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Rum Review: El Dorado Single Barrel PM

El Dorado Single Barrel Port Mourant Rum Review

El Dorado Single Barrel Port MourantThe 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

Buy El Dorado Single Barrel Port Mourant online

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Chippy permalink
    December 1, 2014 5:27 pm

    Thanks again for saving me from running out and spending money on something I really don’t need. Keep up the good work.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 1, 2014 5:57 pm

      That’s what I’m here for! Oh, and for telling you what you DO need, too 🙂

  2. Gil permalink
    December 1, 2014 6:02 pm

    Do you have all three?

    We were going to do a tasting of all three, then the ED5 then the 15, and see what came of it, but we ended up getting distracted and…well, other things were drunk.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      December 1, 2014 7:18 pm

      I do not, Gil. And based on how this one went, I don’t see myself buying the other two.

  3. December 3, 2014 3:57 am

    Thank you for a honest no BS review. I thought long and hard about getting the triples of Single Still rums, but reading your review I suddenly have no need to 🙂

  4. December 3, 2014 7:21 am

    Congrats on having the courage to speak out, and for you obvious resistance to marketing. As I think you know one of DDL’s primary pitches are those “200 year old” romantic and historical wooden pot stills”. For those who don’t know here’s the truth…
    1. They are not 200 years old. The wood is replaced on a regular basis, such that the average age is perhaps 10 years, not 200.

    2. The wood is NOT oak, and adds nothing to the the distillate. To the contrary these stills are made from a super dense, water and fungus proof “Greenwood” which is typically used in fresh and saltwater environments for docks and pilings.
    3. These are NOT pot stills in the classic sense. The PM is billed as a “double pot still”. Actually their system is closer to the moonshine equivalent of a pot and thumper, which – get this – delivers the vapor to a rectifying column where the final distillation takes place. To represent this as a pot stilled product is a leap.
    Nonetheless, DDL continues to pitch these stills as “200 year old wooden pot stills”. Trust me, the juice you get from these is the same that is used in the ED blends. Worse yet, your notes seem to confirm the ALKO government test results that revealed that ED adds LARGE amounts of sugar to their 12 and 15.
    Does it stop with hidden sugar added? I think your observation that the 40% for a “premium” simply doesn’t follow…

    • Dan permalink
      December 12, 2014 10:49 am

      I’ll only address Point #1, which is often used in entry-level philosophy discussions about the nature of identity (the Ship of Theseus Paradox), and is therefore of no weight in this discussion (I have no dispute with the issue of wood influence from the Greenheart, etc.).

      It would be ridiculous for anyone to assume that the stills continued to be comprised of the original wooden sections, and DDL makes no claim that they are. While the stills are not qualitatively identical, they are numerically identical, hence the 200 year-old age claim (you could also make an Aristotelian ’cause’ argument, too, but that isn’t necessary); in point of fact, the stills, despite any repairs and wood replacement that may have occurred, are essentially 200 years old.

  5. December 3, 2014 7:27 am

    Ooops… the wood used is “Greenheart” (not “Greenwood”), sorry.

  6. December 17, 2014 12:37 pm

    I wish they could get some of these rums into the UK!

  7. Peter permalink
    February 5, 2015 2:10 pm

    The single barrel EHP was discontinued in Ontario and sold out quickly at $49. I purchased one and loved it. I then picked up another to hoard. Love El Dorado rum and of all the EHP is my favorite.

    I did hear the other 2 SB offerings were mediocre at best.


  1. New Rum Review: El Dorado Single Barrel Port Mourant | Inu a Kena

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