TN: Two Oldies...(short/boring)

MattRorick was in town last Fri, so I was able to impose my desserts on him:
16. Pedro Domecq Venerable Very Rare PedroXimenez Sherry (Btl drawn: 17/6/81; Btl#34; 17%) Jerez NV (late 1800’s) :
Inky black/brown color; very intense raisened/pruney/PX some fumey/alcoholic quite complex very exotic nose;
intensely sweet/syrupy raisened/pruney exotic complex flavor; very long/lingering very intense raisened/pruney
intensely sweet/syrupy complex finish that was held up to view andcoats the tongue and just goes on & on; like drinking 60W motor
oil; the sweetest most intense PX that I’ve ever had; alcohol on the nose but not on the palate; like drinking
liquid raisens; words can’t begin to describe this wine; you just stand in awe of its intensity. $35.00 (CB)

  1. TomHill Venerable FruitCake (raisens/dried apricots/dried cherries/dried cranberries/brown sugar/molasses + much bourbon/rum/liqueurs over 30 yrs; w/ Orange CremeAnglaise) 1986: Very dark brown/near black color; weak bit gingerbready/candied fruits/liqueur concentrate classic varietal fruit cake complex nose; rather sweet very intense fruit cake bit crumbly some crunchy (sugar crystals) molasses/dried fruits concentrated complex flavor w/ no tannins; med.long rather sweet molasses/dried fruits crumbly/crunchy finish that leaves a gritty residual coating your mouth; pretty exotic stuff the texture of a very dense brownie. Creme Anglaise not very sweet and a slight bitter finish from the Boijan Orange Oil.

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. Fruitcake: A 30 yr old fruit cake?? Therin must lie a story? Indeed!!
    1986 was my first Christmas after my divorce and I was trying to help the kids deal w/ it, so we did a lot of cooking over Christmas. One such project was 3 fruit cakes…the bane of all Christmas treats. This was the last of those three fruitcakes, the other two long ago consumed.
    I was inspired by a story I’d read about 2 guys. One bought a fruitcake and gifted it to his buddy for Christmas. The next Christmas he re-gifted it back to his buddy. This exchange went on, thru the 2’nd generation, for almost 100 yrs. Finally, one of the sons was inspired to cut into this very old (by now) fruitcake and pronounced it as “edible”. I thought surely I, a top-level scientist, could do better.
    So I wrapped the fruit cake in cheesecloth and SaranWrap & aluminum foil and stuck it in the fridge. Every December, I’d dutifully unwrap the fruit cake and douse it w/ more liquid: bourbon/rum/fruit liqueurs of assorted flavors/Amaretto/brandy. And carefully re-wrap it and return it to its hallowed spot in the fridge.
    Over the yrs, I’d occasionally offer it to people to use as a dessert course at their dinners. My offer was always met w/ a roll of the eyes upward and a dutiful “thank you…but not this time”.
    This little ritual went on for 15/20/25 yrs. Finally, I decided, with a captive audience, it was “time” to have this fruit cake after 30 yrs.
    I plucked it from its resting spot in my fridge and trundled it down to Susan’s for dinner w/ Matt Fri night. My serving a 30-yr old fruit cake was met w/ a great deal of skepticism. It was originally baked a standard meat loaf pan. Over the yrs, it had atrophied till it was less than half its original size. And it was heavy/dense…not too unlike delta-phase plutonium…but far less, presumably, toxic.
    The aluminum foil/SaranWrap package was unwrapped to a lot of ohhhs & ahhhhs. Finally, the cheesecloth was gently peeled off from the cake and held up for all to view. It had all the appearances of the venerated Shroud of Turin. A round of applause went up for my effort.
    It was sliced into small slices and served w/ an Orange Creme Anglaise. And, according to all reports from those in attendance, it tasted pretty danged good. Even the one skeptic who had mocked & belittled my proffered desert seemed to like it…unless she was just being polite.
    So…the end of a good fruitcake run?? Nope…I’ve another one in the fridge receiving the same treatment. It dates back only to 2011. Alas, I’ll probably not see that one at 30 yrs. But it is part of my legacy that I will bequeath to my children and, presumably, they will see it out to its 30-yr life span. Or maybe 40 or 50 yrs. Who knows??

  1. PX: This is the original Domecq Venerable PX Sherry. According to the story I seem to recall, DarrellCorti was visiting the Domecq cellars in the early 80’s. He was allowed to try the PX from a solera that was laid down in the middle 1800’s. It was occasionally withdrawn from to sweeten their Cream Sherries. He immediately asked if they would sell him a case from this Solera. They complied and this became their Venerable Sherry. They subsequently released an occasional Venerable PX, but eventually just labeled it as 30-yr old PX Sherry.
    This btl was from that original Corti buy. It was in my orphan stash in the garage…but seemed to have survived the treatment. Maybe even benefited from it…who knows.
    Anyway…it was the ideal accompaniment to a 30-yr old fruitcake. A great way to end a long evening.

Great story! Can’t think of a better convergence of Forlorn Hope.

If Mr. Rorick does not succumb from your “generosity” I expect a solera-style blend to be in the works.

Actually, Kyle, given Matt’s proclivities for things off-normal, this is something we were talking about. But it would not be PX
and a 150-yr old wait on the solera is a stretch even for Matt.

Really delightful story, Tom, a very worthy share for us to read.


Well, Mike…it created chaos over on the FB (FruitcakeBerserkers) board!!! [snort.gif]


Best fruitcake TN ever!

Inspirational post! Thanks for sharing.

I don’t know what made me click on this … first login in months, generic TH subject line … just a sixth sense I guess.

best TN ever!

Minds me of when I used to schlep Oreos of rare flavour over to London for my friend Nicos on condition that he write up the oreo tasting notes. They were always delightful too. :wink: