29 August 2013

The Rumarkable World of El Dorado

As with the wide and very wonderful world of whisky itself, it’s always great to widen your horizons and try something new, particularly when it comes to other deliciously distilled delights. Now they’ve always made perfect bedfellows when it comes to whisky cask finishes, but over the last three years I’ve developed an increasing appreciation for all things rum.  A sort of dramming mistress to whisky, a bit on the side you may say, but hey if I wasn’t dipping my toes or indeed my palate elsewhere, I can assure you I’d be missing out on a whole world of sugar based sensations.
In addition to sharing a multitude of similar complexities and flavour profiles, as with Scotch whisky there are distinct regional variations in the style of rum. Infact you could make loose comparisons between the full on, feisty rum delights from Jamaica with the medicinal monsters of Islay, all that is fragrant and fabulous from Barbados with the lush light lovelies of the Lowland, and the sumptuous stunners from Guyana with all that’s gutsy and gargantuanly glorious in Speyside.
Indeed there are other regions and styles, and of course a whole contingent of new kids on the rum block as part of the craft distilling revolution, which we will cover at a later date, but at this stage and before I digress any further let’s focus on the offerings from the distillery that well and truly opened my eyes to the right rollicking and remarkable realms of rum.
Three years ago if anyone mentioned El Dorado, I would of thought they were either referring to the classic 1960s western starring John Wayne or the short lived 1990s BBC soap opera set in Spain. But how my world was rocked at Whisky Live London back in 2010, when I first discovered the demerara delights of this name sake in the form of a Guyanese rum.
It has to be said that El Dorado’s range of seven cask aged offerings (3, 5, 8, 12, 15, 21 & 25yr) tick all the boxes with regards to being world class sippers and mixers, though personally I think it’d be rude not to try them au naturel at least once. Having said that, adding anything to their 15yr and above expressions would just be criminal in my mind. But hey as I always say when it comes to whisky “drink it your way".
In addition to our whisky tastings, we’ve had a blast recently hosting our first batch of rum tastings, where the following drops of El Dorado have proved to be particularly popular.
El Dorado 3 Year Old
A tropical fruit frenzy on the nose, with a twist of balancing citrus and a defining edge of demerara caramel and chocolate coated sultanas. More of the same on the palate with the addition of vanilla, coconut ice and kaffir lime leaves.

Whisky fans: If you like a drop of new make spirit then this is most certainly worth a whirl. It also just happens to make one heck of a base for a rum punch.

El Dorado 8 Year Old
Caramelised pears and a slice of Creole cake bursting with dried fruit on the nose, followed by subtle feisty flirtations of banana skin and vanilla fudge. The palate continues to deliver a wealth of everything sweet, spice and all things nice, this time defined by oaky overtones and even more demerara deliciousness.

Whisky fans: If you’re partial to an Old Fashioned cocktail, substitute the whisky with El Dorado 8 Year Old. Trust me it works a treat!
El Dorado 15 Year Old
Sticky toffee pudding, vivacious vanilla and a tropical fruit kiss on the nose, followed by baking spices, demerara caramel and sugared almonds. The palate delivers decadent dose after dose of the aforementioned along with chocolate covered coffee beans and a hint of something oaky.
Whisky fans: If you like nothing more than dramlaxing with a late teen aged Speysider or Highlander, then I urge you to get up close and personal with this tot-tastic bottling.
It has to be said that their 21 & 25 Year Old expressions are by no means of an exaggeration exceedingly exceptional, so keep your eye’s peeled over the coming months for individual featured reviews of these beauties.
If you’re yet to discover the rumarkable delights of El Dorado, or other rums and spirits in general, what the heck are you waiting for? Don’t be afraid to dram something different!

For more information on El Dorado visit: Love Drinks
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