El Dorado 25 Year Old Rum – 1986 Vintage

I last wrote about El Dorado Rums a good few years ago. To summaries a little about the brand, I previously compiled this information:

“El Dorado rums are produced by Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) at the Plantation Diamond Distillery. This lies on the east bank of the Demerara River, Demerara County, Guyana (which is on the north-eastern shoulder of South America). Sugar and Rum production has existed in Demerara County since the 17th Century. The big breakthrough came in the 1650’s when the British planters introduced the pivotal process of distilling. This proved to be so popular that by 1670, every sugar estate had a small still attached to it which meant that by the 1700’s there were well over 300 independent estates involved in producing their own unique rums in over 300 stills. Through time these estates and distilleries have been amalgamated to the point that the Plantation Diamond Distillery operated by DDL is the last remaining distillery in Guyana. Here they have retained the old marques, traditional skills and original stills which make Demerara Rum distinctive. With 9 different stills, there is no other rum distillery that can offer the range and variety that DDL can spread over 20 different styles of rum.”

With that said, maybe we have a look at this expensive bottling.

El Dorado 25 Year Old Rum – 1986 Vintage – 43% abv

One thing to say from the off, is that the age statements on El Dorado bottlings are pretty much bullet proof. What you get with it is a minimum age….not aged up to. Looking to obtain blend component information I was struggling to unearth a complete list but a glance at the review of the 1988 release over at Lance’s site, The Lone Caner, gave a few of the components. The blend contains, amongst others, EHP from the Enmore Wooden Coffey Still, PM from the Port Mourant Double Wooden Pot Still and AN from the Albion French Savalle Still. There have been releases so far from 1980, 1986 and 1988 and so far as I know, these components have been present in all. Presentation is suitably flashy for something that will set you back around £435 in the UK as it is still available at Drinks Supermarket in its 1986 guise. Lets see if it warrants that price tag…..

Tasting Notes

Nose: Not as giving as I’d hoped. Initial aromas are of banana caramel and thick molasses. Walnuts. Iced coffee and walnut cake. With time a maceration of prunes, raisins and dates shows itself but you have to work hard. I’d expect maybe a hint of bitterness given its age and components, but not a hint of that PM anise is present. Maple syrup like aromas and a clear and obvious sweetening. It almost smells granulated if that’s possible. A hint of light floral notes with concentration but man this is dull.

Mouth: Very thick mouthfeel….sadly I feel that it’s not from craft. Quite oily….though it feels more ‘greasy’ as is its layering of your tongue. Vanilla. Melted Quality Street Caramel Pennies. Each sip clings to your mouth in a most alarming way. That coffee and walnut cake complete with coffee icing. Mild raisin like notes like a poor quality old PX sherry. A hint of citrus oil….maybe. None of the expected oak from its 25 years. None of that enjoyable tannic bitterness that I was craving. It’s just sweet….full of dead spots and is a huge disappointment. The finish which is short, is all vanilla, oily sweetness and sweet soft liquorice. A crying shame.

If this is Super Premium, you can keep it. I’ll take entry-level.

*Hydrometer Test Result – Label stated abv 43% – Measured abv 32.5% – 39.8 g/l additives*

0.5 / 5

Very often, myself included in the past, the Rum community have given an easier ride to El Dorado given the fact that they have such a collection of heritage stills at DDL. But one evening I contemplated this approach…..and I questioned myself. I’ve seen reasoning that this product is nowhere near as bad as a lot of products like Bumbu, Don Papa and the like and sure, it doesn’t taste as bad as those offerings. But ask yourself, is taking a poor distillate, filling it full of additions and then hawking it as ‘premium rum’ for £35 a bottle really worse than what’s happened here? Taking a blend of quality distillates from heritage stills and through whatever means, sweetening them to the point of removing so much character that you render it unrecognisable….and then selling it as a ‘super premium’ product for £435? I find both practices massively deceitful, and I find the latter very disrespectful. It’s such a shame as this could’ve, and should’ve been wonderful. Sadly, it’s a dull, uneventful mess.

Fortunately we have the El Dorado Rare Collection to fall back upon…….

