El Dorado

Review: El Dorado 15 Year Old Demerera Rum by Jason Hambrey

El Dorado 15.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
15 years; Bourbon Casks
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

Despite enjoying the 12 (a staple of my cabinet and the best hot buttered rum base) and the rich 21 year old, I hadn't ever ventured to try the 15 year old until this summer - and it might be my favourite of the three. It is different in the distillates that go into the blend, giving it a much more earthy/funky/medicinal character that I like. Let's get to it!


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2017

The nose has sweet tobacco, licorice (black and red), dried cherry, clove, dried orange, and a slight medicinal quality. Candied anise too, and slightly rubbery. Even some dense, whole wheat cake! The palate is dense and sweet, but with an incredible balance between the tobacco spice and tannins - still retaining many of the flavours from the nose - brilliant. The finish has orange, rubber, spice, black sugar, and grape jujubes. A nice every-day rum!

Assessment: Highly Recommended.

Value: Average.


Review: El Dorado Spiced Rum by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
From molasses and spices
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

I quite like El Dorado rums, and there is little better for a cocktail than a good spiced rum. It is produced at their diamond distillery, and is produced from a mix of aged Demerera rums, cinnamon, vanilla, and citrus. 


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

 The nose is deep, with some currants and baking spice - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. The nose is relatively dry and doesn't seem like it will be as sweet. The palate is dark and deep, with some black pepper and well defined clove, ruminess, and dark molasses. This would shine through brilliantly in cocktails. Not too sweet, but the spices are just beautiful. I was going to infuse this with thyme but I am having second thoughts because of what a wonderful mixer this could be. Some pepper and biting spice on the finish.

Assessment: Not a great sipper, but it mixes fairly well. Spiced rum makes quite a nice presence in cocktails!

Value: Average.


Review: El Dorado 21 Year Old Demerera Rum by Jason Hambrey

El Dorado 21.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
21 years
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

This is one of the most well known rums in the world, in part due to its superior performance in many spirits competitions. Really, it is a benchmark for a good, incredibly rich rum. It used to be quite a bit cheaper, but, now, prices have risen quite a bit as with other aged spirits these days. It is made from a blend of three different El Dorado distillates - a wooden coffee still, a wooden pot still, and a continous still. 


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

The nose is like sticking your whole sensory perception into a stave of oak. Incredibly rich, with currants, spices, bready notes, caramel, vanilla, dried orange, mulling spice, and rich praline. The palate is oaky, with lots of oak, molasses, toffee, and continuing on with loads of spices. And terrific cedar notes. Perhaps the richest spirit I have ever tasted. Lightly tannic on the finish, which also has some dried berries, cedar, spice, mixed roasted nuts, and oak.  Terrific stuff.

Assessment: Highly Recommended.

Value: Low. While it’s on the cheaper side for a spirit of this age, the taste/price ratio isn’t as high as it could be.


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

ABV
40%
Aging
12 years; Bourbon Casks
Recipe
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.