Striking Gold: El Dorado Rum Tasting

This is another rum review from the selection at Hostaria 24 in Sosua, Dominican Republic.  The other night I tried their two El Dorado rums, the 12 YO and the 15 YO.  Both were good.  However, I am only going to review only the 15 YO here.  The 12 YO was the end of a bottle and tasting oxidized.  I got big banana tastes and not a whole lot else.  The 15 YO was from a fresh bottle, and having drunk it on two consecutive nights I think I can write a reasonable review.

El Dorado 15 YO


This rum pours with a deep brown color.  The nose is demerara sugar with a musty undercurrent I am going to call Chinese medicine.  The palette is gentle and the alcohol is restrained.  While the dominant taste is demerera sugar, there is huge complexity with a host of other tastes flitting in and out of the background.  I got a distinct taste of orange peel and bitter sweet herbs, the whole Chinese medicine shop thing, along with a little smokiness.  The aftertaste is extremely long and rather bitter.

A little ice really opened the rum up.  Dilution brought out banana notes (similar to what I had noted in the oxidized 12 YO).  I found the banana taste dry, more like vegetal banana blossom than sweet banana fruit.  A hint of licorice or anise emerged to fill out the Chinese medicine shop taste mentioned earlier.  There was a subtle sherry note, not unlike what you might get in a sherry cask finished Scotch.  Citrus was also present, and vanilla appeared and grew over time.  The slight smoky edge mentioned earlier also persisted.

Overall I found this a complex dry rum containing numerous delicate flavors.  Definitely recommended.

6 Responses to “Striking Gold: El Dorado Rum Tasting”

  1. Jay Hepburn Says:

    Really enjoying reading about your adventures in the Caribbean Seamus – seems like you’re having a great time! I’m very jealous…

  2. Rick Says:

    Greatly enjoying your pirate-like trek as well Seamus.

  3. forrest Says:

    The nose is most definitely demerara sugar, but i would say the musty undertones are tobacco– tobacco with sauteed plantains (in a rough cut cedar box). The chinese medicine (root tones, pungent tastes) does show up but it appears more me as a mid-palate resurgence after the caramelized honey, and figs in the front-palate begin resolving into grilled tropical fruits (banana for sure, but maybe under-ripe mango, or pineapple stalk) the herbals burst back up with bracing alcohol smoke, and baking spices that linger, diminishing as a finish–very nice.

    Yes, definitely delicate, definitely complex, oh so very good.

  4. seamus Says:

    Thanks for the enthusiastic tasting notes Forest. . .

    I am now back in Santo Domingo so sadly it may be a while before I try this rum again. In any case, very very nice stuff.

    In depth look at Barbancourt coming up shortly. We had a power cut at the hotel here in Santo Domingo tonight, and when the lights came on my bottle Barbancourt was empty.

  5. tiare Says:

    This is my favorite rum!

    What you call Chinese medicine is what i call smoky, but i dont think my palate is so very refined as yours and forrest. But can we agree that this is the worlds best rum?

  6. seamus Says:

    I think I need a bottle for my bar before I can decide whether it’s the world’s best. I only had a couple of chances to try it so far. It has been one of my favorites so far though.

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