El Dorado Cask Aged 8 Years Demerara Rum

El Dorado 8 Year rum review by the fat rum pirateI do enjoy reading other people’s rum reviews.  Unfortunately I feel many reviewers take a very lazy approach to the reviews, often quoting in full, the notes on the bottle or the companies website.  This can lead to very generic and to be honest quite boring review.  It adds padding to the review but little else.

If there is anyone who is taking the time to read my reviews who isn’t familiar with El Dorado or Demerara rum (and I doubt there can be many) then please after reading this review take a few minutes to Google “Demerara Distillers”, “Demerara” or “El Dorado Rum”.  I’m afraid I’m not going to recycle the companies history.

It is highly likely that even a novice rum drinker will have (whether they realise it or not) tried a rum from Demerara Distillers Ltd.  The likelihood of this is even greater for those of us whom live in the United Kingdom.  A great number of dark blended rum’s, in particular Navy rum’s have at least some “Demerara Rum” in the blend.  Some are made entirely of Demerara rum.  Rum’s such as Skipper, Woods 100, OVD and Robert Watson’s are all made from Demerara rum distilled by Demerara Distillers.  Pusser’s has Demerara rum in its blend as does Lamb’s.

So this may lead the new rum drinker to think that they can get their El Dorado kicks from the cheaper supermarket Demerara rum’s.  Whilst rum’s such as OVD and Robert Watson’s do offer you a Demerara profile they do not offer the complexity and quality of the El Dorado line of rums.  The likes of Skipper, OVD and Woods 100 are simply not aged enough to compete with the 12 and 15 year old El Dorado’s.  The El Dorado 5 year old offers a lighter take on Demerara than Skipper or Woods.  It’s very light by Demerara rum’s standards.  More floral than the dark fruit and chocolate offered by the likes of Woods and Skipper or even the older El Dorado’s (the 15 in particular).  So where does this leave the 8 year old El Dorado?

I passed up buying a bottle of the El Dorado 8 Year Old around about a year ago.  I had just received a consignment from the Whisky Exchange (it was rum-honest!) and foolishly thought that Aldi would still have stocks of the 8 year old at the end of the month.  Unfortunately for me they didn’t but in my pursuit of the 8 year old my wife inadvertently found a dusty bottle of the 15 year old at a fantastic discount in another branch of the discount retailer.  (Over the coming months I found another branch which had stocks of the 15 year old and eagerly bought their entire stock!).  I never did get a bottle of the 8 year old.  So I was left having tried the 5 year old, the 12 and the 15.

In order to complete (and I still have the 3 and 21 to try) my reviews of the El Dorado range I finally bought a bottle of the 8 year old online.  Just in time for Aldi to begin re-stocking the 8 year old in time for Christmas at a better price than I had paid…..

So here I am finally trying the 8 year old (I’m actually nearly onto my second bottle).  It will be impossible to review this rum without comparing it to the other El Dorado’s.  I also feel it necessary to compare it to the other Demerara rum’s which are readily available.

The El Dorado Case Aged 8 Years Demerara Rum is available online at a variety ofEl Dorado 8 Year rum review by the fat rum pirate retailers with a variety of prices.  The prices range from just over the £20 mark upto £30.  The average price is around £25 for a 70cl bottle.  Aldi are stocking it in the run up to Christmas at £19.99.  This places the rum in the same price bracket as OVD and Woods 100 (Woods packs an ABV of 57%).  The rum is 40% ABV and comes in the same bottle as the 3 and 5 year old.  To me this suggests the rum is seen more as a mixing ingredient than a sipper.  The label does suggest the rum can be sipped and used as a “premium” cocktail ingredient.

Presentation wise I’m immediately thinking the 8 year is the 15 year old’s little brother, the black/gold colouring is similar.  In much the same way presentation wise the 5 year  old reminds me of the 12 year old with its pink hue.  In the bottle and glass the rum is much lighter than most “cheaper” Demerara rum’s.  Its almost a gold rum rather than a typical Dark Demerara.  The appearance however is deceptive.  When nosed the rum still exhibits that classic “El Dorado” scent.  It’s floral, there are notes of dark chocolate and dried fruits.  It reminds me of rum and raisin ice cream or Cadburys Old Jamaica (rum and raisin dark chocolate).  Even my wife who is a non rum drinker enjoys “sniffing” the empty glass after I have finished a drink.  Whilst Demerara rum’s all have similarities in terms of smell the rum’s in the El Dorado range have something quite distinctive and more complex than other Demerara’s.

The nose of the 8 year old immediately sets it apart from the supermarket Demerara’s.  A gentle sip of the rum reveals a very well balanced spirit.  It is sweet but exhibits quite a hot spicy burn.  I was expecting the rum to be slightly smoother.  It isn’t rough but it does have quite a spicy burn and finish.  The rum is better than all other Demerara’s I have tried below the £25 price point.  That isn’t a surprise as it is likely that it is the longest aged of the rums.  It is unlikely the likes of Skipper, OVD, Watson’s etc are aged for anything more than 5 years, at best.

The presentation of the rum made me think immediately of the 15 year old.  In my opinion I would pair the 8 and the 15 year old together.  The 8 year old is similar but the lesser aged spirit does not have the same complex notes in particular the oak and smokiness from extra ageing.  It is sweet (as all Demerara’s are) but it isn’t reminiscent of the 12 year old or the 5 year old.

I really enjoy Demerara rum.  I especially enjoy the El Dorado rum’s.  The 15 year old is currently the highest rated rum on my website and the 12 is also held in very high regard.  As a sipper the El Dorado 8 Years stands up to a lot of competition but the 15 is so much better.  As a mixer I find the 8 year old is robust and flavoursome enough to stand up in all mixed drinks.  The sweet chocolately fruity rum makes for an excellent rum and cola.  I also like (unlike many cheaper Demerara’s) the rum doesn’t “froth” excessively when mixed with cola (OVD is particularly guilty of this).

If you are partial to the sweeter Navy style blends or even the likes of Diplomatico, Zacapa etc then it’s likely you will enjoy this classic Demerara rum.  It may suit someone who enjoys Goslings Black Seal  as well due the sweetness in its profile.

In short this is a classic Demerara rum.  It isn’t a replacement for your 12 or 15 year old but it is excellent as a mixing rum for those who enjoy sweeter rum.

4 stars

 

 

 

El Dorado rum is available from

THEDRINKSHOP

 

 

 

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