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El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum

Review:  El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum (88.5pts)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Revisited September 2017

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). Several 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 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.

The El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 3 years old) and then filtered twice through charcoal filters to produce a clear rum. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (45 gallon bourbon barrels).

In the Bottle  4/5

The bottle design for the El Dorado 3 Yr Old Rum has a soft curve which tapers down from the shoulders to a flared bottom. The medium-tall long-necked bottle is designed to be a bartender friendly bottle being easy to store on the bar shelf, easy to grab with one hand, easy to open, and most important of all, easy to pour.. The label with the large gold number 3 emblazoned upon it is simple but also eye-catching. I would prefer a plastic topper rather than the metallic machine pressed on screw cap, but that is just a niggle.

In the Glass  9/10

When I poured the rum into my glencairn I could see that the rum has been filtered clear. I gave the glass a tilt and a slow swirl and then examined the clear sheen left on the sides of the glass. Only a few skinny legs formed and ran back down into the rum.

When I bring the glass towards my nose, I notice light mint-like scents in the air as well as a gentle cane sweetness and some mild coconut-like smells. As I take my time with the glass, I begin to sense more complexity which includes smells of soft banana and citrus zest which give the rum a fresh effervescence which is quite appealing. The final sniffs reveal light cotton candy and building butterscotch aromas. I am pleased that everything remains light and pleasant.

In the Mouth  53.5/60

In my mouth the taste is light but sweet. The rum has a pleasant soft texture with light oil-like mouth-feel. There is no bitterness, and the soft butterscotch/caramel flavours remain firm through the palate accented with light minty candy-like flavours. There is also a light spiciness which hints at citrus zest and banana peel. As I sip I also begin to sense very light undercurrents of dry fruit, chocolate and a light but firm impression of baked coconut. Rounding out the flavour are very light indications of menthol and a light touch of dry hay. As far as White Rums go, this is one of the most complex yet smooth spirits I have tasted.

I decided to mix three quintessential rum cocktails, a daiquiri, a Cuba Libre, and a tall Mojito. The lime based daiquiri is outstanding, as is the Cuba Libre. My favourite serving for the El Dorado 3 Year Old this summer however was was the lime and mint based mojito (probably because this has been a hot summer).

In the Throat  13/15

The rum has a buttery mouth feel which lengthens the finish, and the spirit is smoother than a typical white rum. While I do not believe it is intended to be a sipper with a well placed ice-cube the rum indeed fulfills that destiny. Although there is a hint of astringency, I am pleased by the clean exit.

The Afterburn  9/10

I originally reviewed the El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum eight years ago as one of my original reviews to open the website. (I revisited it again four years ago when I was doing side by side comparisons of White Rums during the summer of 2013,) Although the scores have been adjusted slightly in this review, it remains one of my very favourite white rums. It is smooth and flavourful enough to be sipped enjoyably, and it also brings outstanding character to the cocktail experience.

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


Suggested Recipe:

El Dorado Mojito

1 1/2 oz El Dorado 3 Year Old White Rum
Large Ice Cubes
20 ml fresh Lime Juice
10 ml Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Sparkling Water (or Club soda)
2 sprigs of Mint

Muddle sprig of Mint with Lime Juice and Sugar Syrup
Strain muddled mixture into a tall ice filled glass
Add El Dorado 3 Year Old Rum
Complete with sparkling water.
Stir lightly

Garnish with a second sprig of mint

Please remember to drink responsibly, the aim of my blog is to help you drink better spirits…not more spirits!


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)


2 Responses to “El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum”

  1. vidfreaky said

    this is my favorite white rum by far! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find it recently. I used to keep a bottle on hand at all times, and Sherbrooke used to keep it in stock. Now I haven’t seen it there in around a year, and I can’t seem to find it elsewhere in Edmonton.

    • Highwood had just began as the new distributors of the El Dorado Brand in Western Canada when the big flood hit their distillery. I suspect that the entire line-up of Eldorado will be making a reappearance now that Highwood is back to normal operations.

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