LEMON HART TO EUROPE

Yes folks, the Lemon Hart rum including the 151 will be sold in Europe by Distillerie Kammer-Kirsch who are the exclusive distributor for Lemon Hart in Germany and Austria who will start with the reintroduction of the product latest beginning of August.

That was some great news me thinks!

Lemon Hart 151 (75.5% vol.) and Lemon Hart Original (40% vol.) are the authentic blends of select Demerara rums, distilled, aged and blended on the East Bank of the age-old, world famous colony of Demerara in Guyana.

As many of us know there were in excess of 200 small distilleries operating in Guyana in the 17th and 18th centuries which eventually were closed down and today, there remains just one distillery (DDL) situated at the historical Plantation Diamond Estate. At this distillery, the time honored techniques, standards and methods of the age-old art of rum distillation, aging and blending are maintained even to this day.

Kammer-Kirsch are one of the preeminent importers of premium spirits in Germany today, representing international brands such as Tia Maria, Seagram’s Gin, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Benriach Single Malt Scotch.

In the world of overproof rums, there is only one legend, one that is called for by name. distilled, aged and blended in Guyana, Lemon Hart 151 is a high proof (75.5% vol.) Demerara rum, best used in moderation as a float in tiki drinks and signature cocktails alike.

According to most tiki drinks aficionados including myself, there is no substitute to Lemon Hart 151. Last available in the German market in 2009, Lemon Hart 151 was at that time a favorite of mixologists and as a result, the leading dark rum for cocktails in bars and nightclubs in Germany.

Tasting notes: hints of burnt caramel, dried apricot and baked apples with that typical a bit smoky flavor of a true demerara rum.

So folks, we thought it was going to be gone but luckily for us imbibers instead it´s now sold in the US and soon also in Europe – the legend lives on.

I´ll happily drink to that!

DEMERARA RUM FROM GUYANA

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Demerera – the word alone is intoxicating… and once tasted, how can one get along without that deep flavor? Dark and rich, redolent of molasses, leather, cocoa, dark fruits and burnt sugar.

So it is – at least for me – and I believe I`m not the only one… Demerara rum really does have a deep flavor that is all of its own.

Demerara rum comes from Guyana, its made on the banks of the Demerara river in Guyana and ALL Demerara rum comes from there regardless of where it may be aged and bottled. Its made from sugarcane grown on the coast of the county of demerara, along the river banks and is distilled by the Demerara Disitllers Limited, the DDL. The DDL warehouse in Diamond can store up to a million and half bottles of rum.

THE HISTORY OF DEMERARA RUM

From the beginning there were several sugar plantations in Guyana which was a pristine land inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs. In 1498 Columbus came ashore – it was at the time when he recently had introduced sugarcane from the Canary Islands into the Caribbean.

Sugar was not produced on a large scale until the late 1700s, about 100 years later than in the rest of the Caribbean region, but because the plantation owners in Guyana entered the sugar industry late, they were able to import relatively advanced equipment for milling sugarcane.

The sugarcane was brought along sometimes in the 1640s when the early Dutch settlers came. The distilling wasn´t going to be introduced until later in the 1650s and then by the Brittish.

This was very important because that´s what laid the foundation of the demerara rum production ending up with every sugar estate having their own still.

And by the 1700s over 300 sugar estates produced their own rums – over 300 estates! In 1732 the Port Morant Estate distillery was established and its one of the oldest in the world. This distillery produced a rum of extra depth and character coming from the double wooden pot still – and the navy rum of the past was being produced there.

Also a third settlement was established – on the banks of the Demerara river in 1752 and it was called Demerara.

In 1814 the three colonies were handed over to the brittish and so they became the Brittish Guyana in 1831. And a few years later – in 1834 – slavery was finally abolished and therefore plantation workers were now imported from Europe, China and India.

The rum that was being made and used was colonial rum of Brittish blending and the first OVD (Old Vatted Demerara) rums were made with Guyanese Port Morant as the major component.

demerara-ovd-label1

But at the 2nd half of the 1800th century the sugar estates were closing – only 180 did remain and the wooden coffey still was installed at the Enmore Estate distillery in the year 1880.

There were 230 operating sugar plantations in the 1930s and in the 1958 only 18. Those of the estates which lacked efficiency and effectiveness of operations were forced into consolidation.

One estate stood out and that was Versailles which eventually absorbed some of the smaller sugar estates and eventually united with Plantation Schoon Ord (south of Goed Fortuin) in the early 1950s, after which it came to be known as Pln. Versailles & Schoon Ord Estate Ltd. Versailles was permanently closed in 1977.

Each estate produced its own distinctive rum and the rums were given their own marks (marque) to identify its origin, for example PM is Port Morant.

There`s also for example Enmore (EHP) Skeldon (SWR) Uitvlught (ICBU) Albion (AN) La Bonne Intention (LBI) Versailles (VSG) Blairmont and Rose Hall. These are or were sugar estates, not stills – the stills that used to be there are now all, or if not all at least most of them, moved to Diamond.

These rums were shipped to England and the trading name Demerara Rum was established. During the early 20th century all the stills were merged and they ended up finally by the DDL – Demerara Distillers Limited.

They now are today in the last remaining estate – Diamond – on the east bank of the Demerara river.

AND THE  STILLS…

el-dorado-ehp-wooden-coffey-still

The wooden continous coffey still – EHP – is the last one left since 1880 and the only wooden column still in the world. It was first at the Enmore Sugar Estate. Made of a Guyanese wood called Greenheart wood.

It produces a mild and fruity medium bodied rum (but of course it`s not just the still responsable for a rums flavor) The EHP single barrel rum from El Dorado comes from this still. EHP stands for Edward Henry Porter – the owner of the Enmore Sugar Estate in the 1800s.

There are two wooden pot stills – one is single and one is a double. These are 250 years old and originally used to produce the demerara navy rums in the past. These two stills are today often referred to as the Demerara Vat Stills.

Old time Demerara navy rum! imagine that! maybe they were much rougher than today but who knows? in any case surely full of personality! if I could time travel i would like to go back to that time and taste the rums they had.

