Review: El Dorado 12 Year Old Demerera Rum / by Jason Hambrey

12 years; Bourbon Casks
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

El Dorado, from one of the best rum making areas of the world - Demerera of Guyana - make terrific rum. Though sweet, it is incredibly rich - paying omage, perhaps, to their name, El Dorado, the mythical city that ancient explorers sought in Guyana. Guyana's climate means that the rum produced there is aged in high humidity and high temperatures, resulting in a fast aging process. 

El Dorado has three different sites, with three different stills - a continuous wooden coffey still which is over 200 years old (and the last of its kind), two wooden pot stills with copper necks which are over 250 years old ), and a continuous copper still. These stills enable huge flexibility in the types of rum produced, with the stills producing mild and fruity rums, heavy flavourful and aromatic rums, and sweet and dry rums, respectively. The continuous column still, particularly, is very flexible, making 9 different types of rum distillate. Each of these distillates can be seen single distillate, single barrel products from each of El Dorado's stills.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Darker and oaky and generally very rich and sweet. On a side note, this makes an absolute bomb of a hot buttered rum.  Apple and vanilla comes through, as does quite a bit of orange. And of course very rich molasses notes.

Sweet on the palate with lots more orange, and a "deeper" character - it's quite rich and dense. There's a nice balance of acidity to it. The orange is quite prominent, but not too much - that rich, oaky, molasses character is very central to this. The richness makes me want to return, time and time again. Slightly sour and nutty on the finish. The finish is pleasant, and quite light. Oak, some dried fruit, and pretty good body are present in it.

To understand this, comparatively, a good reference is the Appleton Estate 12 year old. This one is richer, more oaky, and sweeter, but it is still very enjoyable. I prefer the Appleton Estate to this one, which in part is because it isn’t as sweet.

Assessment: Recommended. Nearly Highly Recommended - definitely highly recommended for using in hot cocktails like a hot buttered rum. It is sweet, but also very rich.

Value: Average.