Black sealing wax had been used to seal the cork, which was recessed into the neck of the bottle. There were signs of seepage, although these could have been from other bottles above this one in the cellar since it had a very good fill into the neck. It was a struggle to get the wax off the top of the bottle and particularly the layer that lay over the top of the cork (port tongs would have been ideal) but eventually the cork could be seen through the clear green glass of the bottle and could be seen to read “Cockburns Vintage 1950, Bottled 1952†. Removed very carefully, the cork came out intact and went into my basket of old corks. Scent on decanting was dominated by brandy, with a touch of bottle stink. I didn’t decant it cleanly as there muct have been lots of fine sediment stirred up while I was scraping the wax off the top of the bottle and I didn’t give it enough time to settle again.“CKBUR
A tasting note taken immediately.
Distinct very pale brown colour, with a green tinge on the rim and a slight hint of red in the centre. Colour and appearance very reminiscent of a very old madeira. Fusty nose dominated by the alcohol but a swirl brings out sugary and caramel tones. Harsh and bitter entry, some sweetness but the kind you find in cough sweets. Becomes more pleasant as you slurp to reveal sweet raspberries Ã¢€‟ I expect this to be very good in a few hours. Long aftertaste of burnt sugar and black coffee. 79/100 or 1/0.
A tasting note taken after 10 hours
Much darker in colour than the pale caramel when first decanted, now distinctly red but still with the green tinge on the rim. Happily, all the sediment from earlier has now settled out. The touch of bottle stink has gone. Nose now is of freshly cooked shortbread but with a real wallop of spirit. Entry still bitter and acidic and then come flavours of burnt sugar and toffee. The wine has thickened since the first tasting. On the mid-palate it is now a very pleasant tawny wine. No fruit or tannins to speak of, but lots of enjoyable sugar and butterscotch flavours. Aftertaste is quite long and with a fiery start but quickly settles down to be a long and warming rainbow of sugar flavours from dark molasses to end with light demerera. This wine now rates at 1/0 on Tom's scale (the logic being that it's certainly in the bottom 15% of the VP wines I have tried this year and it's not going to get any better) or 80/100.
Overall, I can say that I am glad to have tried this wine, it was an interesting experiment but I would not buy another bottle of Cockburn's 1950 as I am sure there are better wines around for me to use my money on.