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The double wooden pot still – used to be in Port Morant Estate that was founded in 1732. A wooden still with a copper neck which was moved to Uitvlught – (pronounced “outflut”) and then in the year 2000 finally moved to Diamond where it is today.

The El Dorado PM Marque Single Barrel Rum is a single distillate from the double wooden pot still from the old Port Morant Estate and there`s a good review to read here.

This is used in the blends for El Dorado 8yo, 12yo, 15yo and 25yo.

The single wooden pot still – Was first in Versailles, then moved to Enmore, then via Uitvlught to Diamond. This still which is over 150 years old also produces a heavy bodied rum but more refined and very flavorful and deeply aromatic. Used  in the 15yo and 21yo.

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The single barrels from El Dorado are different from the blended ones and are very different from the more “mainstream” blended rums.

The original French Savalle still – Is from the 18th century and is a four column metal from the Uitvlught sugar estate. Rums from the original Savalle is used in the El Dorado blends and their ICBU marked Single Barrel Rum.

The modern version of this still produces 9 completely different types of rums. All from very light to heavy bodied rums.

There´s much discussions as to whether or not and how much the wooden stills helps to impart the unique flavor characteristics of the demerara rums. Let`s say that these old stills definitely adds to the flavors – but of course not alone.

And I don`t think you can directly associate flavors with stills – rather then with a type of rum – like pot still = heavier more flavorful rums and column stills = lighter rums – but these old stills really are one of a kind and what they add to the flavor boquets of these rums I believe is unique in the world.

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FACTORS THAT GIVES THE DEMERARA RUMS THEIR CHARACTER AND FLAVOR

– Unique environmental properties like microflora, soil and atmosphere of the Guyana coastlands which lends to the production of flavors and aroma.

– These flavors and aromas are in turn heavily affected by fermentation, distillation, aging and blending.

– The old wooden stills adds to the flavor boquet of these rums creating a rum that is unique in the world.

– did i forget anything? if i did please add in the comments of this post.

MAINTAINING THESE OLD STILLS

This is something that many are wondering about – how do they manage to maintain these old wooden stills?

Well, first of all – the wood isn`t actually all the same wood as the stills were initially built with – the wood is kind of ‘worn out’ every time you distill in it, that`s the course of nature. The wood both soaks up some of what is being distilled in it and  gives back flavors & complexity to what is being distilled.

So they change the wood in small sections so there is always some newer wood and always some older wood in the still to retain the flavors.

Each section is changed every 15-20 years or so and once they finish all the sections they just start again at the other end. Done this way the stills lasts very very long..how long they will last i don´t know – but I hope they will not finish anytime soon, which I believe they won`t.

PRIVATE BOTTLINGS

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In the last century, the remaining Guyanese distilleries were consolidated by Demerara Distillers Limited on the site of the Diamond Plantation, and today operates as the sole rum producer in Guyana. With a production capacity of more than 26M liters of pure alcohol annually, DDL sell bulk rum to a number of international blenders and bottlers and bottles rum under their own El Dorado and other labels.

The rums from El Dorado are famous in the world but for those who wants to explore more demeraras there are private labels to try out as well, the problem is that these are often hard to get and are often extremely expensive.

I have tried a few of these privately bottled demeraras from for example Silver Seal, Velier and Samaroli as well as blends from the DDL bearing the name of the still and the year of bottling.

These are fantastic examples of demerara rums where most of them but not all, (Velier rums are for the most part as far as I know tropical aged) are aged and then bottled in Scotland by for example the Silver Seal Company (which is based in Italy).

The rums of Gargano Selection are distributed by Velier (an italian import company). In 2004 Velier purchased a share in Demerara Distillers Ltd. And it´s through their website that I learnt that the oldest barrel found in warehouses in East Bank is the Skeldon 1973 which together with the Skeldon-78 are considered the holy grails of demerara rum and are very sought after and of course catches a premium price. (Update – You can read my review of the Skeldon -73 here. The 78 I have yet to try…these rums don`t come easy…)

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One of the incredibly beautiful bottlings from the Silver Seal.

These private bottlings I believe are mainly for serious rum enthusiasts and collectors and they have a solid following especially in Europe naturally since that`s where they are for the most part available but for most others El Dorado is the most  known brand since it can be bought in most places and to easier prices than the private bottlings.

I like the high proof demeraras from the private bottlers the most though, because a bit higher proof gives so much more flavor bite! and also because most or most all of those are pure rums straight from the cask with nothing added.

But for those who`s interested and can get hold of these rums you may want to read different reviews of them before purchasing an expensive bottle and some can be found on blogs like the Loner Caner or Whiskyfun .

Some of the labels, especially from the Silver Seal company are stunningly beautiful and to show you the details I enclose a picture here from the Wild Life series which shows exotic birds in the jungle.

All I can say is that I wish I could paint like that.

demerara-wildlife-1

There are quite a few demeraras to find in the UK but all are not expensive. OVD is cheap and also Woods 100 which is marketed as an overproof potstill navy rum from Guyana. (popular with tiki drink bartenders)

For overproof uses in for example many tikidrinks that calls for a strong dark heavy bodied demerara rum I recommend – yes you guessed it  – Lemon Hart 151. (Update – and now also Hamilton 151)

I for one wouldn`t mind a deep dark very heavy bodied highproof rum from El Dorado either…available to all and decently priced. I mean – the more rums the better!

(Update – such rums does now exist in the three releases of the El Dorado Rare Collection)  These are three cask strength (not single casks!) expressions from the three heritage stills, the Enmore ‘EHP’ wooden Coffey still, the Port Mourant ‘PM’ double wooden pot still and the Versailles ‘VSG’ single wooden pot still. 3,000 bottles of each have been released globally. I have tried them and I found them to my liking. Unfortunately they are very expensive.

And now – a rum cocktail…a slight twist on the classic Demerara Cocktail :

DEMERARA RUM COCKTAIL

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1 oz Demerara rum

1 oz Lemon Hart 151

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

1 oz passionfruit juice

Swizzle with plenty of crushed ice and pour into a glass rimmed with dark demerara sugar and garnish with fresh mint.

