In the first part of this series, I talked about the El Dorado brand and 2 of its regular releases. Moving on, I want to discuss the the Enmore mark from Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).
Damn you, Lance for telling me about the Velier Demerara releases. For it has led me to a painful obsession of seeking rum fit to be called its successors. Do they exist? Will they ever exist? There are times when I truly believe that ignorance is bliss. The more one knows, the more it takes to be satisfied. What a curse I put on myself for making the Velier Demerara rums among my holiest of grails. I have only tried one so far, the Uitvlugt 1997 ULR. By the gods, it blew my mind. Because I’m a glutton for punishment and greed is good, I did more research. Surprisingly and unsurprisingly I discovered it wasn’t even among the best of Velier’s releases.
As the Rolling Stones famously sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Such is my misfortune when I learned that I had joined the RUMbellion too late. I had missed the golden age for Velier releases. I missed out on the Velier Demerara rum. I missed out on most of the Velier Caroni releases. Even, if I try sometimes, I find I don’t get what I need.
So, what happens when we want more of a phenomenon? We search for, and go straight to the source. So, here I am, trying as many of the releases of Demerara rum from DDL.
Now, in 2014, DDL’s chairman, with whom Velier’s Luca Gargano had a good relationship, stepped down. This resulted in DDL’s arrangement with Velier coming to an end. It may have been due to DDL wanting to release their own limited-edition Demerara rum releases, to augment their standard lineup of low proof aged releases. They began in 2016 by releasing the new “Rare Collection” single still high-proof rums. Some of these were sweetened, but the more recent ones are right up to today’s recent untampered-with editions. Initially, these were seen as cheap shots at Luca Gargano by DDL – after all, the Velier Dememera labels were very clear in getting across that the rum was from DDL. Luca was, and remains very good, at giving a lot of credit to the makers of rum he works with. So, how could DDL do this to him?
Well, the past is past. Having not been into rum during those days, I feel like I have no right to comment on it. Here we are now with the untampered El Dorado Rare Collection releases. Thanks to Barrel Aged Mind’s write up on the history of Demerara distillers, it’s easier to geek out on Demerara rum.
Without getting too much into detail, Enmore means plenty of things. Enmore used to be a sugar estate founded in the 1840s. Then, there’s the Enmore still mark called EHP. This stands for Edward Henry Porter. Mr. Porter was an owner of the Enmore plantation. EHP now refers to the rum distilled by the wooden column still that is still being used in DDL today. An Enmore distillery also used to exist in the 1960s, which at various times, housed other old stills being used today in DDL.
El Dorado Enmore 1993 – review
On the nose: Surprisingly gentle aroma despite the whopping abv and Caribbean aging. The scents are a bit incohesive but certainly appealing. I get a lot of red flavors but not much floral. There are some figs, dates, raisins, tobacco, cherry jam, hints of strawberry jam, Ethiopian coffee, earl grey tea, pencil graphite and honey.
In the mouth: Surprisingly also gentle. I’ve had lower abv whisky hotter than this. The heat is not a good thing in this case. The flavors are a bit more cohesive in the mouth. The dates, cherry jam and figs are more expressive. The shy and weak tannic notes show up. Followed by some honey, hints of muscovado sugar, more dates, raisins, hints of grapefruit, bergamot, hints of smoke and some sort of incense.
Dates. Oh, how I love dates! Everything about this rum is a surprise. It’s my first-time having rum only from the Enmore still. If the red fruit notes are consistent throughout all the bottlings, Enmore might be a hill I wouldn’t mind dying on. I’m also curious at what proof they barreled the distillate? It’s so gentle for the ABV. I only wish the flavors presented themselves at a more cohesive format. If the layering of flavors displayed themselves better, this would have been a 9/10. Based on the flavors, I’m going to guess the El Dorado 15 has a fair amount of Enmore rum in it.
I hope DDL bottles more of these unsweetened single still releases. I’m being optimistic that this is them listening to the rants of the smaller, yet louder enthusiasts, and the dreams of those who would want to try something close to Velier’s Demerara rum.