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Hamilton 86 Demerara is a rum produced by the Hamilton Distillers company. It is aged for a minimum of seven years in Guyana using traditional pot stills and aged in oak barrels. The company is based in Saint Lucia and produces a range of rum products. The ABV of Hamilton 86 Demerara is 43%.
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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.
Nose: Burnt caramel, creme brûlée, brown sugar, rubber, cola
Palate: very smooth, caramelized sugar, oak, cola gummy bears, burnt sugar, dark chocolate, smokiness
Finish: short finish, medium burn, not overwhelming, oak, burnt sugar
So this rum comes from the same distillery that produces El Dorado. However, unlike those premium lines this is a pure rum with no added sugar. In other words this is an original demerara. This a wonderful example of the original, traditional style of rum from Guyana as it is originally produced before the premium market. On the nose you get burnt caramel, creme brûlée, brown sugar, rubber and something like cola gummy bears. Fascinating. Once you take a sip you get a wonderfully complex mix of flavors on the tongue. It is an extraordinarily smooth sip despite having 0g of added sugars. In fact this is probably the smoothest pure rum I have ever had. As the rum spreads through your mouth you get Caramelized Sugar, Brown Sugar, those cola gummy bears, a nice bite of oak overlaid by smokiness and a mouthful of dark chocolate. The finish is fairly short with a medium burn but it is not overwhelming at all. Minutes after putting the glass down the taste of burnt sugar and oak lingers in your cheeks. In some respects its like El Dorado 15 with the sweetness dialed down, but not removed...which in a way makes sense, since it is the same underlying rum. I am not a purist by any means, but I can't decide which of these I like more. Considering I got a full 750ml bottle for $17 and the ED15 costs $40, this is nothing short of amazing. I am so glad I got an extra bottle of this. I think I will be keeping this one around - especially since by all accounts it ranks as one of the best mixing rums of all times. I am impressed. Well done Mr. Hamilton.
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!
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.
Bottles of this go fast in my bar, as it has become essential for so many of the cocktails I mix. It pairs excellently with allspice dram, fruit, and citrus. The Hurricane I make with homemade Fassionola uses this rum by default, and is well-loved by guests.
An absolute necessity for the shelf. Highly recommended.
Big rum tasting last night. Nice picture of unique rum collection. This is a solid Guyanese rum! Not extra aged but just great blend of Diamond Distillery’s rums. Not to much emphasis on Port Mourant. A bit of a younger rum burn drinking straight but should be great mixer and more. I think it earns a solid 7. Not the aged depth or added sweetness as Eldorado 12-21 but at $35 bottle solid rum liked by everyone at our tasting not knowing the price.
It’s akin to Lemon Hart 1804.
Good solid Demerara rums for use in tiki drinks, both overshadowed by their distillery’s much stronger (151) expression.
But good flavors, and reasonably priced.
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.
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.
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.
Has a burnt treacly molasses note a lighter vanilla and caramel note.
"It’s pretty short when taken neat. It’s flavourful with a lot of raisin."
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Tiki Mixer 7 out of 10
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.