Why would I bore you with a lot of tasting notes? This review is only useful to show the sorry-ass state of rum.
Diamond Distillery, which makes El Dorado, has some incredible distillate as seen in the indie-bottled Kill Devil and Velier releases (reviews coming). Their column and pot still rums are as good as any of the best malts, especially at cask strength. Diamond could release official, unadulterated bottlings and revolutionize the rum world, collecting oodles of profit and gaining rightful acclaim for their outstanding spirits. I'd hail them and stop complaining so damned much. I might even smile.
But no, we get this El Dorado: mass-marketed, dumbed-down schlock spiked with sugar and diluted until all flavor is destroyed. Instead of selling the rum, they basically sell a bad rum cocktail.
It's a symbol of the rot in our larger culture: these rum flavorings are like the campus "space spaces", designed to hide the "offensive" (interesting) parts of life. And since the postmodernists tell us that all opinions are "social constructs of the patriarchy", how an we say one idea or rum is better than another? If you believe El Dorado 15 year is an A+, that's your reality, and that's as valid as mine. No objective truth exists: and if you disagree, you're a rum-ophobe. Just ask the mob at Evergreen College.
Well, here's my truth: Have you ever tried brown sugar? Great, you can skip this El Dorado, because that's the only note, turned up to 11. Perhaps if you order Long Island Iced Teas or tooty-fruity $18 cocktails at turbo bars with neon purple lighting and loud house music, this kind of rum is your bag.
But I find that it's flabby, cloying, liquid candy; total amateur hour, a microcosm of everything that's depressing about the state of rum today. There's a thinness to the spirit. It could give you cavities. Probably a fun "mixer", but I drink spirits, raw--I'm not some sorority girl who needs to hide the flavors and buys marshmallow vodka for the foam party.
Oh wait, that's probably misogynistic! