Review: El Destilado Overproof Oaxacan Rum

Michael Sager (Sager + Wilde), Alex Wolpert (East London Liquor Company) and Charlie McKay (indepedent creative director/photographer) are “responsible” for the London based El Destilado company/concept. They are independent bottlers and importers that work with various small producers, with their current range being sourced just from Oaxaca, Mexico.

For the ones in the know, Oaxaca is pretty much synonimous with mezcal (agave spirit) production, but I am happy to say Oaxaca also has some rum going on. I have tried mezcal sourced by El Destilado in the past and it was a very pleasant experience, so I’m hyped to try the Oaxacan rum bottled by them.

Firstly I have to praise the minimalistic presentation with the stubby bottle and informative label. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, labels with this amount of production details are making bloggers’ life easier and also simply look cool, even if one doesn’t know how to interpret it.

The Overproof Oaxacan Rum was distilled in Santa Maria Tlalixtac, Oaxaca by Isidoro Krassel Peralta. Their distillery are making the Cañada Aguardiente de Oaxaca, an offering I haven’t tried yet. They use the juice from the hand picked, high altitude (800 – 1400 metres above the sea) growing Java cane variety for their rum production. The juice is wild fermented in 1200 stainless steel tanks from 5 to 10 days, depending on the climate, wild yeasts present and sugar yield of the cane. They use a modified 8 plate continuous still in order to distill.

The “overproof” monicker on the label seems a bit of a stretch given that a spirit “at proof” is historically considered to be 57% ABV by British definition and anything more would be “overproof”, but I guess they had to differentiate somehow between this one and their 41.5% ABV Oaxacan Rum bottling.

Sugar cane (Java variety) juice based, wild fermented for 5 days and column still distilled. Bottled at 52.3 % ABV without anything added.

On the nose it’s unmistakably cane juice. Boiled corn, sea salt, cardamom, white pepper and parma violet. Coriander, jara lemon, agave syrup and printer ink. Has a vegetal/medicinal profile. Hints of coconut and white cacao liqueur.

On the palate it feels milder than expected. Black olives, white cacao liqueur, sea salt, liquorice, barley, corn, milk, green chilli and bell peppers. Dusty cardboard, tomatoes, tempera paint, nutmeg, camomile tea and coconut water. The cane juice aroma is present, but it’s also quite sweet and rich. The finish is long with toffee, white pepper and sea salt.

I low-key expected a mezcal-like aroma to be honest, and it has medicinal undertones, but the main profile would be sweet cane juice with a touch of spice. A very interesting and tasty cane spirit.

Can be bought for £40 (Master of Malt) which is reasonable for a small batch, cane juice spirit above 50% ABV that comes from an area that’s not generaly associated with rum production.

El Destilado Overproof Oaxacan Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 51/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 81/100


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