For your Demerara rum cocktail pleasure, enjoy!

I believe there´s a trend on the horizon towards how rum used to taste long ago, an example of that is for instance the Smith & Cross (not a demerara but a Jamaican) which is a high proof 57% unfiltered pot still with lots of funky flavors – excellent for mixing cocktails with some kick ass personality. (like tiki drinks)

I believe many people more and more want rums with some “ompf” and attitude – correct me if i`m wrong.

Any rum that is refered to as Demerara rum must be distilled in Guyana in the county of Demerara. Thanks to the DDL and to the (former) El Dorado Rum Ambassador Stephanie Holt for pictures of the stills.

Sugarcane bar

A MONTH OF MAI TAIS – Exploring the rums, one Mai Tai at a time

A MAI TAI A DAY…

As a part of the Mai Tai rum combo cocktail-blog coverage i have made a couple different Mai Tais, mostly from demerara rums. I know the Mai Tai had dark Jamaican rum first, and then was paired with a Martiniqan rum, but i think demerara rums makes awesome Mai Tais and the whole idea of this rum combo coverage is to, well, try different rum combos..

Rumdood alone have over 118 rums to choose from…and i don´t know how many combinations, probably to keep him busy for the rest of his life..So together we will all hopefully cover enough various rum combos to keep most thirsty Mai Tai lovers happy regardless of where you live, we hope there will be something for everyone.

The whole january and into february has been and continues to be Mai Tai month for us, we are working with various rum combinations in our search for the tastiest Mai Tais all based on Trader Vics recipe, as well as attempting to set the recipe for a real Mai Tai straight.

The original Mai Tai by Trader Vic called for the 17 year old JWray & Nephew rum which today exists only a few bottles, if even that, in the hands of a few lucky people. And from what i hear from the taste notes it must have been an exceptional rum for the Mai Tai.  Its fun to experiment and i have found that demerara rums makes excellent Mai Tai´s.They give the Mai Tai`s a deep complex flavor, by their own or for that lively flavor, paired with Clement VSOP or St James hors d`age.

For this post i have made 14 different Mai Tais, many with some unusual demeraras but not all. I know many of these rums i use here are hard to find and some very pricey, but i thought it could be interesting still to cover a few of these kind of rums as well and there has been demands for these rums to be written about too.

If i would to sub these demerara rums i have i would use Lemon Hart 151 for the high proofs like Uitvlugt and Silver Seal, and El Dorado 12 for the other heavy demeraras.

Another very good rum combo in my opinion for the original recipe is otherwise Appleton Extra and St James hors d`age, or Clement VSOP. Yet another very nice combo is Pusser`s and Zaya which i first read about in the Tiki Central.

THE ORIGINAL FORMULA

2 ounces 17-year-old J. Wray Nephew Jamaican rum
1/2 ounce French Garnier Orgeat
1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao
1/4 ounce Rock Candy Syrup
Juice from one fresh lime

Shake and garnish with half of the lime shell inside the drink and float a sprig of fresh mint at the edge of the glass.

TRADER VIC`s SANCTIONED RECIPE from Intoxica:

1 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 oz Martinique rum
1 oz fresh lime juice (one lime)
0.5 oz curacao
0.25 oz each of orgeat and simple syrup

Mix all ingredients and shake with ice.  Strain into a glass over crushed ice. Garnish with lime shell and a sprig of mint.

The basic recipe used for my Mai Tais here is Trader Vics formula with either 1 oz each of 2 rums or 2 oz of one rum. I use Vic´s formula because i like its simplicity and balace of flavors as well as letting the rum flavor really come through and i like it better than Don`s Mai Tai which is totally different. Which one of these were the original is an endless discussion which i won´t bother with in this post.

The orgeat i like to use nowadays is Trader Tiki´s extra thick (homemade) when i dont use my own homemade. As for orange curacao, i don´t have it right now, so i used Cointreau but as i find that Cointreau can easily be a bit overpowering, i used 1/4 oz than 0.5 oz. I have listed my Mai Tai`s with the best first (outstanding, which is a 14) and then falling to the last #1 which isn`t bad at all.

One thing i don`t want to be without when i make Mai Tai`s is the mint sprig, because  i really love the fragrance of fresh crispy mint when imbibing a Mai Tai, and without mint i think a Mai Tai is naked. But when i`m out of mint (or rather the shops are out) then i use lime for garnish.

The straws need to be short and placed near the mint so the fragrance reaches you. The crushed or shaved ice is another key ingredient, apart from good quality rums.

LET´S SET THE MAI TAI STRAIGHT

Ingredients NOT to use in my opinion, is grenadine and orange or pineapple juices, or amaretto or anything else that is not in the original Vic`s recipe. You may throw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that into a Mai Tai recipe and end up with some very tasty drinks but these are not Mai Tais. Give it a new name!

The possibly WORST Mai Tai recipe i have ever encountered came from a cocktail book: light rum, simple syrup, limejuice, orange juice, orange curacao, coconut milk, green dyed cocktail cherries, red dyed cocktail cherries, orange slices, pineapple chunks…stating after, that all ingredients except the rum can be subbed with instant powder cocktail-mix…

COCKTAIL MIX???!!!

Why adding (and changing) all these stuff to a already perfect recipe? and then even call it a Mai Tai? Trader Vic`s Mai Tai is such a perfectly balanced drink and it deserves to be made right. Its supposed to have fresh lime..its supposed to taste rum! The rums are meant to predominate and shine through in this drink and the rest of ingredients are singing along balancing the rum flavors to perfection.

On to the rum combos! Now – i have used some unusual demeraras here that can be hard to get if you live outside of Europe since most of them are bulk demeraras aged in Scotland and bottled and sold by private importers from for example Italy, but they can be substituted with El Dorado rums.

MAI TAI #14 with Silver Seal demerara 15 yo

This one has long been my favorite. Its simply Mai Tai roa ae, and its just so full flavored and exquisite in perfect balance,  intoxicating…and nothing so far i`ve had beats it, period. Or so i thought….but that was until i tried JWray & Nephew´s old Jamaican Dagger Punch dark rum..WOW..i doesn`t really beat the Silver Seal but i found it equally good.

