A 15 Year Old Port Mourant Rum from El Dorado released as part as their Rare Collection. The three rums in the Rare Collection were released simultaneously earlier this year.
It has been noted that the rums ages mirror three of El Dorado’s “Premium” rums. 12, 15 and 21 years old. I’m not sure whether it is entirely deliberate, nor am I totally sure if the stills used reflect the dominant rums used in each of El Dorado’s regular expressions. A spreadsheet of rums used in El Dorado rums was published a while back but has since been questioned. To be honest all are blends anyway so its academic really.
For those unsure if you have tried a Port Mourant rum before – it’s quite likely you have even if it hasn’t been immediately obvious. Pusser’s 15 Year Old and Plantation’s Guyana 2005 are both from the Port Mourant Still. Admittedly unlike this offering both are sweetened rums.
The presentation of the Rare Collection bottlings are all the same. Taking influence from both the Velier bottlings (Opaque bottle) they succeed and the El Dorado range (Stubby bottle) with a colour scheme which suggests Premium rum – attractive gold lettering on black and brown. At around £150 per 70cl bottle, the presentation should be spot on and indeed it is. A nice cork stopper tops of the presentation along with a nice embossed ship on the neck of the bottle.
This rum was distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2014. Coming in at 61.4% ABV, on the bottle and when tested with the Hydrometer, this rum is pretty much Cask Strength.
I’ve reviewed a few Port Mourant rums in the past. This rum is the first which will have benefited from full Tropical Ageing in Guyana.
These rums represent the first attempt by DDL since their Single Barrel rums to release a more “serious” rum without additives. They are also the first rums in this “style” not to be sold by Velier. It is worth noting at this stage that Luca Gargano does have a stake in DDL.
Whilst the thought of no more Velier Demerara is sad, there is no reason at all why DDL cannot produce the same rums under a new guise.
For anyone approaching these rums from past experience of El Dorado rums only – you will get a huge surprise with this particular rum. If you haven’t tried a Port Mourant on its “own” you will get a shock.
The nose is big – as to be expected from a spirit coming in at 61% ABV. It’s reminiscent of the Bristol Port Mo(u)rant rums. The dominating note of those the almost vegetal grassy/briny earthy note is paired alongside aniseed and liquorice. However it is more a bitter liquorice note than a sugared one. It is not the more familiar sweet molasses and raisin Demerara note.
This rum is quite different. It also should be noted that the rum is pretty dark in the glass. It may be the tropical ageing it may not be. It’s certainly noticeably darker even than the Pusser’s 15 Year Old.
As you nose deeper you do detect some more fruity notes – raisins and a little plum. There is also a more subtle note of leather and oak. It’s not the “nicest” friendliest nose I’ve ever encountered but it does have a good amount of complexity to appreciate.
Sipped at full strength you get a very intense, almost overbearing initial tasting. It’s quite bitter and almost astringent. It’s very sharp with some red wine like notes. The aniseed is prominent and again its mixed with a kind of salty/briny note which is not top of my list of things I enjoy in rum.
A little water helps with the intensity but whilst it tones down the bitterness it doesn’t give you a great deal else. The rum doesn’t really develop the way I had hoped.
It’s a big flavourful rum with a lot of “menace” which I usually like. Unfortunately it just doesn’t have any redeeming sweetness which would give it more balance. It’s a rum which for me would be great in a blend. On its own? Not so good.
I got a lot more out of the Bristol Port Mo(u)rants I have reviewed previously. I also got more enjoyment from the Plantation Guyana 2005.
There isn’t a question mark about this being a well made rum it’s certainly a “good” rum. It’s just not to my tastes. From scouring the internet for other reviews (from people I actually take note of) they seem to have found this also to be slightly disappointing.