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El dorado: Guyana Second stop which really worths it !

posted by Lolo March 5, 2015 0 comments

Guyana is everything but a touristy country, and not exactly top of the list of safe places for a girl to roam around on her own… but seeing it houses one of the oldest rum distilleries in the world, the El Dorado, I just had to go.

Thanks to  Shaun Caleb, Stephanie Holt, Tamsia Clement – Jodhan and Darryl Manichand, I had the chance to visit El Dorado and taste most of their rums!
After a 30 min drive off to Georgetown, the taxi stopped in front of the DDL distillery. There I was! At one of the best rum distilleries in the world (Winner of more than 45 awards for its renowned El Dorado rums at the International Wine and Spirits Competition held in London annually)
I met Darryl, chemist in charge of production, who was an amazing guide. He explained me all of the production processes of the El Dorado rum, from fermentation through bottling…
The key here is the distillation method used by DDL: they have nine different types of stills which allow them to produce different types of alcohol with various flavours; the pot stills generate stronger flavour than the column stills, specific wooden taste comes with the Wooden Coffey stills, and sweeter rum with high ester pot still…
Once distilled, each rum is separately aged in one of the numerous barrel warehouses before being blended (sometimes the blend is done before the ageing…) to create the beautiful El Dorado rums that you may know (if not, go now to and buy some immediately, before you return to read the rest of this article with a glass of rum and coke in your hand).
Contrary to what I previously thought, rum does not only differ by the age but also (and primarily) by the blending. Every rum has its own blend of aged rum issued from different stills which has been scientifically determined by the master distiller in order to get a special flavour (lighter, sweeter, dryer, heavier…). In addition to this spectacular range of stills, the characteristic of El Dorado is also due to the fermentation phases depending on the yeast used (grown by El Dorado) and the length of the fermentation process.
Let’s start with the end – the final product: I will try to give you some insights in the different blends and their impact on scent and taste…
El Dorado produces four lines of rums:

Specialty rums

  • El Dorado 3 yo (white): light thanks to the used of Savalle still, with some aromas of coconut, hazelnuts and wood – perfect for Daïquiri
  • El Dorado 5 yo: – not tasted
  • El Dorado 8 yo: It is a blend of Coffey and Savalle Stills with a dash of Pot Still. You instantly get the taste of caramel notes and the smell of the oak cask. It remains dry at the back
  • Spiced rum – A lot of the cinnamon comes from the rum itself and is accentuated by natural infusion with cinnamon sticks among a medley of local spices. There is a hint of vanilla that comes through the use of first-fill Bourbon barrels. You can definitively recognise the cinnamon and a little touch of cloves in both scent and taste.

Special reserve

  • El Dorado 12 yo:a blend of wooden and metal coffey stills. This one is fruity with orange and toffee cream notes
  • El Dorado 15 yo: a blend of double and single wooden potstill – this one has won a lot of awards and is the first rum produced by El Dorado back in 1993. On the nose, you can smell leather and tobacco notes. The taste is very interesting and evolves from moment to moment. It has a nice afterglow
  • El Dorado 21 yo: this one is a blend of metal and Coffey stills which are quite volatile, this volatility is reduced by the use of single wooden potsill. Wow, this 21 yo is very smooth, with different aromas and tastes: first comes fruity notes (banana), then you get some leather notes and it has a real nice molasse nose. It has a very nice afterglow and is definitively my favourite one!
  • El Dorado 25 yo – Not tasted but I guess it is really something

Superior premium rum

  • White
  • Gold
  • Dark

Single barrel rum

El Dorado decided to produce single barrel rum (understand rum not blended and issued from one type of still)

  • PM: Double wooden Pot Still
  • ICBU: Savalle still
  • EHP: Wooden Coffey still
In the next article, I will give you more details and information on the 9 stills used by El Dorado, You will then easily understand that with such a range of stills, it would is almost impossible to not produce a great worldwide renowned rum!
KISS KISS BOUM BOUM and se you in St Lucia!
Special thanks to Simon and Ellen for the english mark-up! 

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