Guyana

Review: El Dorado Port Mourant 2006 Single Still Demerera Rum by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
12 Years Old
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

Another single still rum from El Dorado, this time from the wooden Port Mourant pot still. The stills were originally at the Port Mourant estate, which was founded in 1732 before moved to Uitvlught and then to El Dorado’s diamond estate. The still itself is likely between 200 and 250 years old, and it resembles a squat barrel with a copper alembic and lyne arm coming out the top. The stills are a set of two - the first feeds directly into the second still, and then a rectifying column.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: Distilled in 2006

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

What a wonderful rum! Instantly I can tell that this will be one of my favourite spirits of the year. A rich rubbery character, brilliant spices, olives, orange peel, fresh tropical fruit (jackfruit, soursop), banana leaves, clove, cinnamon, dried hibiscus flower, cacao, raspberry, banana….loads and loads of complexity and it works together so well. The palate is rich and introduces a rich savoury character, and you can still pick out so many flavours on the nose. There is a lot of texture to the palate and there is the lightest tanginess which just enhances all the flavour. The finish is rich, long, and spicy with all kinds of stuff – stale cola, cinnamon, caramel, soursop, intense rum ester notes, light sulphur, molasses, oak, and wet earth.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.


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

ABV
40%
Aging
12 Years Old
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller El Dorado (Guyana)

El Dorado in Guyana uses three distinct stills to produce their rums, and from time to time they release rums which are made from a single still and show off the character of the individual still. This one is made from the Enmore still, which is a wooden continuous still (the last of its kind that is working). It is similar in design, if not identical, to the original coffey still designed by Aeneas Coffey in 1832. The Enmore still is the last surviving still from the old Enmore Estate, which was founded in the 1880s.

As for the wood used, it is greenheart - one of the hardest woods which was also used, famously, to coat the hull’s of Shakleton’s “Endurance” and Amundsen’s “Fran” to help them resist the crushing impact of Antarctic ice.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: Distilled in 2006

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The rum is sweet on the nose, with a rich confectionary character – vanilla, icing sugar, raffaello candies – but also contrasted with a rich oak character and plenty of wet earth. It is somewhat remiscent of the 12 year old but it is purer, cleaner, and brighter. The palate is what we expect when we think El Dorado – rich, full flavoured, sweet, and spicy. There is a rich vegetal character to it – very nice, indeed, with light bourbon notes, sugarcane (actually!), and spice cake. It doesn’t nearly have the levels of sweetness that the 12 does, but it still has quite a sweet character.

Assessment: Highly Recommended.


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

ABV
40%
Aging
12 Years Old
Recipe
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.


Review: Chaga Rum (Newfoundland Distillery) by Jason Hambrey

Chaga Rum.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
5 Years
Recipe
Demerera Rum with Infused Botanicals
Distiller Newfoundland Distillery (Clarke's Beach, Newfoundland)

I really liked Newfoundland Distillery’s Gunpowder & Rose rum, so I’ve been very curious to try this one - a rum infused with Chaga mushrooms! Honey is added to the infusion, to round everything out. The 5 year old rum is sourced from Guyana, but the infusion happens in Newfoundland.

I’m evidently not the only one who liked this, as it also won best Canadian spiced rum at the World Rum Awards.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

A terrific rich rum character, with a really nice earthiness which comes not only from oak but also from a subtle deep-forest mushroom earthiness. It has a real richness to it, much like the El Dorado rums. Orange peel, rich oak, mixed roasted nuts, dried cranberries, cacao, manuka honey, prunes, and brown sugar. The palate follows the nose, but the earthiness is amped up – dense, rich, dark earth. The finish, in particular is wonderful – there is a rich molasses character and a rich, roasted earthy character that is both sharp and deep. There is a light smokiness at the end, reminiscent a bit of chipotles.

How does this compare to Gunpowder & Rose Rum? They are both terrific. The Gunpowder & Rose is extremely floral and a bit more unique, but this one is dark and rich, and amps up the rich rum character with even more richness and earthiness. It makes me appreciate the gunpowder & rose rum more, perhaps – it is extremely innovative (rose & rum!) but works really well.

If you like aged rum, and have access to this – buy it. It would be even better at 45% or 46%.

Assessment: Very highly recommended.

Value: High. $40 is very good for this.


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.