El Dorado 25yo 1986


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Demerara Distillers Ltd
Origin Guyana
Bottler Undefined
Type Single Blended Rum (Pot + Column from the same distillery)
Alcohol By Volume 43%
Sugar Measured 35-40 g/L
Description 1986 vintage 25 year old Demerara rum. A blend of rums chosen in 2011 by the late George Robinson, master blender, which were then placed in marrying casks until 2013.
Review 4


Review by "Lance" Score: 81

Issued around 2011, the El Dorado 25 YO received an update from the original 1980 version, with the blend tweaked a little. The enclosure and bottle remained the same, however, and unfortunately for the modern rumporn brigade of the millenial teens, not enough was done to upgrade the rum to what a current (2017) connoisseur would consider par for the course - unadulterated and cask strength. Instead, sticking with the tried and true formula which sold so well in the past, it remained 43%, and perhaps we should consider it a favour that the reported 51 g/L sugar of the 1980 version was reduced to 39 g/L here. I suppose that's why this one scored incrementally better. But still, a 25 year old rum made from some of the most famous stills in the world should be a world beater. And it isn't. Not even close.

Nose: Marginally better than the 1980 (I tried both side by side). While still too anemic, it was vaguely crispier and fruitier, nuttier and brinier. Bags of anise and dark dried raisins, jam, molasses and caramel, given some edge with notes of tobacco and oak and some minerally ashy background. A very good nose.

Palate: Takes the promise and trashes it...worst part of the experience. This is a €400+ rum, aged 25 years (with all the attendant expectations such stats engender), and a depressingly liqueured might-have-been. If one strains the nose almost out of its original shape, one can sense (rather than actually taste) black cake and honey, vanilla and oak, philly cheese on toast, plus traditional fruits, raisins, anise, prunes, backed up by a nice creme brulee. And to that extent I liked it. But the sugar...it was just too overbearing - it was like you could never quite come to grips with what was on offer, not because of a low ABV (though this did absolutely nothing to enhance the experience) but because the sweet dampened everything. It made for a thick, muddy sort of mangrove swamp, instead of the crisp, complex, fast-flowing river that would have been better.

Finish: Too short, to pale, too sweet. Nothing much going on here.

Thoughts: What the rum provides is still ahead of spiced nonsense like the Kraken or Don Papa, but that's damning it with faint praise. Those cost 1/10th of this and have fewer pretensions, raise fewer expectations. Seven years ago I enjoyed the 25 YO El Dorados I tried because I knew less and was more satisfied with 40-43% rums. That time has now passed and I can see more failure than achievement here. One of my idols proved to have feet of clay, alas.

Review by "Henrik" Score: 62

Nose: It starts out differently, but not better. There is simply missing a lot. Actually the nose is very week and not nearly typical Demerara. It comes off way less rich and full bodied than the 1980, and feels like it is missing a lot. Just barely some molasses and dried fruits. Decent oak and tobacco. Then a lot of oily notes, before barely reaching for pencil shavings. And in the end a little piece of buttered toast.

Palate: *sigh* Even worse than the 1980. More sugar, but not thin watery syrup. It's more like condensed, macerated black grapes and black berry marmelade. There is a little liquorice underneath along with some pretty present oaks. Also a bit of sweet oranges and wet tobacco. And then, at the far back, the juice, dried fruits that are so familiar to Demeraras. But way too far away to actually make an impact or even matter.

Finish: Short. Except for mild oaken notes, some tannins, and the goddamn sugar bowl. Not really something to write home about.

Thoughts: Another way to spoil ancient rums, which could possibly have been great, had they just been bottled sugar free and at cask strength. I wonder if anybody will every do a thing like that ... oh wait ... somebody (plural) did. And made some of the most awesome rums in the world. Go figure DDL...

Review by "Serge" Score: 40

A very expensive bottling (think in the region of 450€).

Nose: Colour: deep amber. Nose: very nice! Tar, burnt coffee, lit cigars, strawberry jam, charcoal, then a little turpentine, wood varnish… It’s a combo that works very well in my opinion, you just have to enjoy burnt coffee. Or even burnt vegetables (French beans in a forgotten frying pan).

Palate: oh what an utter shame! Flabby, liqueury, way too smooth, with no depth and an unpleasant feeling of cheap liqueur, bought for 5€ a bottle in Andorra. Why oh why did they murder this old rum? Definitely sugared up, I’m afraid Cyril was right.

Finish: very short, but leaves some sugar on your tongue. Kids’ cough syrup.

Thoughts: some people get away with murder in the rum world. Now, it’s theirs, they do what they want, but in my opinion, this humble syrup is not even worth one tenth of its price. I even like Zacapa better, which says a lot. No, not Don Papa or Kraken, let’s not exaggerate.

Review by "Cyril" Score: 71

Un assemblage de rhums choisis en 2011 par George Robinson, le master blender de l’époque (décédé en 2011). L’histoire nous apprend que cette sélection a ensuite été remise en fût afin d’être ‘mariée’, et ceci jusqu’en 2013.

Nose: Robe identique à son petit frère de 1980, grivoise et toujours aussi charnue et bouffie. Le nez est par contre plus sombre et boisé, sur le tabac brun, le cuir en fin de vie et usé, le chocolat amer et un boisé brûlé et humide. Avec quelque chose de résolument Port Mourant. C’est très notable au nez, surtout en comparant les deux rhums: le premier (1980) est hyper gourmand et caramélisé, alors que celui-ci est plus sombre et boisé, sec et incisif. La belle et la bête en quelque sorte, mais en version américaine et bedonnante, avec les poches remplies de friandises.

Palate: La bouche est aussi collante et enveloppante que le 1980, si ce n’est encore plus. Avec toujours cette impression de liqueur en bouche, avec beaucoup de mélasse, de sirop à la réglisse, et cette touche de boisé made in PM, forcément intéressante! mais sèchement chassée par le fléau de toute une époque, le sucre. En fidèles coupables, on retrouve le caramel, le sucre brun, les épices caramélisées, et tout semble perdu là dedans à vrai dire… Un dessert à lui tout seul ce 1986, on attendrait juste un peu plus de rhum au final.

Finish: La fin de bouche est sommaire, littéralement aplatie comme une crêpe sous le poids d’un caramel trop épais, noyée et futile.

Thoughts: Ajouter plus de rhum issu de l’alambic Port Mourant n’aura pas suffi à faire passer une liqueur pour un rhum. Au contraire, cela aura semé un peu plus de trouble sur la réelle intention de sortir un tel embouteillage… mettre en valeur son patrimoine? ou bien le sacrifier? Note: 71, dans la moyenne basse car toujours pas à la hauteur d’un rhum de chez DDL, malgré la touche Port Mourant.

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