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Our Rum and Spirits Guyana 24

Our Rum & SpiritsOur Rum & Spirits is an independent brand hailing from Germany. It is the brainchild of restaurateur Christian Nagel. Christian has been an independent restaurateur for almost 9 years initially had 2 Rums on his menu. In time this increased to over 30. In August 2011 he opened a new restaurant in the world cultural heritage town of Hildesheim called Gasthaus im Brühl. The menu there started with 35 Rums and now has over 80 due to the popularity of Rum with his guests. He began getting asked whether he had plans to sell his own Rum bottlings and this led him to source an importer of Rums within Germany. The Our Rum & Spirits brand was born. Their first bottling was a Guyana Diamond 11-year-old Rum. Only 60 bottles were available, it was 62.5% abv and was sold for 48 Euros per bottle. All have been sold except for 3 bottles kept back to be served to restaurant guests. In December 2014, Christian obtained enough bulk Rum for 100 bottles of Barbados Rum and he also purchased a barrel of Guyanese Rum to further expand the range.

Our Rum & Spirits Guyana 24 Year Old – 61.2% abv

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This Rum is from the Enmore Distillery which closed in 1993 and was distilled in their Single Wooden Pot Still which was originally located at the Versailles Distillery prior to it’s arrival at Enmore. It was distilled in December 1990 and was bottled in January 2015. The Rum is from Cask 20 which was stored in England prior to the end of 2013 when it was relocated to Germany. The barrel mark is MEV which means Main Rum Enmore Versailles…..this was not a distillery applied barrel mark. The barrel yield was 178 bottles at its cask strength of 61.2% abv and the Rum is neither coloured nor chill filtered. The Rum is a limited edition for Our Rum & Spirits and each one costs 110 Euros.

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a pale gold / straw colour in the glass. A little swirl reveals……nothing. Well, apart from a thin halo around the glass. Slowly, little beads begin to develop. They just sit there, getting slightly larger before over a period of 2 to 3 minutes, slowly and reluctantly returning home. There are immediate astringent notes along with freshly sharpened pencil aromas…..and lots of them. This Rum doesn’t give much up at all. There is a bourbon like oak, some white pepper and a fortified wine tingle. Like the colour, very light.

In the mouth: Holy Hell…..I gulped too much initially. Massive schoolboy error. Coughing ensued and I needed a sip of water. It felt like a roundhouse kick from Chuck Norris! Where did THAT come from…..its a mild-mannered, gentle beast surely?!? Apparently not! Right, now with the respect it clearly deserves. Heavy is a word that I would use. The Rum is very smoky, almost peaty. Those freshly sharpened pencils are there along with raisins, sticky dates and an all-encompassing mouthfeel. It is very spicy up front but this subsides as you sip more of the liquid. It is also very dry due to its 24 years in the barrel. It feels almost gloopy in your mouth….its not, but it feels that way. I’ve not tried many 15 year plus Demerara Rums but this has spiked my interest! I want more if this is a common theme! It slowly reveals more raisins, dates and chewy toffee. It’s a grow-er not a show-er for sure. The finish is very very long on this beautiful Rum…..in fact, I think that I can still taste it! True to the initial observations the finish is entirely consistent…..pencil shavings, oak, a wine influence, astringency and dry smoke. There is also a Bakewell Tart taste right at the end.

*edit 09.03.2015 – I finished off the last remains of the sample and continuing the woody theme, it reminded me of making wooden arrows in the garden shed as a child, that freshly sawn timber and sap aroma. There was also a faint bit of liqourice on the finish that I didn’t pick up on my initial visits*

I added a little water. The astringency is removed and the oak is calmed. This allows a muscovado sugar aroma to peep through the oak. To taste it is still warming but not as spicy. There is a slightly bitter, woody quality now. It is still very dry but with light vanilla. To be honest, keep it at full strength…..it provide a far better experience there.

This Rum is one of the oldest demerara’s that I’ve tasted and has opened my eyes a little. Such a depth of flavour and such a heavy body to the Rum……I’m afraid that my closing words have to be…..I want one!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.