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Diamond 1988, 20 Years Old, 54.9% ABV, Guyana, 100th Anniversary of De Monnik Dranken, El Dorado Rum's Rare Collection

Demerara rums occupy a very special place in my collection, and even more so when I find one that was wholly tropically aged in Guyana. This is one such example - the Diamond 1998 from @eldoradorums’ Rare Collection, bottled for the 100th anniversary of @monnikdranken.

This particular rum spent nearly 19-20 tropical years in Guyana, distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2018, with an abv of 54.9% and an outturn of 300 bottles. Alongside it, El Dorado released a second bottle of the Diamond 1998, this time for the 20th anniversary of @cbh.france, at just a touch higher abv of 55.1%, and a much higher outturn of 790 bottles. I’ve not had the chance to taste CBH’s bottling myself, but @romhatten.dk tells us that based on their profiles, both are likely from the same batch, although 0.2% difference in abv remains a mystery.


And if you’d allow me to indulge in exploring the genealogy of this rum, there is so much we can learn from it. With the marques, the label tells us that it is a blend of two different ones - the SVW from the Diamond Coffey Still and the DLR from the Savalle still. What is really interesting is that from Matt Pietrek’s (@cocktailwonk@rumwonk) research, the DLR marque is produced from the new MPRS (Multi-pressure Rectification Still) installed in 2011. Therefore we now know that prior to that, the DLR was produced from the Savalle still.

The other interesting little nugget is that being distilled in 1998, the DLR component of the blend would have been distilled at Uitvlugt Distillery, rather than Diamond, as the Savalle still was moved to Diamond only in 1999, and re-commissioned in 2000. This then begs the question whether the DLR was brought to Diamond for blending right after distillation, or if the blending only took place after the closure of Uitvlugt in 1999.

A lovely round fruitiness when nosed, a sweet scent of rock melons, warm toasted chestnuts, slightly fizzy, resembling a root beer. And then there’s sweet marzipan, quite a bit of heat and spice, a layer of lacquer and the tiniest hint of rancio. Yet with so many deep and warm notes, there’s something fresh about it too, minty, packham pears perhaps.

On the palate, very well structured and lovely texture, silky upfront and slightly tannic towards the end. I could say there was touch of sea salt caramel in it, nicely balanced between the two, and rich coconut cream. The middle becomes slightly funky, plasticine, light iodine, liquorice, flambeed bananas, and then root beer again. The finish is medium-long, a tad woody but for me just right, a bit of tannins, sherry, raisins, and dry.

For me, this one’s possibly one of the highlights of El Dorado’s Rare Collection, right up there with the Skeldon 2000. The tropical aging makes all the difference, and I really do hope to see more releases like this from El Dorado in the near future.


Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu


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