I'm getting more into sherry & Madeira lately (inspired, unsurprisingly, by all the "sherry-like" descriptions of vintage beer), and I'm going to talk about it here. We might also talk about Vin Jaune. Maybe dry Szamorodni. Anything oxidized and awesome. Good local sherry spot has some special tastings for International Sherry Week, checked it out last night: This was their intro tasting, left-to-right: Bodegas Hildalgo Manzanilla "La Gitana", which I've had a few times previously -- good intro Manzanilla, briny nose, citric, very thin and astringent. Good with cheese. Gonzales Byass Palo Cortado "Leonor", had last time I was in -- pretty good a-little-of-everything PC, nice spice & berry nose, good candied orange/currant on the palate. Gonzales Byass Oloroso "Alfonso", light whiskey color, fruity (grape?) toffee nose, nice balance of richness and astringency on the palate, some raison, green walnut, and tannic grape skin stuff. Excellent. Lustau PX "San Emilio", pretty classic young PX -- looks and feels like maple syrup, tastes like raisin puree with a touch of orange zest and spice. Not really my thing. Now what I came in for... the half-price "Old & Rare" tasting. Left-to-right again: Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa En Rama, pale straw color, intense citrus pith/saline/brine nose, remarkably rich palate with pear, honey, sweet fruit-tree flowers, and a little thyme. Maybe my favorite Manzanilla I've ever tried. Bodegas Toro Albala Amontillado Viejisimo, light caramel color, bright butterscotch nose, starts off savory/briny then moves to a pecan/plum midpalate with a slight alcohol burn accentuating the classic vinous components. Not totally my thing, but exceptionally well-crafted. Gonzales Byass Apostoles, a perennial favorite of mine. Nice surprise to see it in this flight. Dark red in color, huge spice/fig/rye whiskey nose, taste of lemon zest, tart raspberry, hazelnut and almond -- perfect balance between sweet and tart. This is a palo cortado that spends the last fifteen years of its life in used PX barrels and takes the whole a-little-of-everything PC palate to a new level. Just a great sherry. Bodegas Toro Albala PX Gran Reserva 1983 (birth year sherry!), almost opaque, tons of the usual raisin balanced with a slight but pleasant mustiness, a sort of spice cake richness, almost chewy fig flavor, some floral cirtus (bergamot?), and a strong acidity that cuts through the sweetness. One of the only PXs I've ever had that I really enjoyed as a straight drink. Not pictured, I tried some Gutierrez Colosin Oloroso "Sangre y Trabajadero", dark rum color, subtle spice nose with some boozy intensity, really bright acidity with a nice walnut rancio flavor and some green/unripe fig notes. Also some Alvear Fino which was on the far end, white wine color, light grainy nose, apple & lemon on the palate.