Drink Review: El Dorado Rum 12 Year Old

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Awarded the gold medal at the Caribbean Rum Taste Test (held annually in London) no fewer than seven times in the first 10 years in which the competition was held!

El Dorado 12 Review:

The rum was poured to the brim of the glass and allowed to warm up for a few seconds. We then sniffed the rum around the rim of the glass and had a taste. After a few minutes, we took a nice long sip followed by a pause and a sniff and then another sip. Then we had another sip and we again took a long pause and a very careful sniff. 

We then took a final long sip and again we sniffed the glass. The essence had disappeared. We repeated this for a second tasting. The essence had disappeared again. Upon a third tasting, we noted the taste was less intense than the first tasting revealing a deep smooth feel. For the fourth tasting, we took a longer drink with more water, including a sip with a small amount of bite. We then paused. The essence was gone. We repeated this process 5 times and each time the essence had dissipated. We only had a half-bottle of this. Definitely a rum to savor.

We allowed the remaining bottle to steep (12 months) and had a fourth tasting after the waiting period. After tasting the rum, it opened up with a very nice taste reminiscent of a Jamaican rum. The rum was now very nice; not as intense as the El Dorado 12 but certainly very nice and smooth tasting.

El Dorado 12 showed a very nice flavor profile that aging would only improve. The rum was soft, smooth, and clean tasting. There was less of the mellow “Jamaican spice” in the taste and much more of a refined Caribbean taste without the harsh shot of the Jamaican fire.

El Dorado 12 Review: 

This is a classic. This is a rum of the Islands that you’d give to a friend. This is the rum that, in Cuba, you’d find in the liquor stores and bars in the Keys. A little heat? Sure. A little bite? Sure. BUT, it’s still a rum of the Islands. A rum of Cuba. A rum that is so smooth, so clean, so clean and so clean that it cleans your palate, leaving you with a lingering after-taste of goodness. A rum that you savor…and get lost in. Paper stuck. Brain frozen. Glaze placed. El Dorado 12 is a rum not to be missed. Silver medal.

El Dorado 12 Amazingly smooth, rich, deep, and thick. This is a rum to hit. It has the depth and the sweetness of rum. By itself or incorporated in other drinks. Breaks the mind. Breaks the palate. None more perfect. Gold Medal.

I attended the tasting at Havana Club, Gran Habana, Cuba where the Dark Rum was served from a cabinet in the back of the room. I was not able to measure the pour, but took a few sips and …

El Dorado is to Guinness what Kelly’s is to garlic. What you make with these two rums, you make something that is very special and unique.

El Dorado 12 Review:

The 12 year old is a good, smooth, moderate bodied rum. I don’t find it as smooth and mellow as the 14 or 16 year old but the 12 does seem quite nice. I myself like the depth and kick of the 16 year old. But, if you like mellow and sweet, well you will love the 12 year old. It’s very smooth. The finish is very nice. I found it somewhat sweet compared to the 16 year old.

El Dorado 12 is one you just have to have. If I were to only have one rum in my house, it would be the 12 year old. It’s quaffable, it’s drinkable, it’s smooth and tasty. It makes you smile and laugh. It’s not the kind of rum you buy for cocktails, but the kind of rum to drink straight with a little ice on the rocks. And what a beautiful finish! The El Dorado makes you want to drink more, and then drink more more. Give it a try. You will love it.

A mature, mellow rum with a smooth, velvety texture. The corn notes are subtle, but they come through, enhancing the rich flavor. The finish is a little spicy, but the sweetness, and particularly the sugariness of the rum, hold off the burn.

Written by Mark Adams


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