoker and this took me back a bit to his attic.)

On tasting there is sweetness on the tip of the tongue but then a spike of acidity and those walnutskin, wood and tobacco flavours. It doesn’t seem astringent or harsh but there are highly concentrated flavours, that walnut again, then really dry dusty flavours and a long caramel finish but one that dries the mouth a little.

An elegant and spicey drink – all you need is the good book because it has the cigar incorporated!

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