El Dorado is a pretty well known rum brand, their rich and sweet “dark” rums have won the hearts of many customers and enthusiasts. What most of the consumers don’t know is that under the roof of the Diamond Distillery in Guyana where El Dorado flows from there are 3 “heritage stills”. One double wooden pot still named Port Mourant, one single wooden pot still named Versailles and one two-column wooden still – Enmore. These are the only working wooden stills in the world and they bare the names of the original sugar estates/distilleries where they hail from.
Rum production in Guyana goes as far as the 1650s, by the 1700s having over 300 sugar estates each producing their own rum. In 1952 the number of rum distilleries shrunk drastically to just 9. At the time there were just two rum companies remaining – Guyana Distillers Limited and Diamond Liquors Limited. After Guyana gained its independence from Britain in 1966 the government started buying shares in the remaining distilleries and in 1983 the two rum companies and all the distilleries merged under one hold – Diamond Distillery Limited. All the distilleries closed, except the Diamond Distillery and all the equipment was moved there in order to preserve all the marques that the different stills could produce.
he Enmore Coffey Wooden Still was installed at the Enmore Estate Distillery in 1880 before being moved to Diamond Distillery in 1993 when the Enmore Distillery had to be closed. The still itself is almost identical to the first column still made by Aeneas Coffey in 1832 and, as I mentioned before, it is the only wooden continuous still that works in the world. The EHP (named after the founder of the Enmore Estate – Edward Henry Potter) is the marque used to describe the rum made in the Enmore Still.
That should do it for now, lets have a look at the bottle. My El Dorado Rare Collection Enmore 1996 is made from Guyanese molasses and it was distilled in 1996 in the aforementioned Enmore Wooden Coffey Still. Aged for 21 years in Guyana in ex-Bourbon barrels and bottled at 57.2% ABV. This is a limited release although I don’t know how many bottles were available – El Dorado is not great at advertising their limited ranges.
Now I mentioned at the beginning “rich and sweet” and while a lot of the flavours in the El Dorado range come from their unique stills they also have this “habit” of sweetening their stuff. A real shame if you ask me, but most of the bottles from the Rare Collection that have been measured/tested are supposedly free of any sweetner. I went to Johnny Drejer’s website to check my Enmore and apparently there is the possibility that this could have around 8 grams of sugar per liter – quite a small number so I’m kinda okay with it. Enough is enough I need some rum.
On the nose this is rich and intense, very chocolaty. Dark chocolate brownies, raisins, sweet plums, licorice and damp oak. The anise/licorice aroma that’s present in almost all the “heritage stills” rums is present here as well. Burnt orange and pink grapefruit zest. Old leather, English Breakfast tea, nuts and overripe banana. Quite complex and very inviting.
On the palate again, chocolate. A lot of dark chocolate, coffee, sweet tobacco, marmalade, licorice, After Eights and apricots. Quite nutty with walnuts and almonds. It has some fortified wine flavours, mostly sherry and funky flavours like rubber and mothballs. Very oaky and with that some spices – black pepper and cloves. It has a nice oily mouthfeel and the finish lingers with dark chocolate, cocoa butter and English Breakfast tea. Yum!
This is very good, I’m a fan of the Port Mourants, and this has some similarities but it’s tamed, more tender. The oak influence is very strong, I feel like that’s why it might or not might be the 8 grams of sugar per liter in there, but I couldn’t say I can taste it. This is a pricey bottle, as most of the rums coming from DDL are, but delicious nonetheless.
El Dorado Rare Collection Enmore 1996 score:
Value for money: 11/15