So now i also think i have sort of gotten an idea as to how the Mai Tais were in the old days. I dont know how old the dagger punch rum is, i would guess from between the 40-50s because there`s no evidence of their production after the 1950s. These rums were produced by Wray & Nephew in various age-increments (1 Dagger, 2 Dagger, 3 Dagger) and they were all dark Jamaican rum.

So the 2 now share 1st place, which got me to wonder how these two would combine, more on that soon.

THE SILVER SEAL 15 YEAR DEMERARA

This 110 proof Silver Seal Rum has a way to just perfectly marry the other ingredients and simply make a outstanding Mai Tai, very addictive. The flavor is hard to describe, its fullbodied, a complex mix of molasses, dark chocolate, wood, vanilla, dried fruits, punch and yum!

Another thing i love with this rum in a Mai Tai is that it bites, as its 110 proof. 2 oz Silver Seal 15 year is used. Interesting is that from what i hear from those lucky people having the 17 year old rum, the Silver Seal has a lot of common flavour notes, like an aroma of a heavy burnt caramel, with smoky finish, although the 17 yar old Wray is said to be far heavier with overwhelming woody tones – or so i´ve heard.

MAI TAI  #14 JWray & Nephew Jamaican Dagger Punch – Old Jamaican  Dark Rum

I was amazed by this one..first by the color, dark mahogany. Then the flavor, which i really cannot describe so easily, its well…vintage. It has dark tones of molasses and dried fruits, and is spicy and woody. Very balanced and complex. I imagine that JWrays 17 year old rum could probably have tasted something similar as well. This dagger is 8 years old.

When i use the Silver Seal i feel like its a bit close to this one but the two are still very different. And i cannot say either what it is that i find they have in common, one is a demerara and the other is jamaican, but there´s that funky punch – pot still.

I had such a hard time to determine which one of these two is the best Mai Tai i`ve had, it didn´t help to sip them side by side, so they will both share the 1 st place. I used 2 oz of the Jamaican dagger rum.I tried this dagger rum in this Mai Tai experiment more out of curiosity that anything else and this rum must be seen as such as its not produced anymore.

MAI TAI #14 with Silver Seal15 and JWray´s Jamaican dagger punch rum

As i found both of these each one on their own to make the best Mai Tais i`ve had so far i decided to combine them and use 1 oz of each. The two combined? sheesh..here is the exquisite, strong, demerara flavor of the Silver Seal with that rich, strong and spicy taste of the Jamaican dagger. The color is much lighter than it was when i used only the dagger punch rum. So now there´s 3 Mai Tais, based on 2 rums sharing the top position.

MAI TAI #13 with Samaroli`s Port Morant 1990, and Banks XM10.

SAMAROLI PORT MORANT 1990

This demerara rum is made by Samaroli and is bottled in 2007 in Scotland. It has no added color. The flavor is very deeply woody, a bit floral and fruity with flavors of molasses. 366 bottles were made so this is a rare find. Port Morant 1990 is 90 proof. I`m not using it in too many Mai Tais, but its hard to resist as it makes real mean Mai Tais, its almost as good as the Silver Seal. Paired with XM10 –  a very close number two.

BANKS XM10

XM Royal Gold 10 Year Old (80 proof) is a superb aged demerara rum with a very round and full flavor profile with fruits, molasses and toffee flavors. One of my favorites. If you can get this one, (and its soon to be sold in US as well), and El Dorado rums plus Lemon Hart 151, then you`re fine as far as demeraras go.

I used 1.5 oz Banks XM10 and 0.5 oz Samaroli Port Morant. I took less of the Port Morant as it has such a strong woody flavor. In these proportions i find it complements the toffee flavors of XM very well.

MAI TAI #12 with Banks XM10

As the XM10 is so yummy, its almost like drinking liquid toffee, i wanted to use only this rum ( 2 oz)  in the drink. I`m not dissapointed, the sweetness and roundness of the body in this rum makes an excellent and very smooth Mai Tai which goes down way too easily.

XM Royal Gold 10 Year Old is a superb aged demerara rum crafted by the Aguiar Industries master blenders. This rum is hands down wonderful. Its a creamy full bodied masterwork, very round, with warm round toffee-like flavors. I`m happy for those in the US who soon will be able to buy this fine rum.

MAI TAI #11 Coruba12 and Banks XM10

If we shall talk about yumminess..here it is! Coruba12 has a lot of complexity and some sweetness, dried fruits and molasses-toffeelike flavors and paired with XM10 which  is a step ahead with the toffeeness but with the typical demerara flavor, you`re in for a very tasty Mai Tai.

MAI TAI #10 Banks XM10 and JM Reserve Special

My first thought when tasting this one was “wow this is tasty! very very tasty..” Its like the rums just melt together into a real elixir of pleasure. I`m not even sure it shall have no 10. Now JM isnt a cheap rhum agricole…i wish it was. Its really a very good sipping rum, but as we know, the better ingredients, the better cocktails. And in this research any rum that is good could be used i think.

MAI TAI #9 Banks XM10 and Clemént XO

This one is just WOW, so tasty! the punch of the XM10 with its toffeeness paired with Clemént XO which is a outstanding aged rhum agricole, tasty.

MAI TAI #8  El Dorado12 and Clemènt VSOP

This is a very pleasant and tasty Mai Tai. El Dorado 12 is just punchy enough to blend well with Clemènt and combined they are great. I`m unfortunately out of El Dorado 15 but on the other hand, that´s such a strongly punchy rum that it takes over the other flavors a bit. But that`s just my taste. Otherwise its my fav rum together with Silver Seal 15.

MAI TAI #7 Zaya (Guatemala) and Pusser`s 15

This is just so tasty. I first read about it on Tiki Central, long ago and i think it was Pusser´s blue label that was used. Well, this one is tasty too! The punchiness of the navy rum with the sweetness of Zaya – nice!

