Rum Review: El Dorado Single Barrel PM
El Dorado Single Barrel Port Mourant Rum Review
The El Dorado Single Barrel series is less about barrels than it is about stills. Each bottle in the series represents the distillate of a single still–a concept that excited me as a lover of their other rums. The rums that make up the El Dorado 15, for example, predominantly come from the wooden Port Mourant still. Given that I enjoy El Dorado 15, I should love the Port Mourant distillate on its own, right? Let’s see if the theory holds.
The clear bottles used in the “Single Barrel” series stand far apart from the squat ones used for the 12, 15 and 21-year expressions. They are handsome and square shouldered, with accents of gold leaf, and a natural cork stopper with plastic top. The labels in the series leave quite a bit to the imagination, however, with only the letters “PM” indicating its origins. The label also tells us the contents of this $80 bottle are a mere 40% ABV, which is somewhat surprising given the market for these spirits (one would assume) is rum aficionados.
Like with the Facundo line, I am immediately suspicious of a “super premium” spirit bottled at 40%. It leads me to believe the spirit can’t stand on its own at higher proof, or that I’m being ripped off (or both, really).
With the rum in a glass, the burnished copper color is the same we saw in the bottle. A swirl produces a thin ring that turns uniformly thick and then yields a set of liberal legs.
The initial nose is no nonsense: pure rum and water. There is a bit of apple and aged cheese here now as well. Add in a bit of honey and we’ve got ourselves a nice appetizer. Kidding aside, there is a sweetness to the nose, and a distinct lack of bite or “brightness” for lack of a better word. There is also a bit of very ripe banana mixed with butter and just a tad of orange zest. Let’s have a taste.
As the rum enters, smoke is immediately noticeable as is the thin, watery mouthfeel. The overripe fruit (bananas, apples) and the notion of cheese reappears now, and the flavors are not nearly as enjoyable as the aromas were. There is a bit of rubber and a hefty dose of phenolic (Band-Aid) flavor now, which leads into leather and tobacco. The finish is thin and dusty with a dash of black pepper.
As stated at the outset, I am a fan of El Dorado rum, but I am certainly not a fan of this bottle. What this really shows is the genius of the Master Blender. I say, give these single barrels back to Amar Seweda and let him do what he does best. This one’s interesting to taste, but not good enough to stand on its own.
On to the scores:
- Appearance: 1/1
- Nose: 1/2
- Mouth feel: .5/1
- Taste: 2.5/4
- Aftertaste: 1/2
- Total Score: 6/10