I always look forward to finishing a rum bottle because it means another trip to the liquor store and a chance to browse the large selection of rums. One that caught my eye was the El Dorado 12 Year Old distilled by Demerara Distillers Ltd in Georgetown, Guyana. Never had a Guyana made rum, probably because Demerara is that country's only rum distiller. The sugar cane is grown on the fertile banks of the Demerara River and was the original source of sugar used in making Pusser's Rum. Since those early years "Demerara" rum was sourced in bulk to other distillers which had the unintended consequence of losing its brand. Demerara Distillers is attempting to rectify that situation by discontinuing the practice of selling bulk rum and instead bottle all their rum under the Demerara Rum name. And "today all rum bottled under the Demerara Rum name must come from Demerara Distillers in Guyana". Another fact that I found interesting is that this distiller operates the last remaining wooden still in the Caribbean.
Demerara Distillers produces a wide range of rum products, but for our purposes we were only interested in their reserve line - the 12 and 15 year old rums. The 12-year old was priced with better value so it came home with us. It is a blend of selected aged rums, with the youngest being no less than 12 years old. The rum was distilled from one of three stills, including the double wooden pot still and then aged in used bourbon oak casks. The result is an incredibly smooth, smooth rum; I mean zero burn at the tail, with the finish lasting quite a while. I had to add a few drops of water to ignite the aromas which had more complexity than the flavor, which is sweet - almost like honey. In fact the rum was almost too sweet and mellow. I just didn't pick up many spice or fruit characteristics as my mind concentrates on its smoothness. That doesn't mean its not a good rum; it is extremely drinkable and affordable at $20. This is a good alternative to Ron Zacapa.