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So at first glance this is a revisitation of an old classic. However, it is in fact a new review of a new rum. That’s because in 2020 El Dorado decided to revamp their entire lineup and, to the near universal delight of the rum community, they decided remove or severely limit the amount of added sugar they used to add to their bottlings. In the case of this rum, it contains 0gpL of added sugar.
This is a pure Demerera rum distilled on DDLs column still and then tropically aged for 15 years in ex-bourbon casks. Unlike the previous iteration, this newer bottling contains no added sugar. So now the million dollar question: how does it compare to the previous sugar-added iteration?
Taking a whiff from the Glencairn I get absolutely smacked in the nose by Raisins, Brown Sugar, and rich Pipe tobacco. Further nosing reveals Candied Figs, Prunes, and faint Modelers Glue. The nose, while not overly complex, is deep, rich, and inviting.
To my delightful surprise the palate matches the nose exactly, deep rich flavors of Raisins, Brown Sugar, faint Pipe Tobacco, Candied Figs, and Prunes. But in an interesting twist in addition to all the rich earthy notes present on the nose, the palate also includes a wonderful rich Toffee note. This is quite delightful.
The finish is long, rich, and more of the same: ages of Raisins, Candied Figs, Prunes, and Brown Sugar - but here with a touch of butter.
I have no idea how they did it, but this is even better than the previous added sugar version. The most likely scenario is that El Dorado was simply changing with their market and realizing that the rum community is trending towards purity rather than sweetness. But what I find with this rum, (and maybe what they also realized), is that their rum is just absolutely fantastic all by its own. No sugar is needed. In fact, now having had both, and even though I enjoyed the previous iteration, this new pure version is FAR superior in every way. It is richer, earthier, fruitier, and fuller than it was.
Frankly, I am stunned. I had anticipated the richness and fullness of the dried fruit notes to drop without the added sweetness…but the opposite in fact occurred! It seems the added sweetness was actually holding this rum back. Call me impressed. I was not expecting that.
This is the best commercially available aged Demerara that I have enjoyed by some margin. Well done DDL! Take pride in your rum - No added sugar needed
Short Description: Deep rich dried fruits, Brown Sugar, and Pipe tobacco. Everything you are looking for in an aged Demerara.
Country of Origin: Guyana
Distillery: Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL)
Nose: Raisins, Brown Sugar, Pipe Tobacco, Candied Figs, Prunes, faint Modelers Glue
Palate: Raisins, Brown Sugar, faint Pipe Tobacco, Toffee, Candied Figs, Prunes
Finish: (long) Candied Figs, Prunes, Raisins, Brown Sugar and Butter
This rum knocks it out of the park. No added sugar! Absolutely a true rum. When I first tried the 15yr old I kind of liked it because it was sweet. Then, as I got my sea legs I found that adding sugar is, in my opinion, a mask. But the industry sells well with added sugar so I guess they thought, OK everyone else is doing it so let's see where this takes us. Well, after the EU put guidelines down they had no choice but to abort. Great choice because this rum doesn't need any sugar support. Nice move Matey! Now you have a chance to regain the throne! At the price ($48) this is a steal in my opinion.
This is definitely a step up from the 12 year old. This adds significantly more complexity and depth, while being recognisably from the same stable. I never tried the older, sweetened version so I can't comment on the change.
Smell is a dark, rich molasses, with a touch of lighter volatiles. Really well blended.
Taste is layers of molasses, really well integrated again. Then comes the wood and the burn, followed by the deepest layer of molasses, which heads almost to liquorice.
The finish is long, dry, slightly woody, rich and complex.
This ranks as one of the most complex and involving rums I've yet tried. It has a similar deep, slightly dirty, distinctly demerera, taste to ED12, but it's so much more complex and rich and involving. If ED12 is incredible value for the money and a must buy again, ED15 is simply a great rum without any qualification.
Perfect level of the spices and aroma. Loved it from first sip
No added sugar anymore makes this a character full rum with spices, wood and a nice burnt caramel.
This is hands-down my favorite sipper the past couple of years, and for an over-the-top rum old fashion. Love the complexity, feel, taste. Dark, rich, caramel-like without being sweet. Smooth - despite the alcohol content. Loads or complex aromas and long finish of vanilla and maybe cinnamon.
Smooth and much more pleasant than the 12. Better than the 21 to me. Upset my stomach after though.
Got better the longer it breathed, Caramel and Molasses on the nose with a near on thick mouth feel.
Despite 43% ABV a complex nose with depth and without dominating alcohol. The palate matches the nose with lots of aroma and only little sweetness.
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Better than the original 9 out of 10
Much better than the original! The taste is kinda same but without the over the top sweetness. My new favourite!