Tuesday, December 4, 2012

El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum Review:

“RUM, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.” 
– Ambrose Bierce

Historically when people think of rum it tends to conjure up images of the high seas and swashbuckling pirates. No doubt that aspect of history is very interesting yet what interest me even more is how rum has effected American history. It could be argued that rum is the most American of all spirits. The colonists were sure drinking much more of it than anyone (or anything) else at the time of the revolution. Estimated rum consumption before the Revolution had every man, woman, and child drinking up to 3 Imperial Gallons of the stuff a year. One can only surmise that women and children were definitely at the lower end of the consumption spectrum. And it was rum, not whiskey, which George Washington persisted on serving at his 1789 inauguration. The decline of rum is much more of a debated story to be told another time, but my point of this whole speech is that a rum review sits very snugly with a blog dedicated to the “Native Spirit” of America.

As this is a whiskey blog, with a focus on Bourbon, I have not yet heavily featured other spirits. Rum is one of those categories in which I feel can openly admit my naivety. And truth be told I have never been taken by rum (until recently). It’s always been a bit too sweet. But I believe it’s always good to push oneself to try new things and expand ones palate. I don’t doubt that in time I will eventually come to love every variation of the spirit.

With a history of over 300 years and the use of wooden continuous coffey and Pot stills, El Dorado 15, from Demerara Distillers, seemed to me to be the perfect introduction to rum on this blog. Like most rum produced in the world, El Dorado 15 is a blend of multiple ages and styles produced at the distillery (15 years signifying there is nothing younger than 15 year old rum in the bottle – and possibly there is a variation of up to 25 year old rums). Due to their relative isolation, Demerara, like most rum distilleries, have multiple stills in which they produce various characteristics that will ultimately be blended into the final product. Of the three stills running at the distillery, they use a wooden coffrey still, a wooden pot still (both of which are the last working wooden stills of their kind), and a French Savalle Still. All the rum is aged in oak barrels.

El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum Review: 

Price: Around $37.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: Beautiful bottle besides the plastic cork top and plastic wax symbol.

Alcohol Content: 40% abv, 80 proof. 

Nose: Sweet almond, honey, brown sugar, marzipan and banana, Dry autumn leaves. Beach sand.

Palate: Robust yet evenly distributed and light on the tongue. Creamy honey and butter cream pie. There is Demerara smoke with hints of smooth coffee that trail off into a lightly sweet caramel banana note. The wood is reminiscent of a heavily oaked bourbon such as Makers 46 or Knob Creek, but without the harsher tannins. 

Conclusion: This is dangerously easy drinking. I went through three glasses of this stuff without even blinking. I wouldn’t suggest this as a mixer, and to be clear, that is never the intention of reviewing any of these spirits on this blog. Drink this neat – ice is really not necessary unless your sipping this on a beach somewhere. This is a highly recommended benchmark rum.

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