El Dorado 15 Year Old Finest Demerara Rum – Special Reserve

El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum Review the fat rum pirate

EL Dorado 15 Rum Review

By luck rather than judgement (very questionable if you read my El Dorado 12 review) the “Special Reserve” became the first El Dorado rum I ever tried.  Having just received an expensive consignment of rum I happened to stroll into a well known discount store (Aldi) in a not so well known seaside town (Seaham Harbour).  I found on their shelves El Dorado 8 Year Old.  Obviously I immediately picked up a bottle and strode to the counter………

No, I decided I had spent quite enough on rum for one month and would wait until the next pay day and then go and get a bottle.  On my return two weeks later the shelf was bare.  Dismayed I asked my wife to look into the Aldi in Washington (this is the original Washington not DC!) to see if they had any stocks.  On her return she told me she had got me a bottle but it was £(price removed as it will make you jealous) and it looked “a bit funny”.

It was actually the 15 year old and it was their last bottle.  To this day (24/09/14) I still haven’t tried the 8 year old.  I’ve tried the 5 year old (for which I paid more than I would have paid for the 8 year old), 12 year old and this.

I’ve put this little monologue together as the 15 year old has been reviewed quite extensively on the net and to be quite honest I got a bit bored myself with reading all about DDL in just about every review.  Besides which, in order to spice up my review I have included a few photo’s taken from the bottle which will give you some more information should you need any.  The Special Reserve retails at around £40-45 in the UK for a 70cl and is bottled at a slightly higher ABV of 43%.

The rum is presented in a naval style squat stubby bottle.  I say naval because they were originally designed like this so they were difficult to knock over on the high seas.  The presentation is consistent with the 12 year old.  The only real difference being SPECIAL RESERVE  printed just above the front label in gold lettering.  The closure is a plastic topper with a real cork.  I have seen reviews complaining about the cork but I have not had an issue with any of my 5 bottles of El Dorado 12 and 15 thus far.  This may have been recently rectified.  The front picture and sleeve depict ships sailing on what I presume to be the Guyana river.  The rear of the bottle and the sleeve give some information regarding the rum’s heritage and reputation.  Again I quite like this kind of information when it is authentic and you don’t feel you are getting a load of made up marketing nonsense, like so many of the “newer” rums.  There are no made up pirates, rum runner stories or any tales of rum stealing demons.

When I pour a glass of the 15 year old I notice that it much darker than the 12 year old.El Dorado 15 Year Old Reserve Rum Review  I’ll note at this point that a true vertical test of the El Dorado rums is not really possible.  It isn’t a case of the same rums being blended and aged for slightly longer.  DDL have a lot of stills and the two rums contain different rums from different stills and differing forms of production.   They are two very different rums.  The 15 year old is simply not a more aged version of the 12.   However, as far as someone using this review to determine a purchase I will compare the two rums taste wise.

In terms of comparisons I will do that fairly quickly as it is a fairly simple affair.  The 15 year old has more oak and chocolate notes.  The 12 is not oaky and is very fruity.  Both are very sweet rums but in differing ways.  12 is more a fruity sweet whereas the 15 is a more cocoa kind of sweetness.  Maybe a milk and dark chocolate comparison would be a good one to use.

El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum by the fat rum pirate reviewI find the 15 Year Old to be a very complex sipper.  Just about every note I have used to describe rum in my many reviews can be used to describe the 15 year old.  It is initially very sweet, apples, bananas and rum soaked raisins but there are also some bittersweet plum like notes.  The second sip seems less sweet than the first, more oaky notes comes through, slightly bitter dark chocolate, cocoa.  The burn is just a tingle on the tongue.  It’s like your tongue is being coated with intense flavours.  The aftertaste leaves an oakiness, a little bitter-sweetness, your taste buds salivate and its almost like after eating a sweet and sour boiled sweet.  The finish is spicy and fruity and long lasting.  All the while your taste buds seem to want more of this rum.

I’ve bought 5 bottles of this rum.  Admittedly I bought all I could get my hands on when it was very well discounted (I still pop in any Aldi I pass just in case they have more) but I believe this rum and the 12 year old are very competitively priced for what you are actually getting.

I’ve read quite a few reviews of this rum and each person seems to identify somethingEl Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum by the fat rum pirate review which, when I revisit the rum I then discover.  The first impression is of sweetness but there is so much more to this rum than that.  There aren’t many rums which I can sip without an ice cube. This is one of them.  In fact I find that adding ice to the rum doesn’t really do it any favours.  It doesn’t seem to open up the rum anymore.  Strangely, due to the robustness of the flavours it is really good mixed with cola.  50/50 makes for an excellent drink.  Some people prefer the 12 and feel the 15 year old has spent too long in the barrel and is over oaked.  I disagree I enjoy the extra layer  of flavour that this rum provides.  As the 12 and 15 are different rums it is perhaps a mistake to attribute the oakiness solely to extra barrel ageing.  It may just be due to the differing blend.  This isn’t an older version of the 12 remember.

This rum comes highly recommended (I advise trying all the El Dorado rum’s you can find!) it might be too sweet for some and slightly to oaky for those with a really sweet tooth but it’s a great example of just how good the drink of pirates can be!

5 stars








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