The Barrel Sample: El Dorado Rare Collection Versailles 2002

El Dorado have launched limited edition rums called Rare Collection to highlight some of their marques and stills, just like the old Velier Demerara did. This one was distilled at Diamond Distillery (Guyana) in the Versailles Wooden Pot Still in 2002 and was a release of 3000 bottles. They are supposed to be additive-free, but a few hydrometer tests have shown otherwise. Apparently that could be due to caramel added to the casks due to ageing.

Molasses based, distilled in a single wooden pot still and aged for 12 years in ex-Bourbon casks in Guyana. Bottled at 63% ABV and with an obscuration of around 8 grams of sugar per litre.

On the nose is quite mild given the ABV. Tobacco, like a lot, and After Eights. Caramel soaked cardboard, raisins, prunes and walnuts. Pencil shavings, molasses and old leather. It’s very very inviting.

On the palate is hot, but still not as much as I was expecting. Tobacco again, mint drops, caramel and liquorice. Coffee, dark chocolate, blackcurrants, nutmeg and walnuts. Quite spicy with black pepper, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Some engine oil, damp cardboard and a port aroma. The finish is long with charred oak and liquorice.

I really enjoyed this, although I feel like it misses something, it’s a tad too elegant at 63% ABV. This was £160 when it was released and I think it is a bit pricey, but if I had the money I would’ve spent it on this.

El Dorado Rare Collection Versailles 2002 score:
Flavour/taste: 57/70
Value for money: 11/15
Transparency/purity: 13/15
Overall: 81/100


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