El Dorado 12 year old review

20150423_094454What is it? Guyanese rum blended from 2 stills that are now operated by DDL (Demerara Distillers Limited); the dominant component being from the Diamond Distillery two column metal Coffey still and some backing performances from one of the Enmore stills (wooden Coffey still). Actually at least 12 years old, so that’s nice. Molasses based.

40% abv, coloured, filtered.

Sugar? Yep. Sugar test lists on-line show this is around 35 grams per litre – that’s quite a lot.

Nose: Oak. Immediately there is wood on the nose, some liquorice and a touch of aniseed. A little tar, some petrol and smoke. Once the savoury notes die down there is some sweet honeycomb, caramel, almost bourbon’esc. A lot going on in there, lovely nose.

Palate: Sweet delivery, shame – too much sugar. Good mouth-feel. The sweet hit moves out of the way and then it’s oak again, but more restrained than on the nose. Little of that liquorice with the smoke and then it gets fruity; bananas and that dried tropical fruit that you get in those snack packs in the “healthy” section of supermarket aisles. This actually reminds me of single pot still Irish whiskey, think Redbreast 15 year old if you’ve ever had that.

Finish: Medium in length and stays sweet; that honeycomb is back, caramel, some vanilla and a touch of milky coffee. A little tiny bit of smoky leather in there somewhere too. Given the sugar that is in this it’s not bad at all actually, sticky on the lips still but the sugar isn’t dulling it down half as much as I expected.

Thoughts? Good rum this. I know it’s been sweetened, but there are plenty of savoury notes in there to stop it running away with itself. It’s obviously aimed at mass market and if they took the sugar out I imagine that it’d be unpalatable for the majority of people (read: too interesting, complex and challenging). They know their target audience, they know they have a sweet tooth and they are giving them what they want – can’t argue with that I suppose. In the end it’s got a good level of complexity and a nice balance between the flavours it’s offering, personally I’d like it less sweet but that just my personal preference.

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