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El Dorado Superior Dark Rum

Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum    (82.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted January 29, 2015

The Diamond Distillery sits on the East Bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, Guyana. The Distillery, originally attached to the now closed Diamond Sugar Estate, is home to Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). A few years ago, I was invited by DDL and Woodman Wines and Spirits to travel to Guyana for a very exclusive tour of DDL’s facilities with a small group of Canadian Spirits Writers and Restauranteurs.

Some of the ‘Heritage Stills’ I saw in operation at the distillery were over 250 years old, and they were still producing (as closely as possible) the same historic marques of rum which they had produced over two centuries ago. Superimposed upon the scene of ancient Stills and equipment was the dichotomy of a brand new distillation plant which had just begun to produce its own marques of rum side by side with the ancient historic stills. The new distillation plant represents a bridge to DDL’s future of new technology and methods of production. However, by continuing to operate the old plant and maintaining the unique marques of rum upon which the company built its original success, the foundations for that bridge to the future have been set firmly in their historic past.

According to recent correspondence I have had with the folks at Demerara Distillers, all rums which are branded as El Dorado Rums are blended from selected stocks of rum which were produced from DDL’s traditional Heritage Stills. (For more information on the unique Heritage Stills in operation at the Diamond distillery you may read my first hand account here (Diamond Distillery Tour).

The El Dorado Dark Rum is part of Demerara Distillers‘ superior range of El Dorado rums which also includes the Superior White Rum, and the Superior Gold Rum. These are the youngest rums in the El Dorado Range and each would be aged up to two years in American Oak barrels before being blended and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. The Eldorado Dark rum is a traditional Dark Rum. This style of rum achieves a portion of its flavour, aroma, and colour from whatever special ingredients (caramel, molasses, et cetera) are added to the blend prior to bottling. Dark rums remain very popular throughout the world because of the full rich flavour profile which is their trademark characteristic.

El Dorado Dark Rum is distributed in Alberta and British Columbia by Wine Matters and More Distribution.

El Dorado Dark Rum SAM_1434In the Bottle 4/5

All of the spirits in the El Dorado Superior Range arrive in the same tall slender style bottle. I snapped a picture of my bottle of the El Dorado Dark Rum and as you can see it is a very bartender friendly bottle with a tall shape which fits easily on the bar. This style of bottle is meant primarily for the bar trade being not only easy for the bartender to recognize, its slender shape makes it easy to hold, and the long-necked top makes the rum easy to pour. The labeling is attractive and my only quibble is with the pressed on metallic cap, which I wish were replaced with a plastic capped closure which would not warp or strip as easily.

In the Glass 8/10

The rum in the glass has an inviting dark copper hue looking much like the colour of a heavily tarnished penny. The initial breezes above the glass are full of molasses and candied caramel. As well, some dark liquorice, bits of cinnamon and a hint of cloves all taint the air above the glass with their presence. There is a healthy dose of vanilla and perhaps some indications of dark fruit such as raisins and dates. Allowing the rum time to breathe reveals some nice accents of dark cocoa and espresso coffee scents.

Although the aroma is rich and seemingly complex, I note that the youth of the rum is also in evidence. There are some sharp orange peel accents and a youthful astringency which seem to indicate that the rum will be much more of a mixer than a sipper. (As we would expect from a 2-year-old rum.)

In the Mouth 50/60

The Eldorado Dark Rum brings all of the flavours forward which I noted on the nose. However, I am finding the rum perhaps a bit smoother and more laid back in its approach as compared to other Dark Rums I have reviewed. It seems to me that although the rum is probably flavoured with molasses and caramel to some degree, I also taste evidence of oak aging in the flavour profile. Along with the flavours of caramel and molasses, I taste bits of wood spice, a smattering of tea leaves, chocolate, and cola, and some laid back sweet baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon mixed with dark brown sugar).

For myself the rum is an obvious Rum and Cola mixer. In fact mixing 1 part rum with 2 parts of cola with a squeeze of lime juice results in a very tasty tall bar drink. I also mixed a few punch style recipes and was not disappointed in that format of cocktail either (see recipe below).

In the Throat 12.5/15

The finish is not especially long, although we do taste nice flavours of molasses, caramel, and bittersweet chocolate lingering on the palate after the rum is gone. As a rum which would be about 2 years old, the exit is smoother than I would expect which is why I have bumped the score up here just touch,

The Afterburn 8/10

The El Dorado Dark Rum is very pleasant, and as indicated in the review, works very well as a rum and cola mixer as well as a nice flavourful base rum for a dark rum punch. I have been informed that this rum has been aged approximately two years, and that aging is on display as the El Dorado Dark Rum shows evidence of oak character in its flavour profile.

My overall score of 82.5/100 represents a rum which is a very pleasant mixer, and one which can also be enjoyed (albeit less frequently) as a ‘on the rocks’ sipper.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipe

El Dorado Dark Rum Punch SAM_1443Dark Rum Punch

2 1/2 oz El Dorado Dark Rum
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
Crushed Ice
Ice Cubes
Lemon or Lime slice Garnish

Fill a large tumbler 1/2 full of crushed ice
Add the rum and fruit juice
Add the sugar syrup and stir
Add a few ice-cubes
Allow time for the crushed ice to begin to melt into the bar drink
Garnish with a slice of fruit

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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)

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