MAI TAI #6 Lemon Hart Jamaican and El Dorado 12

Here we have a Mai Tai with 2 very good rums and the taste is good but for some reason i expected more, maybe i expect too much? this one tastes good but i guess that with some of these other demeraras its easy to get a bit spoilt. Did i have only these 2 rums to use, i would have loved this Mai Tai. Well, i do, i love all good Mai Tais!

MAI TAI #5  Silver Seal 15 and Clemént VSOP

I expected much of this one, probably because of Silver Seal, but its not as good as i thought but still very tasty i shall not deny that and it became even tastier while it mellowed in the glass. But its a huge difference to use 2 oz of just Silver Seal or to pair it with Clemént VSOP.

MAI TAI #4  Port Royal and St James 12 with Uitvlugt Port Morant 1990 float

Port Royal is a beautiful little demerara rarity which is aged 14 years and is a bit on the sweet side, yet very woody, its 92 proof. I was figuring it would be interesting to pair it with St James 12 year which is a rum i all of a sudden discovered being on limited offer in our spirit shop. I hadn´t seen it before anywhere, neither did i find any information on it but i bought it and yes, its a very smooth agricole rum. Probably its a special edition or something, nobody has been able to tell me anything.

It turned out to be a very very tasty Mai Tai, the smooth St James 12 perfectly blends with the woody Port Royal, so i give it no#5.

The original recipe do not call for any float but i like floats and so here is one with a float of the overproof Port Morant 1990 for an extra kick. I`m totally sure that Banks XM10 and St James12 or hors d`age would be a very nice combo as well. I used 1 oz of each.

MAI TAI #3  Appleton Extra and Havana Club 7 year

This is also a pleasant rum combo and I suspect this will be used by one or more of my fellow blogger friends .This mellow and rich flavored rum combo makes  for very tasty Mai Tais. These rums are premium, both are versatile and luckily also moderately priced, good for the “everyday Mai Tai”.. I used 1 oz of each.

MAI TAI #2  Appleton extra and Old Vatted (O.V.D)

With Appleton extra as base i didn`t need to worry about good taste, the addition of 0.5 oz Old Vatted demerara just added a touch of deep woodiness. I had a problem in deciding which one of  either this one or the Appleton Extra and Havana Club 7 year, should be #3. But Havana Club7 wins with its overall yumminess.

Here i used 1.5 oz Appleton Extra and 0.5 oz OVD

MAI TAI #1 Banks XM10 and Uitvlugt 1990 fullproof

A kick of the fullproof Uitvlugt to punch up the round sweet and toffeelike XM isn`t bad at all, but i think you got to love demeraras to fully appreciate this combo as the Uitvlugt is a li`l bit on the almost harsh side with the high proof and woodiness.

I used 1.5 oz of XM to 0.5 oz of Uitvlugt. As Uitvlugt highproof (132 proof) is a very strong demerara and i used just a little bit extra simple syrup in this. This rum combo is for those demerara geeks who loves deep woodiness. This is the last one and even though the least on my scale it isnt bad at all.

Overall, the best Mai Tai rum combo suggestions with rums available today, based on my experince with these i`ve tried here, except for the dagger rum which is supposed to be seen as a curiosity, are in no specific order:

Appleton Extra with St James hors d`age or Clemént VSOP

2 oz Silver Seal 15 demerara

(or 1.5 oz El Dorado 12 with a 0.5 oz Lemon Hart 151, alternatively 0.5 oz El D12, 1 oz XM10 and 0.5 oz LH 151, it won`t be the same thing but its the best subs i can think of for the moment)

Banks XM10 demerara

El Dorado 12 and Clemént VSOP

Zaya and Pusser´s

There`s other rums apart from El Dorado 15 that i haven`t used because as i`m out of it and that`s Coruba dark, Appleton Reserve and VX and Lemon Hart 151. I`m sure they would be good in Mai Tai`s as well and mixed with say Banks XM…got to try that one some day! To read more about demerara rums, see my other demerara rum posts.

One thing that fascinates me is that how one rum can be really outstanding paired with another and then when paired with yet a different rum all of a sudden isn´t that outstanding as it was with the first rum. So it isnt so easy to find the ultimate pairing, i`m not even sure if i have and luckily its probably a never ending research. The world of flavors is really fascinating!

So finally here is my advice for those of you looking for perfectly yummy Mai Tais, if you can get it, get Silver Seal15 and Banks XM10, and get Appleton Extra, Clemènt VSOP, Zaya and Pusser`s. Use Trader Vics recipe and don`t add pineapple and orange juices, amaretto or grenadine.

I was asking some fellow bloggers in the mixoloseum chat room about why they think its so hard for people to stick to the real Mai Tai recipe as it is a very simple recipe and it seems like the biggest problem in many places is how to find orgeat. Here i can find it sometimes but i make my own which isnt very hard. As its a bit boring –  but not difficult, to get the blanched almonds out of their shell, i don`t make that large batches, i make about 1L at a time. I keep my orgeat in the fridge.

Here´s a link to the orgeat i make:  http://fxcuisine.com/Default.asp?Display=26

Here´s another link to orgeat: http://www.artofdrink.com/2006/02/orgeat-syrup.php

The demerara rums i`ve used can be purchased at R2M shopSpeciality Drinks, TheWhiskey Exchange or the German and Italy EBay.

I myself have only had a real Mai Tai at a bar only in one place and that was atTikiRoom here in Stockholm, with the rum combos Appleton VX-Havana Cub7 and Appleton Extra-El Dorado dark, what about you? where have you been served at real Mai Tai?

DEMERARA RUMS Part Three

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.

BANKS XM ROYAL EXTRA MATURE DEMERARA RUM

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.

O.V.D –  OLD VATTED DEMERARA RUM

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   –   www.demrum.com

SAMAROLI PORT MORANT 1990

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.

DEMERARA RUMS Part Two

I`m on a demerara rum journey.

