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From the 300-year-old Uitvlugt sugar distillery in Guyana comes this sweet-smelling but bone-dry-tasting rum. It's nutty like a fine Amontillado sherry, but with a noseful of bananas and sugar. Too bad they bottled it at a tame and lame 80 proof. Compare this rum with Duncan Taylor's 1997 offering, also from the Uitvlugt distillery, bottled at 105 proof and full of flavor and fire. The El Dorado people don't seem to know what to do with good rum: either they load it up with sugar and colorants, as in ED 12-25, or they refine it until it's only fit for little old ladies after church, like this stuff. Save your money for better rum.
This "Single Barrel" series is an attempt by El Dorado to edge into the limited release market. But even with all their vast stores of fine rum, deep pockets, and impressive distribution, what they came up falls rather short.
- This is a unique opportunity to explore juice from 3 of DDL's most famous (and historic) stills. Those wanting to "dissect" the blends that go into El Dorado's other offerings would be eager to check these out. History buffs, too, may have some interest in tasting rum made by centuries-old stills.
- It seems that no sugar has been added to these bottlings, unlike most others from ED. (This is great!)
- This particular rum—the ICBU—is approachable and rather tasty. The nose is reminiscent of ED12, but (fortunately) doesn't assault with a boatload of sugar. This rum is dry for ED, but still not especially dry, with familiar caramel and vanilla notes. Some sips leave me with a bit of an herbal aftertaste, which is quite nice.
- The label is deceptive. These are *not* "single-barrel" rums. These are single-STILL rums, that almost certainly have been blended from many barrels for consistency. I really don't know why they chose to use this verbiage, when "single-still" would have been clearer, more truthful, and arguably more unique in the market.
- 40%. This rum has been dreadfully over-diluted. Thankfully, it still has some life and character in it. At 50–55% this rum is probably amazing. Even 45 would be a big improvement. So yes, as others have mentioned, it's fine, but probably a little "too" approachable.
- It's like $80 in the US. For a NAS, 80-proof bottle with misleading marketing, that's simply baffling, not to mention irritating. (I found mine on sale for around $30, which is a fair price.)
- The most unique aspect of this rum's flavor is the slightly bitter aftertaste. It's not terrible, but not exactly delicious, either. It does add some interest, but I could do without.
- Cocktails? Sure, if you got a good deal on it or are looking for ways to finish it. Sub it in for a standard-proof Demerara in, say, a Three Dots and a Dash—it's quite tasty! This would probably also work in an Old Fashioned.
- Sipping: I do occasionally, so I can remember the flavors. But here's a tip: mix it with some good ol' Wray & Nephew Overproof (say, 2:1 or 3:1 ratio). Boom! Instant navy-style blend, and the 63% full-funk W&N does a lot to compensate for the ED's shortcomings.
So there you have it. It's fine, but there's obvious room for improvement, inside the bottle and out.
At $30 and 80-proof, it's a 7+. At $80, skip it, and get Hamilton 86 instead for a third.
These single barrels are great stuff, from the old stills which are unique in this world. It´s rum for demerara geeks and connaisseurs.
I've smuggled all 3 of the single barrel line back to the states, and highly recommend them. Being able to taste the difference in the stills between the 3 (ICBU, EHP, PM - savalle, wooden coffey, wooden pot respectively) is very cool, especially considering some of these stills are the last of their kind. I tend to like the ICBU and EHP best as they tend to be a little smoother.
If I was a professor I’d give this a B or maybe...just maybe, a B+. It is smooth and can be sipped on the rocks or as I like, with a spicy ginger ale. At around $82 I think it’s slightly overpriced: more like a $65-$70 rum. Not as good as the Kirk and Sweeney 23 which can be had for around $53. Wouldn’t buy again but glad I bought one bottle.
Tried a glass of El Dorado ICBU. Bottle looks unique due to being fairly long in design but the label did not convince me. Color is golden. I'm pretty sure El Dorado 12y has been used as the base. Strong whisky aromas to both nose and palate. Typical immature whisky burn at the end. Add 2 points if you like your rums whisky alike. Me personally will stay on dark and sweet rums to stay happy.
To be honest, I hadn't a clue as to the ICBU designation however the El Dorado website describes it thusly: "This estate on the Demerara River lends its ICBU Marque to this superb small batch rum. Its original continuous four column French Savalle Still continues to be used to produce this special rum."
Here's my opinion...the rum's hue is a beautiful bronze and it has an enticing aroma...somewhat sweet and flowery. The flavor is somewhat complex but there is a nice bit of natural sweetness to it as well as vanilla and toffee flavors. Definitely an oak tannin flavor giving it a slight bitter edge and a noticeable pepperiness. It is smooth and does not have a real burn but instead a nice warmth. If finishes on the toffee notes as well as a little citrus zest flavor. Not a rum for newbies but also a good rum for bourbon aficionados IMHO. It is a bit pricey with a bottle running around $75 US.
Overall this is a fine sipping rum saved for special occasions. It deserves a special spot on one's shelves. Recommended.
but missing that peanut ester prominent in those. It's 40 ABV, and I've become accustomed to higher proof. As a result, it tasted pretty watery to me. Couldn't find much on the nose, except a chemically taint. A touch of grass? Didn't do anything for me.
I like the other El Dorado rums so I thought I would give this one a go.
It is nice but very different from the other rums I have tried from El Dorado. This would not be an every day rum for me but one I will try from time to time.
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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