Review: El Dorado Versailles 2006 Single Still Demerera Rum / by Jason Hambrey

12 Years Old
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

Another single still rum from El Dorado, this time coming from a single wooden pot still which was originally from the platation versailles that was established on the West Bank of the Demerera river in the 18th century. The still has a copper alembic and lyne arm coming out of the pot, and the distillate goes through a rectifying column before being condensed and barrelled.

The still itself has travelled a bit as distillleries closed or consolidated - it moved from Versailles to Enmore to Uitvlught to El Dorado’s Diamond Estate.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: Distilled in 2006

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The rum here is incredibly savoury – black olive, miso, soy sauce, vegetable broth concentrate – but also with firm earthiness, fresh leather, and dark chocolate throughout. The palate follows suit from the nose – complex, rich, interesting, unique, and not very accessible. The finish is rich, oaky, and loaded with baking spice, molasses, and a rich umami-like brothy character. I really like it. You would think it’s closer to a Jamaican style than a Guyanese one – no surprise, I suppose, given the impacts of pot stills.

I find this rum incredibly interesting, and there is no doubt at all as to why it is so important in El Dorado blends. However, while it is intriguing and enjoyable – I wouldn’t want two of these in a row. One to brood over….yet I wonder if the profile might become addictive with its richness and earthiness, and therefore my perspective might change with more time.

Assessment: Highly Recommended.