When I hear the word ‘single barrel’ I usually think bourbon. So I was quite surprised when I was invited to Hix in Soho, to sample some single barrel, single still rums from El Dorado. I have to confess that I was a little perplexed by the idea, as for me the artistry in rum production has always seemed to be in the blending, so the concept of a single barrel rum seemed like an oddity, but not the sort of oddity I was going to miss out on trying.
I’m sure a lot of you know El Dorado rums already, the range that we normally see includes the 3yo white, 5yo and 8yo golden rums and of course the more premium 12yo and 15yo rums. Every now and then you see a bottle of El Dorado 21yo or even the 25yo on a back bar. All of those are fine blends of aged rums coming from a selection of the different stills that El Dorado own.
El Dorado are a bit unique when it comes to stills; they have 9 in operation, including a number of wooden stills and this gives them a huge range of possibilities when it comes to producing rums with different flavour profiles. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to sit in on one of Stefanie Holt’s (El Dorado brand ambassador in the UK) training sessions you get a good insight into the different styles that the stills produce and what they add to each blend. That being said nothing can compare to actually tasting the single still, single barrel rums to get a real idea of how very different they are from each other.