One of my aims in this life is to try as many demerara rums i can find, but so far i haven`t been able to try that many. Not all from the El Dorado range are yet tasted for instance, and on my list is also Nation demerara 12 and 31. But the Lemon Hart 151 i`ve had of course, and Banks XM 10 and 12 year old Millenium, they are all wonderful, especially the XM 10 which has an extra caramel yumminess to it. I`m really happy the XM rums are now going to be sold in the US.

El Dorado rums has its own blog post here.

But there are also many other very interesting demerara rums, most often private labels, and often shipped to Scotland for aging. These demeraras are in the higher price range and depending on where you live, they can be hard to find. It was my friend Paul from London who first told me about these wonderful rums.

At that time the Silver Seal brand ( an Italian company better known for their frequently stunning and highly collectable whisky bottlings.) was only as far as i could see, available from Pedrelli in Italy who does not ship internationally.

Silver Seal – 92 bottle.

So it was not until Roberto added Silver Seal to his R2Mshop that i could lay my hands on a Silver Seal bottle which really are beautifully shaped bottles with stunning labels.

I bought the 15 year old Silver Seal -92 demerara (110 proof) and the first thing i did after tasting it neat was to make a Mai Tai. And then i too was blown away..and made Mai Tais during 2 weeks until the pricey bottle was finished.Really, this rum is a sipping rum but who can resist making perfect Mai Tais?

It must be something special with this rum, well, it is as the Mai Tais really becomes very very tasty.

Now i`m a lucky owner to a new bottle of that wonderful rum plus 2 others that i hadn`t tried before. Uitvlugt 1990 full proof (132 proof) from Velier and Port Royal (92 proof, selected and bottled for Sarzi Amadé , Milano, Italy). These are all heavy and strong demeraras.

I didn´t think about how strong the Uitvlugt was until i took a good sip and was punched back right in the face. These 3 rums are very flavorful, strong and tasty.

To start with from the first 3 rums i got – Port Royal which comes in a very attractive bottle, its a bit sweeter and a bit lighter than the other two, but it does have a heavy demerara flavor and is quite woody, and it also has a strong kick. The taste stays long with you as well. Its not in the same class as the 15yo Silver Seal rum and the Uitvlugt from Velier – far from it – but its perfectly both sippable and mixable. This rum is aged for 14 years.

This selection comes from a 1991 alembic distillation (distilled using a copper still) and is aged in small barrels until the bottling in sept 2004. Only 370 bottles were made. The nose and the flavor is that of a deep demerara and its a heavy rum but not as fully and complete tasting as Silver Seal-92 (or El Dorado 15).

The next to taste, the Silver Seal 15 year also has this deep demarara flavor, deeper and rounder and fuller than Port Royal and it packs a punch as well. Its the only demerara rum from the Silver Seal range i`ve yet tasted. Unfortunately the 28 year old (120 proof and said to have extremely aromatic, round flavor, is most likely no longer available.

The four sides of the Silver Seal box showing the wildlife series.

But there`s a few others (Enmore 1975 – 32 yo, 136 proof – 60 bottles made, (i`ve heard its a bit overaged and tastes too strong of wood. What turns me off is the exceptionally high price of this one) Enmore 1996, Enmore 1988, (20 year old, 92 proof) Some of these i hope to try as well.

This – 92 Silver Seal is excellent to sip and wonderful to mix, what more can i say?

And so the third, Uitvlugt full proof, old demerara rum (132 proof) from Velier, an italian private bottler owned by Luca Gargano, a legend in the rum world. 4 barrels distilled in double pot still in december 1990 and aged 17 years in continental weather. Marks on the barrels, MPM. Bottled in march 2008, – 881 bottles were produced. Its this one that kicked me unawares. It has a deep woody demerara flavor and packs a real punch.

Good to sip, float and mix with even though it is not a mixing rum…..not really…one must mind what one mixes if one mixes…don`t let this wonderful rum get lost by a whole phletora of mixers but simple drinks is ok I think, as long as they are rum forward. The nose is amazing, strong, with a slight medical hint to it due to the strong proof.

Uitvlugt is the name of the famous distillery of Dutch origin situated west of the river, on the Atlantic coast in Guyana. Using the famous Port Morant still, (the barrels are marked MPM )  the last vat still in the demerara area distilling fullbodied and intense rums.

I´m not a rum reviewer and dont know so good how to put flavors in words so this is as good as I can describe these rums, rums with great body and intesity. Totally demerara rum heaven.

When leaning the glass on the side and then back up again, the rum forms legs on the side of the glass. Light-bodied rums will have thin “legs” that move quickly, while medium and full-bodied rums will have thick “legs” moving slowly, one of the ways you can evaluate the body of a rum.

In part two (to be posted in about 4 days) i`m going to write about Banks XM, OVD – Old Vatted Demerara and Samaroli Port Morant 1990.

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

DEMERARA BOMB WHITE ZOMBIE

This recipe is based on Robert Burr`s (Gifted rums guide) White zombie. The original recipe is:

Rob’s White Zombie

4 oz Cruzan Rum Cream
1.5 oz Cruzan Black Strap
1.5 oz Voodoo Spiced Rum
1.5 oz Redrum
1.5 oz Bruddah Kimio’s Da Bomb 155 Overproof (em-bombing fluid)

Fill a big shaker with ice, add rums, and shake ’til yer hand damn-near freezes. Pour into a tall glass, add a straw and a garnish of small pineapple wedge. Find a good place to relax.

10 ounces of rum that tastes like a milkshake, named for the famous movie starring Bela Lugosi — White Zombie — the first zombie movie ever made.

The White Zombie rum cocktail was developed and tested by Rob V. Burr, the Cane Spirit Guide.

I would really like to try the white zombie but don`t have access to those rums so i made my own version with my dem rums which is this:

DEMERARA BOMB WHITE ZOMBIE

3 oz El Dorado Rum Cream
1 oz Amarula Cream
2 oz Port Royal demerara (92 proof)
2 oz Banks XM demerara

And a dollop of Fernet Branca ( about 1/2 barspoon)

Shake and strain..pour into a yummy glass and throw in a fragrant mexican cinnamon stick.

You may sub the demeraras in the recipe with El Dorado 12, 15 and/or Lemon Hart 151.

