El Dorado 21 Year Old Finest Demerara Rum – Special Reserve

El Dorado 21The jewel in the crown of Demerara Distillers Limited, certainly for those of modest means is the El Dorado 21 Year Old Finest Demerara rum.

The rum is made up of a blend of rums from Demerara Distillers world-famous stills, the Enmore (wooden Coffey still), the Versailles (single wooden pot still), and the Albion (Savalle still).  It is worth noting that all the rums in the El Dorado range boast differing components in their blend.  It is not a case of the same rum(s) being aged longer.

The presentation of the 21 Year Old is in keeping with the 12 and 15 Year Old. Same shape bottle and similar box.  The difference really is the colour scheme.  For the 21 year old they have opted for a very vivid blue.  The age statement on the El Dorado 21 is also worth mentioning.  Unlike solero style rums DDL guarantee that 21 Year Old is the age of the youngest rum in the blend.  Some of the rum contained therein maybe considerably older.

Doubt around the age statements have been suggested (by the usual suspects in the rum world) however when you consider how much “bulk” rum DDL produce and either bottle themselves or sell on, I would suggest that such a thriving business concern can world-famous stills, the Enmore (wooden Coffey still), the Versailles (single wooden pot still), and the Albion (Savalle still).certainly afford to age their rums.

In the UK the rum retails at around the £70-80 mark.  It is bottled at 43% ABV.  This is not really bad when you consider the 25 year old retails at around £380 per bottle.  The rum comes in a beautiful stubby blue bottle and you get cork stopper with plastic topper which has the El Dorado brig printed on the top.  A blue solid card sleeve adds the luxury of the presentation.  You feel a bit pirate with the bottle in your hand.

I’m a huge fan of Demerara rums and El Dorado rum in particular.  This bottle was a very welcome Christmas treat.  It has long been a rum I simply must try.

I’ve never explored the stills used by DDL in too much detail.  I’ve tried reading about them but to be honest I find it difficult to remember much when I read it.  I guess I mustn’t be that interested.  I’m determined not to compare this rum to the 12 and 15 for the purpose of my review so I will get the following out of the way.  The 21 in terms of overall profile reminds me of the 15 the most.  I don’t know (and I haven’t and won’t check) if the rums blend is from the same stills as the 15.  This is purely how I view the overall feel and taste of the rum.  Certain notes I believe are due to the extra ageing of the 15 and 21.

EL Dorado 21 Year Old Demerara Rum review by the fat rum pirateI’ve taken my time since getting this rum in writing the review.  It’s certainly not a rum I’m going to review whilst downing half a bottle like I have some!  This rum has been visited a few times now in moderation.  I have a bottle of ED8 Year Old for when I want the sweet notes of Demerara in more liberal doses.

As pictured the rum looks very dark in the bottle but lightens up once poured in the glass.  The rum is a deep rich mahogany colour.  The nose is that classic Demerara but more specifically El Dorado nose.  Anyone who has tried an El Dorado rum will recognise the rich, fruity notes.  The brown sugar and spices.  Lovely.  Very inviting.  Even once the rum is gone nosing the empty glass is a joy.  There is nothing in the nose which is off putting or feels like it shouldn’t be there.

When tasting the rum for the first time, the extra ageing of the spirit is clear.  There is an extra layer of oak in the profile compared to the younger expressions.  The 21 exhibits all the classic rich dark dried fruits and warm spiciness of classic Demerara rum.  It is rich and sweet almost like a Christmas Pudding in a glass.  Notes of oak and a slight spiciness also comes through.  The rum is very smooth and easy drinking but complex enough to ensure you savour each sip of the drink.  The finish is long lasting and very enjoyable.

El Dorado 21 Year Old rum review by the fat rum pirateThis is a complex and rich sipping rum.  It is not a rum which I would consider mixing.  It is so enjoyable on its own and the younger El Dorado rums make such excellent mixers you would be a fool to yourself to mix a £80 rum.  It’s without doubt one of the best rums I have ever tried.

It is smooth, yet still has a spice and oakiness in its profile.  It’s a very well blended rum.  Of course comparisons will be made by anyone who drinks it with the 12 and 15.  I would say I enjoy it slightly more than the 12 and pretty much the same as the 15.  However it is different.  It’s different enough to consider a purchase.  It may initially not seem that much better than the 15 year old for the money.  Then again it just re-inforces what fantastic value the 15 Year Old is.

If you like Demerara rums there would be few better ways of really treating yourself.  A classic.

4.5 stars




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4 comments on “El Dorado 21 Year Old Finest Demerara Rum – Special Reserve

  1. Great review I would agree with you wholeheartedly. I was lucky to attend a rum dinner earlier this winter in Fredericton NB in Canada, it was our spirit festival and this was the first time Rum had its own dinner. El Dorado rum was featured. We had the opportunity to try the 5,8,12,15 and finally the 21 year old rums. Wow what a way to start off introducing a rum dinner at a festival which is primarily dominated by Whisky. It was a pleasure and I intend to be a frequent attendee at future events.

    • Sounds great Michael! I’m now trying a few independent bottlings of Demerara rum. Probably my favourite style overall.
      El Dorado 15 is a bottle I always try to have on hand. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Nice review and I appreciate the comparisons because I can’t possibly taste everything (the E.D. 21 is $105 here in SF) so at least I can get some idea of its flavor direction.

    • If you like Demerara ask for a bottle at Christmas. That’s what I did!

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