El Dorado Rare Collection, Skeldon 2000 (18 years)
Background: the “lesser Skeldon”. This is one bottling that will forever live in the shadows of its big brothers, the Velier 1973 and 1978 Skeldons. Not because it tastes worse (there is at least one prominent rum reviewer who prefers it), but because it is still in stock at reliable retailers. As they say, the ideal Skeldon is always the Skeldon you cannot get your hands on... EDIT: this review is based on a sample.
Nose: molasses; burnt caramel; caramelised pork fat; pork floss; Marmite; beef stock; generic instant noodle seasoning; Japanese curry; cumin powder; exhaust fumes with combusted coolant; musty old cabinet; petrichor; struck match; acetone; marzipan; butterscotch; raisin cake; dried plums and prunes.
Palate: dark and sweet entry; icing; golden syrup; black milk tea; caramel; toffee candy; burnt chiffon cake; a mighty amount of pork floss, like, really a mouthful of it; bak kwa; milk chocolate.
Finish: still dark and sweet, and it’s long too; mint sweets; chocolate almond milk; wet burp; sweet cream; an aftertaste dominated by gula melaka, with hints of liquorice from time to time.
Conclusion: are the savoury, meaty notes a hallmark of the SWR mark? Unfortunately, I do not have the good fortune to taste the other two Skeldons I know, but I cannot imagine 27 or 32 years of tropical ageing being kind to this startling side of the rum. When I was a young boy I had the habit of snacking on pork floss, and my first sip of this was a much welcomed blast from the past. Even without the nostalgia, the originality of this rum -- being so markedly different yet retaining its identity as a demerara -- is something I admire.
Score (assuming a normal distribution with mean 50): 88/100
Image Courtesy of u/zoorado.
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