El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
Rum Review: El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum 92/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted September 23, 2012
The Diamond Distillery sits on the East Bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, Guyana. The Distillery was originally part of the Diamond Estate which was the last of the Sugar Plantation Estates in Guyana to produce rum. Now, of course, it is home to Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) who are popular across the world for their rich, Demerara Rum. Using a combination of venerable old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, DDL, has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean Rum to Europe and North America.
The El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum is a blend of aged rums created to mark the turn of the millennium. It is blended from 25-year-old rum stocks which have been aged in used bourbon oak casks. This is quite different from those rums which feature a solera style age statement which highlights the oldest rum in the blend but also usually includes a high percentage of rum which is much younger.
I have been fortunate enough to have been allowed to taste this vintage rum on several different occasions over the past several years. This review is based upon the most recent bottling available in here in Alberta, Canada.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
The Eldorado 25 Year Old Rum arrives in the squat rum decanter shown to the left. The presentation has what I will call an ‘old-world’ charm. It is a masculine look that has class but does not seem overly pretentious or ostentatious. I like the crystal topped cork closure, and I am happy to report that over the last six months when I have sipped from my current bottle, I have seen no evidence of deterioration. The metal canister which houses the rum is quite nice too, and makes a great impression on my rum shelf.
In the Glass 9.5/10
In the glass, the El Dorado 25 Year Old displays itself as a rich bronze coloured rum with tinges of red. A tilt of my glass and a slow twirl reveals an army of thick droopy leglets which crawl slowly down the inside of my glass back into the rum. The immediate nose brings forward rich notes of dark caramel and molasses; baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon); nuts (walnuts and pecans); dry fruit (dates, figs and raisins); smokey tobacco; and lots of rich oak spice. Allowing the glass to sit brings wisps of dark Christmas fruitcake and bittersweet chocolate into the breezes above the glass as well.
In the Mouth 54.5/60
The rum is sweet on the initial delivery with flavours of rich dark brown sugar leading out in front of delicious baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves). Obvious flavours of dry fruit (raisins and dates) follow, accompanied by an oaken spiciness and impressions of fine port wine dipped cigars. There is an underlying nutty bitterness which reminds me of walnuts and pecans. This bitter component actually works extremely well with the sweetness of the Demerara sugar noted earlier. Somewhere in this mix of wonderful flavour is a chocolate covered Turkish Delight candy bar.
In the Throat 14/15
The exit is filled with flavours of dates and raisins which are followed by impressions of lush dark brown sugar. Baking spices and heated oak spices settle onto the palate and into the back of the throat. This finale is well worth an encore.
As mentioned earlier, I have been lucky enough to try the El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum at various times (and in various settings) during the past couple of years. I have noticed that each time I taste this rum, it seems to me to be just a little different than it was the time before. Because the stocks available for producing the El Dorado 25 are quite small each year, this kind of variation from batch to batch is not unexpected.
It is also true that every time I taste this rum, I am reminded of another great El Dorado Rum, the El Dorado Special Reserve 15 Year Old. It seems to me that these two rums must share a similar heritage. Although the El Dorado’s 15 Year Old Rum is wonderful, their 25 Year Old Rum raises the bar even higher. Its flavour is more refined and elegant, and as a result the rum is wonderful sipping experience.
For those who are interested here are links to my reviews of some of the other rums from El Dorado:
- El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum
- El Dorado Deluxe Silver 6 Year Aged Rum
- El Dorado 5 Yr Cask Aged Rum
- El Dorado Single Barrel ICBU
- El Dorado Single Barrel PM
- El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
- El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
- El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
- El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
- El Dorado Spiced
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)