El Dorado is releasing the Rare Collection, a selection of three single-still, single-vintage spirits.
They are made using the Demerara Distillers' three 'heritage' wooden stills, the last three of their kind still in operation.
First you've got Versailles 2002, made using the wooden single pot still of the same name; then Port Mourant 1999, from the wooden double pot still; and finally Enmore 1993 distilled in the wooden coffey still. All three were tropical-aged in ex-Jack Daniel's barrels like other El Dorado rums are, and then bottled at cask strength.
Enmore 1993 (56.5%) is the more fruit-forward of the three, with some papaya and dried fruit notes, with plenty of cognac-like characters too – spices, espresso and vanilla. It's very rich on the palate, with oak characters, chocolate and ripe fruit notes, but still with a pleasingly dry finish.
Port Mourant 1999 (61.4%) is surprisingly sea-like on the nose: there's something like an oyster shell, before aromas of dried red berries and cooked pear come in. The palate's quite savoury, with a chalkiness on the mid-palate, and more of that sea element on the finish.
Versailles (63%) has a bit of that salinity too, but cleaner, with nutty, sort of macadamia brittle aromas. Its palate kicks off savoury – think salted toffee – with pineapple and hazelnuts in there too, before a refreshing finish that adds yet some more complexity to a very interesting spirit.
Just 3,000 bottles of each were produced, with a small share available in the UK from early May. The RRP will be around £200.
This is part of a series of releases to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Guyana's independence on 26 May. The Cask Finishes series that launched in late February also forms part of the celebrations - these are six spirits all starting with an El Dorado 15yo base, which have each spent a further 18 to 28 months in various casks: dry and sweet madeira, white and ruby port, Sauternes and Portuguese red wine.
All six clock in at 43% and only 30 bottles of each were available in the UK – so act quick...
Finally, there's the Grand Special Reserve that's due to hit our shores some time this year – but very softly, as very, very few of the £3,000 bottles will be available over here. It contains liquids aged 33 to 50 years – the oldest from Demerara Distillers – in a crystal bottle topped with an 18-carat gold ornament.
Love Drinks, 020 7501 9630