From this version of the White Zombie i made a drink for the TDN which was themed float, (every cocktail had to have a float) which i called “Demerara Bomb #2″ and it happened to win that TDN. So to not forget from where the inspiration to that cocktail came from, it was all originated in the White Zombie by Rob V. Burr – named for the first zombie movie ever made — White Zombie

 DEMERARA PUNCH

1 oz demerara rum
1 oz aged rhum agricole
Chunks of fresh pineapple
Cane cola to top
1 oz Honey-cream-mix
Float overproof demerara rum
Crushed ice
Pineapple garnish

Muddle 5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple with 0.5 lime juice and 0.5 vanilla syrup
Add 1 oz aged agricole, 1 oz demerara rum (I used St James 12 and Port Royal)
Add 1 oz honey-cream-mix (1:1:1 honey-butter-sugar-above roomtemp)
Fill glass with crushed ice

Shake hard and fast with ice and strain.
Top with a little sugarcane cola and float overproof dark demerara rum
Fill up with more crushed ice if needed.
Garnish baby pineapple.

THE HONEY CREAM MIX:

The unfamous honey-cream -mix, with its problem of butter solids separation, there are different ways to try to solve it, i do like this:

Warm the honey, sugar, butter to very warm, then let it cool a little but stay above room temp and dry shake first (without ice) and then add ice and shake real hard and fast and hope for the best. And serve in a tiki mug and not a glass.

EL DORADO RUM – THE LIQUID GOLD

 

LIQUID GOLD…

El Dorado is a Spanish expression or word for “the golden one”. Originally it was El Hombre Dorado (the golden man), or El Rey Dorado (the golden king), and was the term used by the Spanish Empire to describe a mythical tribal chief (zipa) of the Muisca native people of Colombia, who, as an initiation rite, covered himself with gold dust and submerged in Lake Guatavita. The legends surrounding El Dorado changed over time, as it went from being a man, to a city, to a kingdom, and then finally an empire.

But in this case it`s a real thing, the El Dorado rum  – hinting to a “liquid gold” – which indeed is a Demerara rum but even more so – a Guyanese rum, and the only rums distilled in Guyana are those from the DDL – the only true Guyanese rums.

In 1992, the company introduced its El Dorado brand of rums to the local and international markets by focusing on the well-known legend surrounding its name. The well known story tells of explorers who traveled in search of a fabled golden city known as El Dorado.

Although the El Dorado rums were only launched on the international market in 1993, these rums have become internationally recognized as the best in their class and are prized for their unique flavor and taste. Currently these rums are distributed in over forty countries and the El Dorado holds the distinction of being the only internationally recognized Guyanese manufactured product. These rums are aged, bottled, and blended in conformance with the ISO standards – which is the highest global production standards.

GUYANA THE LAND OF MANY WATERS

Guyana is an Amerindian word meaning “Land of many waters”. The country can be characterized by its vast rain forests, many rivers, creeks and waterfalls, like the famous Kaieteur Falls on the Potaro River. Guyana’s tepuis are famous for being the inspiration for the 1912 novel The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s.

Physically a part of South America but Guyana is culturally Caribbean rather than Latin American and is often considered part of the West Indies.

EL DORADO RUMS

The El Dorado rums are distilled, blended and bottled by Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) – located on the East Bank of Demerara, South Amerara, in Guyana. Demerara disitllers have been in rum production for over three and one half centuries and have even with the passing of time maintained the tradition.

DDL have several different stills, but they are all on one site. All Demerara rum is distilled at the DDL distillery at Diamond. Demerara distillers now have the only operating wooden continuous and pot stills in the world. There were at least 200 small distilleries operating in the 17th and 18th centuries, and every sugar factory in Guyana had its own distillery, from which a special blend of rum was produced.

There were for instance the Uitvlugt distillery that was in Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, the Port Mourant distillery was in Port Mourant, and there were Enmore, Blairmont, Albion, Skeldon, Rose Hall and many more. These names are simply the geographical locations of where the distilleries used to be.

Each of these distilleries produced a unique rum that was identified to the estate by its identity mark, for example EHP to Enmore, An to Albion, SWR to Skeldon, PM to Port Mourant, ICBU to Uitvlugt, LBI to La Bonne Intention, to name a few. Due to change in ownership, economic constraints and other factors, with time, the sugar estates and the distilleries were consolidated.

What was unique was that even with consolidation the important marks were maintained at Demerara distillers – either the identical mark was produced by moving the original still to the new location or by producing it on an existing still on the new location. So even though the original distilleries are closed, the identical marks are produced at the existing distillery at Diamond, which is the only distillery left.

Demerara distillers are the only distillery in the world that has maintained the quality and tradition that is the identical marks and original wooden stills. This is what has made these rums so distinct as compared to others and they are the only distillers in Guyana. Any rum that is refered to as Demerara rum must be distilled in Guyana in the county of Demerara.

THE STILLS

The double wooden pot still and the wooden coffey still

Today the Demerara distillers operates 9 different stills and thus produces a fantastic range of rum marques. There are in operation 4 column Savalle stills, 2 wooden pots, 1 wooden coffey and 2 metal columns.

The distillery also uses a double wooden pot still, made up two wooden pots, a metal retort, rectifier and condenser which is producing these heavy, aromatic and flavourful rums. This still is the last operating of its kind in the world, and the rum that it produces is massively distinctive.

The old wooden coffey still too is also the last operating still of its kind in the world today, and the uniqueness of the Demerara rums are surely attributed to this still as well even though it must be said, a specific still cannot be associated with a specific rum, but more like “rum-type”. The wooden Coffey still is made of rectangular frames stacked on top of each other with metal perforated trays in between. The rectifier has cooling coils passing through some of the sections. These wooden stills are made of local hard wood.

Most people believe the 12 and the 15 are separated by merely 3 years whereas in fact they are produced using marques from different stills explaining their variety.

All El Dorado rums are at minimum the age indicated on the bottle – it can be older but not younger. The difference between the 2 wooden pot stills apart from that one is double is that they produce different quality rums. From the single pot comes a rum that is lightly milder with a touch of sweetness while the rum from the double pot is more robust, and much heavier with a good tone of fusel oil.

