El Dorado “Rare” Collection: Enmore 1993
Rum – rum from a traditional column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 56.5% ABV @ 20°
El Dorado’s foray into the world of unblended, additive-free, single marque rums is in the form of three offerings in their “Rare” Collection:
Versailles 2002, 12yo
Port Mourant 1999, 15yo
Enmore 1993, 21yo
Whether intentionally or not, one notices that the ages of these three bottlings mirror the ages of El Dorado’s “Luxury Cask-Aged Rums” (12, 15 & 21yo). They also form part of ED’s celebration of Guyana’s 50th anniversary of independence from Great Britain. Bottled at cask-strength, the ABV’s are 56.5% (Enmore), 61.4% (Port Mourant) and a hefty hangover-inducing 63% (Versailles).
Each offering is limited to just 3,000 bottles worldwide and they are all unblended and non-chill filtered. With price tags of between £150-£200 depending on where you buy them, they are in a completely different price bracket to El Dorado’s core ranges of rums. I am assuming they should be unadulterated i.e. without additives, but one cannot be too careful in the rum world, so with my newly acquired hydrometer and penchant for investigating rums, I am measuring the ABV also…for some peace of mind.
In this case, I am pleased to report that the ABV in my test is showing 56.5% so that makes this additive-free, as far as I can tell.
It is worth noting that these bottles are described as “single marque” rather than single cask. Obviously, with 3,000 of each being produced, this means they must be from different barrels, but all produced in the same style and from the same still. This opens up the possibility that they are actually blends from different barrels/casks.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Rum” – rum from a traditional column still.
El Dorado’s traditional, distinctive and in my opinion, very appealing usual branding has changed for these “Rare Collection” offerings. The regular outerbox is replaced with an open-window version displaying the bottle. Each box is the same, despite there being three different “Rare Collection” bottles. The boxes and bottles explain the history of the stills, but no reference to the number of bottles produced. The bottles are less-stubby than ED’s usual luxury-range type, but do look quite sturdy and impressive and have a nice cork enclosure.
They do convey an image of “premium” and luxury.
Deep golden brown-orange colour. The legs are very thin and take an eternity to drop down the sides of the glass. The initial aroma is rich and fruity…raisins, dried fruits, bananas, pineapple, peach leading to vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate and a hint of oak. There is an earthy aroma, too. This offers a lot on the nose. This smells like an El Dorado rum!
Taste, Initial-middle 37/40
Silky smooth on entry with those fruity aromas becoming the initial flavours. Vanilla is the most dominant initially though, with molasses, caramel, dark chocolate and oak appearing. There is a deceptive sweetness that makes this a very interesting entry, but not like the regular El Dorado range. I think that the ABV of 56.5% offsets any perceptions that this is a sweet rum and although it can feel a little strong and robust, it also feels like it is the correct ABV. Adding a few drops of water does not improve the rum, but for those preferring their rum a little lighter, this is the way to go.
Taste, Middle/Throat 38/40
As this circulates around your mouth, it becomes increasingly dry and woody. One could be drinking a Cognac at this point…not an unpleasant thought or sensation. In fact, such are the flavours that this rum would sit nicely at any after-dinner table in place of a top Cognac. The fruits are still evident alongside burnt sugar and cinnamon. The oak is long-lasting and nicely balances the sweet caramel alongside this rum’s creamy texture. The finish continues to become more and more dry and one can taste some plum and almond, too. Further tastings and I find myself enjoying this rum more and more. Once again, the level of ABV is just about right and ensures that any sweetness is not significant and is perfectly balanced as a result. I do not think that adding water benefits the rum, although it is an option for those preferring their rum a little lighter.
Now this tastes like an El Dorado rum!
The burn is intriguing as one can still taste the vanilla, oak and molasses as well as some bitter fruit. For me the ABV here is just about perfect as it coats your throat in burnt Demerara sugar whilst having a nice level of fire to ensure it is not too sweet.
But, long after swallowing this rum gets drier and drier and more and more woody with tannins playing a part, too. Further tastings and there is even a hint of smoky spice lurking in the background. All in all, this continues to evolve beautifully with further tastings.
Morning After Aroma
Spicy pepper and raisins remain. There is a faint hint of vanilla, too.
This goes from rum to Cognac and back to rum again and if I am honest, the journey is an exhilarating one. There are lots of evolving taste experiences on the way and the more you try this rum, the more these tastes evolve and develop further. Far better than the other two “Rare Collection” offerings (in my opinion), this stands on its own as a great single-cask offering, although I do find myself thinking that the blended 15 and 21yo El Dorados are better value – roughly four bottles of ED15 or two ED21s for the same price. But, where this is a significant step up from El Dorado’s regular range, is that this is untainted. DDL have allowed their rum to shine on its own and I do think this particular bottle really does glow, such is the balance of flavours combined with a decent ABV. It is noticeably more enjoyable than the Kill Devil Enmore, which is at 46% ABV. It is likely that the Kill Devil version has spent some or much of its time ageing in the cold climate of Scotland whereas the Rare Collection has spent its entire life ageing in the warmer tropical climate in Guyana. This is turn has created a much richer flavour in the “Rare” bottle. So much so that this tastes like an El Dorado rum, but it is without any additives 🙂
I am a fan of all El Dorado rums…some are good, some are excellent. I think this one sits towards the upper level, possibly even my favourite DDL rum to date overall.
It makes me wonder what a 50-55% ABV and unsweetened version of the blended ED 15yo and 21yo would taste like…wishful thinking!
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7