Review: Doorly’s 3 Year Old vs El Dorado 3 Year Old

A bit of a ‘white’ rum match-up, this is the first time I’m doing two rums from different countries so it should be fun. Wasn’t planning on it, but found myself with a bottle of each so why not. I know both of these are good… as good as aged and then filtered rum can go without making the average consumer wondering why it “smells like varnish”, but I thought it would be fun to compare them. Basically I would respect any bar that carries one of these rums as their house pour for ‘white rum’ rather than Havana 3 or Bacardi.

Doorly’s 3 Year Old comes from the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. Martin Doorly was a trader, a blender and bottler in Barbados in 1920 and the brand was bought by R.L. Seale in 1993, the same company that owns Foursquare Distillery. Now it’s a continuous release filled with juice from Foursquare. Molasses based, a blend of pot and column still aged for at least 3 years in ex-Bourbon casks in Barbados and filtered to remove the color. Bottled at 40% ABV with no other tampering.

El Dorado 3 Year Old comes from Diamond Distillery in Guyana. Diamond Distillery has quite the collection of stills that can produce different marques, including their heritage stills:

  • Wooden Coffey Still (Enmore)
  • Double Wooden Pot Still (Port Mourant)
  • Single Wooden Pot Still (Versailles)
  • The French Savalle Still (Uitvlught)

ED3 is molasses based and uses the French Savalle Still – which is capable of producing 9 different marques from light to medium bodied rums. After distillation it’s aged for at least 3 years in ex-Bourbon barrels in Guyana and then double filtered through natural charcoal. Bottled at 40% ABV and even if the El Dorado range has a track record of sweetening their rums, their 3 year old is unadulterated.

Doorly’s 3 Year Old

On the nose coconut with be the obvious flavour. Custard, vanilla, bananas and some pink pepper. There’s quite a bit of alcohol heat coming out as well. White chocolate, melon, candy floss, fresh raspberries, a bit of marmalade and a hint of liquorice. Smells quite sweet and fresh.

On the palate there’s coconut and white cacao liqueur. The nose and the palate are very similar. Quite a bit of vanilla with a vague hint of menthol. Melon, banana and liquorice again. Some oak spices and a bit of a milky flavour/mouthfeel. This is well balanced, no crazy esters or too much alcohol burn with plenty of body.

El Dorado 3 Year Old

On the nose it’s a tad sharp. Burnt sugar, kind of a metalic smell, vanilla and white cacao liqueur. Definitely some citrus, pink grapefruit dominant, foam bananas, hints of cinnamon and white pepper. Also a coconuty flavour but a bit fainter than in the Doorly’s. A bit more heat from the alcohol as well.

On the palate… ah there it is, a little bit of anise. Milk chocolate, margarine, charred oak, vanilla and sultanas. The grapefruit is back along with quite a bit of ethanol. There is some alcohol burn and bitterness towards the end that are a little bit off for me.

To be honest for me the D3 wins just by a margin over ED3. Doorly’s is a bit brighter and more intense, but I prefer the slightly ‘darker’ flavours in ED3 although the ethanol was a bit too much and too obvious compared to Doorly’s.

I’ve also put them side by side in a couple of Daquiris and then compared them. All for research purposes of course. The Doorly’s 3 had a bit more body and was richer with the rum coming through more and even featuring some nice floral aromas. The El Dorado was a bit cleaner, more crisp with notes of cacao and coconut. Definitely prefer the Doorly’s 3 Daquiri by far.

Doorly’s 3 Year Old & El Dorado 3 Year Old Daquiris

Now Doorly’s has a bit of a slightly golden hue compared to El Dorado implying less filtration therefore a bit more flavour retained. That’s cheating! Joking, but yes, Doorly’s 3 Year Old is definitely the winner here although they are both great whites. Doorly’s 3 Year Old can be found on House of Malt for £25.

Doorly’s 3 Year Old score:
Flavour/taste: 47/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 77/100

El Dorado 3 Year Old score:
Flavour/taste: 45/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 75/100


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