 SO WHAT´S IN THESE  RUMS?

The 5 year old contains predominantly Uitvlugt marques (brands) from the Savalle still and marques from the Enmore wooden Coffey .

The 12 year old is the sweeter of the El Dorado rums, and copper colored. It’s aged in used whisky and bourbon barrels. In 2006 it was reformulated, It has tasting notes of fruit, tobacco and orange peel and has tropical fruits and spice nose. This rum contains predominantly copper coffey still rum from Diamond blended with the double wooden pot still at Port Mourant and marques from the Enmore wooden Coffey.

The 15 year old is the driest of the El Dorado range and thus a perfect cigar accompaniment. Its taste notes are a mix of dry fruits, liquorice and spice oak. Silky mouth feel with dark chocolate, coffee with hints of sweet vanilla. It has a punchy smoky flavor and a long dry fruity finish.

It contains equally double wooden pot from Port Mourant and metal coffey from Diamond, blended with single wooden pot still (Versailles) and marques from the Enmore wooden coffey still.

The 21 year old is to my palate quite alike the 15 but still very different, much less of the smoky punch and more refined. Mixed fruits and spicy oak, dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee and a dry long fruity finish. Contains predominantly Albion marques from Savalle and then Enmore – wooden coffey still and single wooden pot still from Versailles.

The 25 year old contains predominantly Enmore – wooden coffey still and La Bonne intention marques from Savalle and then double wooden pot from Port Mourant and Albion marques from Savalle. This rum i have yet to try.

Same raw fermented wash put through differing stills, aged in the same warehouse then blended to make these rums. The barrels used are American, once used white oak bourbon barrels. Demerara has significant stock of bulk aged rums available with a warehousing capacity of about 60000 to 65000 barrels and supplies product also for numerous private labels.

Of all the El Dorado rums (except for the 25 i haven`t tasted yet) i prefer the 15 because it has substantially more depth and I love its smoky punch. It was the rum that many years ago got me into rum actually.

EL DORADO RUM RANGE

El Dorado white
El Dorado 3 year old cask aged (white)
El Dorado 5 year
El Dorado 8 year
El Dorado 12 year
El Dorado 15 year
El Dorado 21 year
El Dorado 25 year
El Dorado Gold
El Dorado Spice
El Dorado overproof 120
El Dorado overproof 140
El Dorado High Strength 151
El Dorado Rum Cream
El Dorado Chocolate Cream

All the same rum off 9 different stills.

Then they also have made 3 single barrel rums:

El Dorado Single Barrel Uitvlugt
El Dorado Single Barrel Enmore Disitllery
El Dorado Single Barrel Port Morant

These are single barrels examples, from different Guyanese distilleries, that would have been blended into fine El Dorado spirits. Since they are single barrel rums they doesnt taste the same as the blended rums, not as smooth, not as “refined”, more straight forward taste of the barrel they been aged in.

I have tried two of them so far, the ort Morant (PM) and the Uitvlugt (ICBU) – the PM is very woody while the ICBU is sweet.

When it comes to the overproof rum there are 3 different, two are (as far as i know) sold in Europe, one is a 140 proof caramel colored and the other is a white colored 126 proof. In the US, there´s a 151 rum labeled “High Strength Rum”

Update:  The Rare Collection was released in 2016. These are three cask strength expressions from the three heritage stills: the Enmore ‘EHP’ wooden Coffey still, the Port Mourant ‘PM’ double wooden pot still and the Versailles ‘VSG’ single wooden pot still. 3,000 bottles of each have been released to the global market. I have tried them and yes they are very good and filling the gap of stronger rums that the El Dorado line was lacking. They have yet to be reviewed by me though and that is simply because of the outrageous prices and the weird way these rums came out on the market. 

From what I read these cask strength rums are not adultered with added sugars, something the others in the ED range have had good measures of and that is a very positive thing since these fine rums tastes so much better without sugars masking the true good flavors.

If DDL can produce unadultered rums at a bit of a higher strength they will showcase the true character of the fine demerara rums which ARE a treasure worth taking good care of because they are unique.

And since I first wrote this post in 2010, the DDL have also issued the El Dorado Cask Finishes which is the El Dorado 15  with six different cask finishes. I have yet to try them.

THE EL DORADO HERITAGE CENTER

In reply to my question at the Ministry of Rum Carl Kanto – chemist/brand ambassador and personally responsible for crafting the El Dorado range of rums, has this to tell us about the El Dorado Heritage center:

“Even though in Guyana we have been in rum production for over 3 1/2 hundred years, there is very little record and/or artifacts relating to this activity. Demerara Distillers Limited decided that you cannot have the world best rums and unable to trace its evolution. As a result the idea of a rum museum was born and this became a reality March, 2007.

At present in the Rum Heritage Centre we have on display a batch redistillation still that was used in the early 1940s, two hydrostatic pressure controlers that were used on the Savalle stills in the early 1950s, a small copper double retort pot still that was used to do experiment rum, a wooden steam boiler manufactured in 1945, a plate heat exchanger, a molasses clarifier/yeast seperator, models of the Savalle still, the modern metal Coffey still, the double wooden pot still, the wooden Coffey still and a Brigs gin still. There are also a number of photographs of activities that took place in the company over the years.

There are a few bottles of product that were produced years ago and a small amphitheater where visitors can view videos on the company’s operations. Most importantly there is the Display and sampling bar where all the premium products are on display. This bar is made from old oak barrels – the sides (top and bottom), display centres and bar stools.

We are hoping that over time we can add items, with the help of the public, to make the Heritage Centre a show piece to truely depict the rich history of rums in Guyana. We would be very grateful if any one reading this note has any thing that they can contribute, whether information, literature, items, anything to do with rum can please contact me.”

Many thanks to Carl Kanto and Demerara distillers, also my good friend Paul McFadyen in London for helping me with pics of the stills and some valuable information.

Also thanks to Chenette for courtesy of the demerara river photos.