Welcome to Entry Proof - a blog about Whisk(e)y, Rum, Beer, and more. Cheers.

El Dorado Luxury Cask Aged Vertical Review

El Dorado Luxury Cask Aged Vertical Review

The El Dorado "Luxury Cask Aged" line of rums is produced at the Diamond Distillery on the island of Guyana and is owned by Demerara Distillers Limited. The Diamond Distillery is now the last remaining rum distillery in Guyana. DD houses a number of stills from famous rum distilleries that have closed on the island including 3 of the Caribbean's only remaining wooden pot stills. Difford's Guide goes into some great detail concerning the 9 different stills that operate at the Diamond Distillery including other production and historical info. There is a great write up on the Diamond Distillery tour over at the Rum Howler Blog. If you really want to nerd out on all aspects of DDL, production and the history of Guyana rum check out Barrel Aged Mind.

The El Dorado brand was first launched in 1992 with the release of the 15 year old rum.  The Luxury Cask Aged line is comprised of 4 age stated rums:  12, 15, 21, and 25 year old. These rums all start out with molasses that is produced from 100% Demerara sugar. DDL propagates their own propriety yeast on site in a three stage process. Rums from the 9 different stills are barreled, aged, blended and then allowed to age for an additional amount of time to allow the blend to "marry." What truly amazes me is that each rum in this review represents a different blend comprised of barrels from multiple stills. Its also worth noting that the age statement represents the youngest rum in the blend as opposed to the Solera method of aging which states the oldest rum in the blend.  

El Dorado 12

Cost: $14 per pour at a bar that will remain unnamed on the island of Saint Martin (French side). Full bottle price should be around $30.

Proof: 80

Age: Youngest rum is 12 years

Distillery: Diamond Distillery (Demerara Distillers Limited), Guyana. 

Stills: Rum from Enmore Coffee still, Diamond Coffey still and the Port Mourant double wooden pot still. Aged in Ex-Bourbon casks. 

Cask: Ex Bourbon barrels.

Mashbill: Molasses produced from local Demerara sugar.

Pour: 2oz in a snifter

Nose: Big blast of alcohol at first followed by orange flavored gum, sugar cookies, dark brown sugar, and root beer.

Palate: Mouthful is thick and sticky sweet. Lots of molasses, powdered ginger and five alive. 

Finish: A fairly short finish with black pepper, caramel and more ginger. 

Score: 2.5/5

El Dorado 15

Cost: $15 per pour at Avantika, Sint Maarten (Dutch Side). Full bottle ranges between $35 and $45 depending on location. 

Proof: 80

Age: Youngest rum in the blend is 15 years, some as old as 25 years.

Distillery: Diamond Distillery (Demerara Distillers Limited), Guyana

Stills: Enmore Coffey still, Diamond Coffey still, Port Mourant double wooden pot still, and the Versailles single wooden pot still.

Cask: Ex Bourbon barrels. 

Mashbill: Molasses produced from local Demerara sugar.

Pour: 2oz in a Ron Zacapa gift set tumbler

Nose: Some alcohol on the nose. sugared and zested oranges, powdered ginger, sugar cookies

Palate: Thick and oily mouthfeel. Honey and lemons, brown sugar, orange marmalade, fresh ginger. 

Finish: Long finish that starts with a healthy dose of brown sugar, some black pepper and finally more fresh ginger. 

Score: 3/5

El Dorado 21

Cost: $24 per pour at a bar that will remain unnamed on the island of Saint Martin (French side). Full bottle ranges between $85 and $100 depending on location.

Proof: 80

Age: Youngest rum in the blend is 21 years. 

Distillery: Diamond Distillery (Demerara Distillers Limited), Guyana

Stills: Enmore Coffey Still, the Versailles single wooden pot still and the Albion Savalle still. 

Cask: Oak barrels. 

Mashbill: Molasses produced from local Demerara sugar.

Pour: 2oz in a snifter

Nose: Faint wafts of alcohol but restrained. Flambeed oranges, orange zest, blackstrap molasses, vanilla ice cream, and pickled ginger. Richer in aromas compared to the ED15.

Palate: Thick and oily mouthfeel. Caramel, brown sugar, sour citrus and oranges, and fresh ginger.

Finish: Long, long finish. Black pepper, caramel, citrus lemon/orange/pineapple, and fresh ginger. 

Score: 3.5/5

El Dorado 25

Cost: $70 per pour at a bar that will remain unnamed on the island of Saint Martin (French side). Full bottle ranges between $500 and $600 in US. 

Proof: 86

Age: 25 Years

Vintage: 1986

Distillery: Diamond Distillery (Demerara Distillers Limited), Guyana

Stills:  Rum blended from multiple stills but unspecified.

Cask: Ex Bourbon barrels. 

Mashbill: Molasses produced from local Demerara sugar.

Pour: 2oz in a snifter

Nose: A hint of alcohol on the nose, just enough to let you know its there. Sugared plums, dates and candied oranges, white pepper. More dark, dried fruit than citrus. 

Palate: Dense, velvety mouthfeel. Lots of dark, dried fruits with a hint or orange citrus. Fig newtons, California dates, milk chocolate, and shortbread.

Finish: Very nice, long finish with a warmth that coats the mouth and esophagus. Dates, milk chocolate, nougat, brown sugar. 

Score: 4.5/5

Favorite: The El Dorado 25 is truly a spectacular rum and by far my favorite of the bunch. Also the best packaging of the lot - bottled in a glass decanter with a tube similar to single malt scotches. This was dessert in a glass for me - everything I could want in a rum. The price tag however is killing me. I can not personally justify spending $500 - $600 on a single bottle of anything. Should that stop you from trying it? No. If you have the opportunity to try this rum go for it. There will be no regrets. 

Best Value: The 12, 15, and 21 all have a similar backbone that is different from the 25 year expression. Each of these are bursting with citrus and ginger as opposed to the dessert notes that dominate the 25. For me the 15 year is such a fantastic value especially for the jump in quality from the 12. The 21 is great but you are paying nearly 2x compared to the 15 and are not getting the same jump in quality.

I personally love single casks but with a few exceptions blends don't get a lot of love these days. If you are a bourbon fan you have undoubtably heard of High West Distillery who blends ryes, bourbons and single malts from multiple distillers together to create delicious whiskeys. If you are a scotch fan you have likely heard of Compass box who blend single malt scotches and grain whiskies. El Dorado rums are in many ways similar to this practice because the rum coming off each still is unique and unlike the next (as if it came from a different distillery entirely). Each of these rums is a unique experience because the rum istself is a blend crafted from barrels of different ages from a combination of unique stills. Think about that if you get the opportunity to try any of these rums - blending truly is an art form

Disclaimer - The rating system typically used for these reviews is based on a combination of quality and value. For this vertical writeup I decided to do something different and score purely on quality and save my thoughts on relative value until the conclusion. 

I also want to thank The Lone Caner for clearing up some incorrect information as well as pointing me towards the Barrel Aged Mind.

Recommendations: Try all of them.

- Mark @ Entry Proof

Old Weller Antique 107 Review

Old Weller Antique 107 Review

Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel

Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel