It’s time to taste a few “real” Enmores. Well, what it is a real Enmore, you may ask. I guess the most real of all Enmores would be one that has been distilled by the Enmore Wooden Coffey still (EHP) at Enmore Distillery and subsequently got to mature at the estate. But guess what, we have zero such rums in our sample library. Instead, we only have rums that fit at best two of the three criteria. One rum comes reasonably close, however, as you shall see. Just keep in mind that the Enmore distillery has been shut down in 1995 and that its stills have been moved to Uitvlugt first, and then to DDL in 2000. Hence, all the rums between 1996 and 1999 can be traced back to the Uitvlugt distillery, all the Enmore from 2000 to today to the Diamond distillery. Now we have a few rums that actually have been distilled at Enmore but they got to mature elsewhere for the vast majority of their lives, be it in Liverpool or at another Guyanese warehouse. Now the years 1997 to 1993, in reverse order.
Rum Nation SBRR Enmore (EHE) 1997 19YO (58,7%): An Enmore from Uitvlugt with a Sherry “finish” of five and a half years. Other producers would even call this a double maturation I guess. It is a small batch release of three barrels that got to age partly in the tropics and partly in Europe. My guess is tropics for 15 years and then Europe for the finish but that is really nothing more than a mere guess. By the way, these first SBRR releases were gooood… Ah, and one more thing. I do not know the marque “EHE”. Either it really is a different one, or just a mistake. Nose: Uiii, lots and lots of esters, as well as plenty of glue. My first impression here isn’t Enmore, but much rather Jamaica actually. Only then do we get burnt sugar/ muscovado, spices that should come from the distillate and the barrel, fruits that we can attribute likewise to both elements, quite some oak, red grapes and vinous notes (the Sherry I guess), plums, cassis and red pepper. I think it is magnificient, even though it doesn’t seem to have too much in common with what we know to be Enmore. Palate: More Demerara than the nose suggested but those esters, at the palate mostly in the form of banana while we’ve had something closer to pineapple in the nose, are still very present. Then tobacco, caramel, bone dry red wine from Bordeaux, slightly tannic notes, cherries, charcoal or ash, leather, plums, candied fruits, dry wood and lots and lots of spices such as pepper, cinnamon or cloves. Very, very good juice. The texture is spot on, and I do love the profile, even though it is quite unique. Finish: Long, dry and dusty. Rather antique furniture, dried fruits, oak, spices and banana chips are my main impressions. It is not necessarily what I expected but if you have a fondness for high ester Demerara rums, you’ll love this one. Which brings me back to the marque… EHE… Enmore High Ester? Probably not, but it is fitting. (93/100)
El Dorado Rare Cask Enmore (EHP) 1996 21YO (57,2%): This one is said to be one of the better El Dorado releases. Nose: Sugar, caramel, iodine, wood and a mix of herbs shape the profile. While it is relatively sweet, it almost comes without any fruity notes. We can find apricots or dates perhaps, but that’s about it. Then vanilla, tobacco and cinnamon. Not bad at all! Palate: Sweet and “dark” with sugar, caramel and molasses, but also salty iodine, some soapy notes (that aren’t really disturbing!) and warm butter. Really cool. I do wonder why there aren’t more Demeraras like this. Then very clearly cinnamon, some vanilla and a mix of different woods. Did I mention that this one is incredibly smooth!? Finish: A bit fresher than the palate, but still with the different processed varieties of sugar, some herbs and this buttery mouthfeel. A really cool rum, that is kinda the bridge between old school and new school Demeraras. (88/100)
Velier Enmore “ELCR” 1995 15YO (61,2%): This is said to be part of the last distilled rum at Enmore distillery. At least with the rums from the Versailles still, there’s a noticeable drop in quality for the rums that have been distilled at Uitvlugt (or Diamond) but I am not sure if the same holds true for the “real” Enmores. By the way, it is just merely speculation but the marque “ELCR” might stand for “Enmore Light (or Last) Column-Still Rum”, who knows… Nose: Lots and lots of glue as well as a mix of exotic fruits and spices. I get dried apricot, grilled papaya, pepper, allspice, tobacco and iodine. It is a really nice nose, even though it is miles away from a very complex one. Palate: Very sweet with sugar, caramel, molasses, anise, pepper and quite some oak. Here and there a whiff of sweet berries (raspberry) but not much more. At best I can name iodine, slightly savoury, close to meaty nuances as well as an unlicid mix of herbs. The integration of the alcohol is magnificent by the way. Finish: Relatively long with soft pretzel, butter and oak. The texture of this one is really great, that’s for sure! When I’ve had this rum for the first time, I was much more impressed. Now, with more experience and benchmarks, I am almost disappointed. I think the problem is that we have been spoilt by some other excellent Demeraras but we shouldn’t complain about that, of course. (86/100)
So no 1994, unfortunately.
El Dorado Rare Cask Enmore 1993 22YO (57,2%): We’ve already had this one in a blind tasting, easily pointed it out as an Enmore, and thought it wasn’t good. How about this time, fully aware of what it is? Nose: Indeed, quite typical with molasses and lots of spices such as cardamom, caraway, cinnamon or nutmeg. Behind that different sorts of wood and maybe even a hint of glue. At least the nose isn’t as bad as I remember but the integration of the alcohol is indeed not the very best. Palate: Relatively sweet with lots of caramel, burnt sugar, the different woods and a spice mix that resembles that of the nose. Now this isn’t half as bad as it was in my memory but still, this isn’t what you’d expect from a tropically aged, 22YO Demerara. It is just way too thin and flat if you ask me, even though this certain minty note towards the finish is quite nice. Speaking of which, finish: Short to medium long with chocolate and mint, as well as ever so slightly bitter notes, slightly akin to roasted cocoa. It is a solid rum, just not the one that it is on paper and clearly not the one that can wear such a price tag. (81/100)