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No less a luminary than Beachbum Berry has said that Ed Hamilton's Guyana 86 proof is "One of only 6 rums that a Tiki enthusiast will ever need." It is indeed fantastic. Reminds me a bit of Gosling's combined with a very funky Jamaican influence: lots of burned chocolate, smoky caramel, and dried fruit. No added sugar or other sweeteners. Compare this with El Dorado 12 and 15, both also from Guyana but heavily sugared and flavored. I like this rum straight up because it's so flavorful and complex and dry. Looking forward to trying it in cocktails in the near future. It's hard to find but if you do, snap it up!
I would like to clarify something a prior reviewer posted - you should NEVER expect ANY sweetness from ANY rum, only if sugar is added post-distillation will a rum be sweet. El Diorado rums - especially the 12 and 15 year - have TONS of added sugar. This rum did not "age out the first run molasses characteristics", it actually perfectly showcases those characteristics without hiding them behind a wall of added sugar. So all you get is a smoky, intense leathery Demeraran rum. Only aged "up to 5 years" so not the greatest sipper, definitely has some rough edges, but fantastic in mixed drinks. Has become one of my go-to rums in Mai Tais.
The Demerara barrels not as flavorful as I would have hoped. A bit too much afterburn for me. I'll try it in Tiki and reevaluate my rating.
What you get for $20 is astounding. This is my favorite demerara rum, even when pitted against the El Dorados. Incredible smell on entry - think rich layers of toasted caramel nougat with cinnamon spice. Similarities appear on the palate: the absolute flavor explosion, the masterful progression on the palate, and that fantastic lingering, caramel-spice finish sets this rum apart from so many others. I could sip this all day and find more to appreciate about it, especially as it mellows in the glass - that richness only amplifies and grows in complexity. You also won't feel disheartened by mixing it, as its only $20 a bottle!
An absolute necessity for the shelf. Highly recommended.
Very smooth, with all the smokiness and caramel tones one expects from a quality demerara rum. Great as a sipper or in classic tiki cocktails, but I think this rum really shines in a rum old fashioned. A must have for any rum enthusiast
Sweet without being cloying. A tiki drinker MUST have.
This is the one that started me on my rum journey a little over 2 years ago. Coming from a bourbon/whiskey background I told the guy at my store I wanted something similar. This is what he grabbed. A richer nose than with a bourbon. Definitely heavy on the caramel from the molasses. Ripe fruit. A hint of char from the barrel. Caramel initially on the palate. Fruity tea midway. Finishes dry, which I prefer. We are proof whores so at 43% it has at least a little bit of that bite that we like. At around $23 you can't go wrong with this one. A definite buy!
Heard everything from great sipper to super value. For me it is disappointing with a lack of body. As a sipper there is a lack of body with not true flavor signature, very one trick pony.
Mixed nice but does not stand out. Understand that this is a drier rum without any added sugars or flavorings but there just is not a lot of flavor.
Have not blended it yet and most say it is a great Tiki rum, hope so but again think it may get lost. As of now this will not be a stock item in my bar.
Awesome aroma, molasses, hints of cinnamon, caramel, dark fruit, soft warming alcohol. Very warming but fairly smooth for the heat. Smokiness in the flavor, molasses, woody. Perception of slight sweetness up front then drying and lightly bitter. Not a classic sipper but could do in a pinch with a cube of ice. The finish is long, lightly bitter and dry. Numbing from the alcohol with a hint of harshness. Great in a cocktail. Pure rum with no BS.
Bar staple for tiki drinks & more. Excellent flavor, yet not overly sweet.
Enjoyed a bottle of Hamilton 86 while visiting Tokyo. Spectacular value at $23 per bottle. Nice old school bottle and label design. Dark mahogany color. Cinnamon, spice mix, caramel and oak to the nose and palate when neat sipped. Funky ending if neat sipped. Mixes very well with Suntory Ginger Ale.
This rum was delicious! Very different from the other rums they have made in that it did not slap you upside your face. Started out very nice with a wonderful finish. Very easy to drink and left us wanting more.
Pretty heavy flavors up front, that wet dried fruit sugar flavor heads it off without being too sweet or fruity, and it leaves a nice, lingering ripe molasses aftertaste. Fine straight, but imagine this would go great with soda - flavored or plain. Also, great cocktail potential!
Nice and dark, sweet and (subtly) smoky on the nose. I would almost say its scotch-y but the roundness that the sweetness brings wouldn't make that true. Some underripe fruits and a bit of berry.
Amazingly smooth, a nice bite on the finish, really a development across the palate. This is a really rich, sweet (not artificial whatsoever), and subtly fruity rum. Very unique and a great introduction to unadulterated Guyanese rums.
I bought a bottle of this a couple of years ago because I just love demerara rums. At that time, I was put off by it's lack of overpowering sweetness that I had been accustomed to. So after finding out that this is one of the six essential rums for tiki drinks by the great Beachbum Berry, I read all of the reviews here for this one. Being that is was only $27 and readily available, I picked up a bottle with no regrets.
The nose has medium alcohol vapors along with the sweet demerara sugar. On the palate is pure demerara sugar with quite a burn at 86 proof and not being overly sweet. I would call this one as semi-dry. The after burn is rather bitter, which is okay because this rum was never meant to be a neat sipper. I will gladly drink it on the rocks or in exotic tiki drinks which is highly suggested.
43% ABV. Aged up to 5 years. Rich nose—though not as big, say, Foursquare Port. Slightly astringent. Caramel, hint of funk. Chocolate. Charcoal. I'm pretty sure I'm picking up some Port Mourant here. Lively palate. Stone fruit. Touch of vanilla. Shortish finish on the palate, though it does stay in your throat for a while. Empty glass smells a little like maple.
It's no long-aged rum. But it's not a nice, big nose, a rich flavor, maybe just a little coloring added. Phenomenal for exotic cocktails, as are most Hamilton offerings. A good, honest rum at a fair price. A better, dryer mixer than ED 12 or 15; comparable to ED 5 or 8, but I'd choose Hamilton any day.
Note that this is the same rum as Hamilton 151, just watered down to a more standard mixing proof.
This is a great tiki mixer. Cut grass, molasses and licorice. Dry which is perfect for keeping the ‘sweet’ down. The proof is spot on and comes through.
Perfect for those that like their tropical floating cocktails on the dry side.
A dark and heavy rum, thick and sweet smoky flavour, and a nice long aftertaste. I didn't love it at first, it took a few tries before I enjoyed it properly.
Dark and syrupy flavor without having a syrupy mouthfeel. Pretty sweet, but nothing I wouldn't expect from a Demerara. Certainly try a 2oz pour if you see it.
I know, I know El Dorado is sweet. But that's what you should probably expect from Demerara rums. Without that creme brulee vanilla sweetness, you get this big heavy black thing that has aged out its first run molasses characteristics. This is a fine rum, but not fine enough to unseat the magnetic pull of other Guyanese rums.