In this second part of my series on demerara rums i try out i`m going to write about Banks XM, OVD -  Old Vatted Demerara and Samaroli Port Morant 1990.


Since the 1840`s, the D’Aguiar family have been in business in Guyana, its for over 150 years, and over the years this company`s rums have been awarded many accolades, including three outstanding awards at the International Wine and Spirits Competition for its 10 year-old rum and XM VXO, which won a double gold medal and a bronze award respectively.

Banks DIH buy rum in bulk, from DDL, and age, blend and bottle it at Thirst Park on the southern outskirts of Georgetown. DDL have several different stills, but they are all on one site. All Demerara rum is distilled at the DDL distillery at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.

XM Royal Gold 10 Year Old is a superb aged demerara rum crafted by the Aguiar Industries master blenders. I can really vouch for this rums superior tastiness -  its hands down wonderful. Its a creamy full bodied masterwork, very round, with lots of toffee-like flavor. So Yummy!

I`ve now heard its going to be sold in the US and i`m very happy for my demerara loving friends living there. There´s an excellent review of this rum over at Refined Vices.

I also have the 12 year old Millenium, a blend of aged demerara rums, and more refined in flavor than the 10yo, but it lacks the rounded “toffeeness” of XM10 and I prefer the 10, but its a very nice rum with a distinctive flavor.

Then we have XM VXO – famous for its unique bouquet and aroma which I haven`t been able to try yet. Its crafted from rums aged for 7 years in Sherry casks and then the choicest casks are selected for blending XM VXO 7 year old.

XM is distilled at Diamond by DDL, and then aged and bottled by Banks/DIH outside Georgetown. Banks/DIH is a blender. The bottle is now sold with a new blue label.

So to summarize these 2 XM rums:

The XM10 is full bodied, round, with lots of toffee-like flavor, with a little bite.

The XM12 Millenium lacks much of that toffee-like flavor and is a bit lighter and more refined.


First time i tried this rum my thoughts immediately went to Lemon Hart 151. O.V.D has a lot of similar flavors but at 80 proof of course without that overproof bite and I also find it woodier and drier. I find its a very good mixing rum provided that not too much is used as the woodiness is very pronounced.

It adds a distinctive character to for example, tropical and tiki drinks in the same way as LH151 does. Its nice for sipping as well provided you like this kinda woody rums and has a distinctive oaky aroma as it have matured for up to seven years in oak.

Its a  blend of Demerara Rums made from sugar cane growing along the banks of the Demerara River. It is matured in Guyana, it’s full-bodied, mellow, woody and spicy, with some complex toffee flavours, rich on the palate, mellow finish and a hint of sweet molasses. O.V.D is blended from the finest demerara rums in the world, and matured in oak casks.

Originally Old Vatted was imported by George Morton from Guyana in 1838. Morton was a whisky bottler and blender – since recognized as Scotland’s leading rum specialist. Today the George Morton Company is a subsidiary of William Grant & Sons Ltd.

One thing that is very good about OVD is that its very reasonably priced, about the same price as XM10, just a bit hard to find.

Its said that Morton created Old Vatted Demerara rum especially for the Scottish palate…

OLD because its aged longer than most rums to obtain a mellow, rich and spicy taste and it has been imported to Scotland since 1838.

VATTED, because specially imported, top quality rums from Guyana are carefully vatted or blended to become consistent, rounded and full-bodied.

DEMERARA, because it comes from the country in which the Dutch established the colony of Demerara. And its made from the very best sugar cane stock and the rums from this region are renown for being dark and aromatic and for their richness of flavour.

Producer: Demerara Distillers   –


Samaroli is an Italian independent bottler, a legendary whisky selector and famed for the exceptional quality of their releases and for their artsy, innovative labels and packaging.

In 1992, after a 12 years period of enquiries in the tropical places, Silvano S. Samaroli started with the bottling of special lots of Rum in Scotland. His first Rum became a very successful 1948 West Indies Dark Rum. This was the start of a growing portfolio. I´ve read there`s only 4 bottles left of that rum. At this moment there are several beautiful Rums available that bear the name Samaroli. Since the Rums are all from just 1 big or small cask, all products by Samaroli are limited editions.

I find my Samaroli Port Morant 1990 excellent. It has a very deep woody flavor with some peppery and tropical fruit notes accompanied by molasses and vanilla. Its naturally colored by aging. Its too rare to mix with, only 366 bottles were made.

