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Smells of hermes cologne on nose but a little flat otherwise would rate higher, very unique taste would be hard to identify as rum if you were blind tasting may think its a very dry wine with a rum burn at the end and some oak notes
Really, really good rum, however the regular El Dorado 15 year rum is better for a 1/3 of the price. The special casking actually removes awesomeness.
I have been seeing this rum and it's sisters on the shelves of one store for more than a year. Then I saw that the price went down from $138 US to $100 US. I was still reluctant because none of them were being sold and very few reviews could be found on this site. So I took my chances today.
Knowing the four varieties that they stocked, I wisely researched Madeira wine beforehand. Quite an interesting history! So instead of settling for the crap found on grocery store shelves that is mainly meant for cooking, I went for one of the best. I bought a 500 ml bottle of Blandy's 2003 Colheita Single Harvest Bual Madeira, which is a sweet one. WOW!!! But more on that later.
My four choices for ED15 with another year of aging in various wine casks were, Sweet Madeira, Dry Madeira, White Port, and Portuguese Red Wine. I chose this Sweet Madeira, which is really adding even more sweetness to this sugar bomb where it all began.
This rum is a lot better than it's 15 Year Reserve, but still cannot garner a rating of more than 7 from me. At more than twice the price of their standard 15 Year Reserve, this one is simply not worth it. I also now have no need to try any of the others from that shelf. Then after tasting my new bottle of 2003 Madeira, there is absolutely no contest! This tells me that El Dorado must have used the cheapest Madeira casks that they could find. Sorry, but I am known for my brutal honesty!
I also picked up a rum tasting glass that looks quite bizarre, since my 10 year old cognac snifter glass finally broke the other day (when I was completely sober!!!). Since I cannot add a photo of this glass to the Discussions, I will add a photo here. If one pours three ounces of rum into it, the "rock" that protrudes from the bottom of the glass will still be above the estimated 7 square inches of rum surface. This glass is designed for one to swirl the rum rapidly around the rock without spilling it. This gets rid of the annoying acetone aromas while releasing all of the best aromas.
Then one can gently tip the glass to sip a few drops at a time. The name of the company is Final Touch. Don't laugh, it works!
Update two weeks later: I was so finally glad to get this rum out of my sight! I have had much cheaper rums taste much better. I fell for this one, but none of their other extended cask releases. Underneath, it is still a sugar bomb with hardcore acetone notes. So why did I not lower my rating to 6 or less? Believe it or not, there are a lot worse rums to be found! Sad!!!!
Pretty sure I reviewed the wrong rum I just want to say this one is my favorite of all time. I have a case in my basement and my wife nearly killed me when I bought it
What I wrote regarding the El Dorado 15-Year Special Reserve applies here as well. The rum is still excellent as a sipping rum but the additional year in Madeira sweet wine casks have indeed altered the flavor noticeably. Slight wine undertones now compliment the already smooth El Dorado flavor. And even though this is a sugared rum, it still is very good.
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