Rum Review: El Dorado 15
El Dorado 15 Year-Old Rum Review
If you’ve been with me for a while, you may have read my reviews of other El Dorado rums including the 12 Year and the 21 Year. Today we add the 15 year to the mix to see how the “middle child” stacks up to its siblings. The last time I tried each of the three blindly, I picked the 21 as my favorite; let’s see if a more in-depth look at the 15 changes that opinion.
The El Dorado 15 arrives in the same manner of tan glass bottle as the other two age expressions: short and round, topped by a plastic stopper holding a natural cork. According to the label, the rum inside is at least fifteen years old. Let’s pour a dram.
In the glass, the color appears as a rich mahogany with copper highlights glinting in the light. A swirl yields an extremely thin ring atop the snifter from which droplets begrudgingly creep downward. The nose is mildly astringent, and the initial aroma is of charred oak. After the heavy wood is a dose of candied orange slices and vanilla bean pods. With the rum sitting in the glass for a few minutes, the astringency is non-existent and additional aromas spring forth including fresh pear, ripe plum, and a bit of raisin. There is also a hint of cinnamon and molasses. Let’s taste.
As the rum washes over the palate, candied orange imagery persists, as does the spicy cinnamon and sweet molasses. The mouthfeel is round and fairly thick. A second sip yields a flash of Scotch-like oaken dryness mixed with a heavy dose of cane syrup. Now it’s as though the underlying complexity is being muted by the sweetness. As I continue to sip, the sugary oranges dominate. The finish is long and sweet, but not terribly interesting over time, save for the oaken smoke notes.
After finishing my tasting notes, I pulled out the 12 and 15 to do a quick comparison. Whereas the 12 is bright, sweet and flirty, the 21 is much drier, oaky, and complex. The 15 certainly seems to be a combination of the two, but with the benefit of tasting the 21, the 15 seems like a transitional period that is somewhat unremarkable. It’s sweet and oaky, but not dry enough to be the deeply complex older brother that is the 21. Off to boarding school for you.
On to the scores:
- Appearance: 1/1
- Nose: 1.75/2
- Mouth feel: .75/1
- Taste: 3/4
- Aftertaste: 1.5/2
- Total Score: 8/10
What are your thoughts on El Dorado 15? Have you tried a blind vertical tasting of their aged rums? Please share your comments below.