A pricey treasure indeed.

Any rum that is referred to as Demerara rum must be distilled in Guyana in the county of Demerara.

19 Replies to “DEMERARA RUMS Part Three”

  1. Thanks Marcus, i agree about OVD – it´s really distinct.I`m out of it for now…i wish i could just go to the shop and grab another but alas..need to import it.

  2. Great Blog !

    Personally i found that OVD (old vatted demerara) works wonders in cocktails due to it´s distinctive flavor – i find el dorado too mellow for cocktails and save it for sipping – banks XM is my second choice for mixing when i don´t drink it straight:-)

    Also you can buy OVD for 26 Euros the liter which is cheaper than most demeraras you get here.

    Try a Beachcombers Punch with all 3 and you see what i mean. The cherries you´ll notice with OVD are not there with the other two rums but again – everyone has his own poison.

    “Prost” from Austria

  3. Oh yeah, you right! Renegade is really on my list of rums to try. I have also left comments at your posts at the MOR.

    As for these rums from DDL you get them also from Roberto`s shop (banner on the right sidebar of this blog)

    It will take me some time to get to the 3rd demerara rum post simply because it will take me long to collect a few of these to try out. The Boozefairy doesn`t carry these kind of exclusive products..

  4. I heard Banks XM was going to be available in the US and that was about a year ago..

    As for a demerara rums part 3, i`m planning on that – but for the moment i can`t afford any expensive demeraras but when i can i`ll write – but about which ones remains to see..i`ve yet to try Bristol classic and Cadenhead.

  5. Dam! I wanna read part 3!

    Maybe you could talk about bristol classic and cadenhead?


  6. I heard Banks XM was going to be available in the US and that was about a year ago..

    As for a demerara rums part 3, i`m planning on that – but for the moment i can`t afford any expensive demeraras but when i can i`ll write – but about which ones remains to see..i`ve yet to try Bristol classic and Cadenhead.

  7. It really sucks that all of these aren’t available in the US! We are really missing out.. I tried Banks once when I was on vacation and haven’t been able to find anything comparable since..

  8. Is there going to be a part 3 about demerara rums? its interesting!


  9. Agree with the above, a true guide to drinks and will be registering to keep up with this concise blog. Oh and Demerara is really tasty BTW – thanks!

  10. Shirow66, if you check the links and look for spirit shops, you will find one that i have bought from before, namely NurVom Feinstein. If you dont see it in the list, just e-mail Frank and ask when it will be available.



  11. I’m going to get me some XM 10 and El Dorado 15 very soon me thinks. Also considering trying out the Elements Platinum and the El Dorado rum cream. Reading this blog is turning out to be expensive lol. The question is how to get hold of the Lemon Hart 151.. Any tips, Tiare?

  12. I think demerara rums is of special interest not only because of their fantastic taste but there`s also something more, call it a sort of “mystic allure” i`m sure you agree.

    As for writing on rums that are not available everywhere, its not my intention to rub unreachable rums in peoples nose, but i think these rums as a part of the rum world also should be spoken of.

  13. Congratulations on the TDN Cocktail recipe win with the Demerera Bomb. Well deserved!

  14. John Mac – thanks! i hope it won´t take too long for part 3…

    Rum Runner – Thanks! and cheers!

    Rob – thanks for your kind words!

    Rick – Oh he wept..but just not here, at the MOR:

    Oh sure T, just keep rubbing it in that out here we can get Lemonhart and that’s about it. I would say we can get El Dorado, but I coudln’t find any last night in 4 different stores.

    I cried all night.

    No wait, that’s not what I did…I made mai tais all night.

  15. Tiare…I love the way you continue to pour sunshine from the “land of the long night”.

  16. I’m surprised Matt hasn’t come on here to weep about these rums that are so very not available in the U.S. Beautiful write-up T. I can’t wait for your Mai Tai comparison with Matt (and me).

  17. Tiare, your blog is a wonderful resource for those of us trying to learn all we can about rum. The Demerara rums are especially of interest to me and I appreciate all the research and tasting you’re invested to share the knowledge.

  18. Great blog Tiare!…I’m glad you choose these rums to taste. The flavour profiles are great and I have already made my list of which ones to buy.

    Don’t take too long for part 3!!

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