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Rum Review: El Dorado 12-Year

El Dorado 12 Year

El Dorado 12-Year

Up for review today is another 12-year-old rum, the El Dorado 12-Year. This rum hails from Guyana, and is a true Demerara rum produced by Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).  For a wealth of information on the history of DDL, as well as information on the various rums in their El Dorado line, check out their site here.

The El Dorado bottles have a great look to them. I’m quickly running out of room on my low shelf with all of these squat bottles, but I’m a bit of a salty dog, so I quite like the image of the tall ship and the old style serif lettering.

Opening the corked top gives a satisfying sound that deepens as the contents disappear, inviting the bartender to continue pouring.

I poured a generous serving into my tasting snifter and swirled the contents.  After I stopped swirling, several slender legs made a return to the snifter bowl spaced apart almost uniformly while leaving a ring toward the top that seems to say “come hither”.

Wafting the snifter under my nose, I sense very little astringency. Instead I get caramel followed by cream and then a hint of citrus over an oak backdrop. As I sip the rum, I get a moderately slick mouth feel and a bit of spiciness. The same flavor notes are here again, but now the oak gives way to vanilla and more spices. There is a moderate sweetness here that blends well with the rest of the melange.

The aftertaste is almost more interesting than the primary aroma or taste. As flavors and sensations dissipate, each one seems to do so individually, leaving just enough heat and spice to invite another extinguishing.

In summary, this is a very fine sipping rum at a very fair price. It is equally at home in a snifter and high-end tiki drinks. Highly recommended.

Now on to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 2/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3/4
  • Aftertaste: 2/2
  • Total Score: 9/10

Buy El Dorado 12-Year Online

What do you think of El Dorado 12-Year? Please share your comments below.
11 Comments leave one →
  1. Phil permalink
    February 9, 2012 8:27 am

    Excellent apertif. My wife will drink Irish, Scotch or Canadian Whiskey, Calvados or Armanac after a meal. I prefer the 12 year old El Dorado. I have compared it to the 15 year old and I find virtually nothing distinctive in the 15 year old to warrant the extra cost. Furthermore, rums such as many Bacardi’s or Cuban Havana – even the 7 year old – don’t stand up well to this bargain. I only hope that no one reads this as I don’t want the price to increase due to demand.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      February 9, 2012 9:07 pm

      I like the way you think, Phil. I’m just sitting down to write up my review of the 21-year. I’ll include a note on the differences between it and the 12. Huli pai!

  2. March 8, 2013 7:30 pm

    Since I can’t get Lemon Hart 80 in America I use this as my non overproof demerera rum for my tiki cocktails. When I feel as though I deserve a treat however this is one of my favorite sippers as well.

  3. Phillip Chiricotti permalink
    March 16, 2013 7:48 pm

    The 12 year is spectacular. Not a fan of their older rums.

  4. Alex permalink
    April 11, 2013 12:45 pm

    Thanks for your review. I do prefer the 15yr because of a dusty, cocoa flavor that adds some complexity and wood on the finish, but the 12yr is a good value.

  5. Mark permalink
    August 10, 2013 9:55 am

    Complex but not difficult to drink. Have enjoyed neat and rocks. One of my favorites.

  6. eric permalink
    January 4, 2015 3:13 pm

    A great smooth run with a solid body.

  7. rus permalink
    December 4, 2015 9:58 am

    Hi…just wondering,as many of these rums have changed quite a bit over the last few years,and i suspect your tastes havematured and become more discriminate over the time span….do you think you might date these reviews as to when you tasted/reviewed them ?, cheers rus

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 5, 2015 9:54 am

      Hey Rus–Yes, I like to think I’ve grown a lot as a rum taster over the past four years. This is an early one, but I think it still holds. ElDo 12 is a tasty dram. The site is in need of a huge redesign–I’ll take your suggestion into the mix when I undertake that. Cheers!


  1. New Rum Review: El Dorado 12-Year « Inu a Kena
  2. New Rum Review: El Dorado 21-Year Old Special Reserve « Inu a Kena

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