My love of El Dorado rums is no secret….I seem to talk about them to friends at every opportunity and sing their praises on a weekly basis. I’ve always thought that the older a rum, the better it is, but that opinion belonged to my younger, more naïve self. Having tried a few rums by the same producers, I’ve discovered that this is not necessarily the case. There are some amazing young rums. Fortunately for me, Love Drinks who are the UK distributor for El Dorado were kind enough to furnish me with a small sample bottle of El Dorado 21.
For the in-depth background on the El Dorado rums and DDL, it is worth familiarising / reacquainting yourself with my El Dorado 15 write-up found here…….
Right, now that you’re all refreshed, I can tell you that El Dorado 21 is a blend of rum from 3 stills…..the only remaining wooden Coffey still, a column still and a unique wooden pot still. Hot on the heels of the award-winning El Dorado 15, the El Dorado 21 itself is no slouch when it comes to plaudits. It scored 98 out of 100 at the 2007 Beverage Tasting Institute of Chicago, the highest mark ever handed to a rum. It also won Best in Class in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 at the IWSC and a Gold Medal at Canada’s International Rum Festival.
The above is all well and good, but what you really want to know is how it tastes…..so here we go…..
In the glass: The rum is dark bronze, oily and looks like it’ll be more of a snack than a drink. When I swirl the glass, slow walls of droplets slide down the sides….a little like a melting iceberg. I instantly smell brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and toffee. As the glass sits I can pick up orange, spice and chocolate. It smells massively complex, revealing new aromas as the glass sits. This smells like it will be very sweet.
In the mouth: As soon as the rum hits my tongue my mouth is enveloped by sweetness. What does surprise me is how dry the rum is….I didn’t expect that. There is instant heat and warmth and I can pick up dates, spicy oak and toffee, immediately followed by an almost coffee like taste. This is definitely robust and full-bodied. It’s so oily you feel like you could bite into it. It is massively complex with layer upon layer of flavours. There is absolutely no burn, just spice, chocolate and date-like toffee lingering in my mouth long after the rum has gone. Later there is an aroma of leathery tobacco left on the glass…..its definitely a keeper!
This is certainly a special occasion rum with a price point of around £75. I don’t think that you’d ever be disappointed with the rum at any point but when you can pick up a bottle of the 15yr old and 12yr old for a total of around £76, with my income level, I’d probably look to buy the two younger offerings. I just feel that given the price, I wouldn’t enjoy it as often as I enjoy the 12 and 15. If money were no object…..I’d have a shelf brimming with the stuff.
It offers a completely different experience to the younger rums, they are most certainly a family and each offers its own stand out traits…..so if you do have the money and the desire to invest in something that would give you endless evenings of joy….go for it!
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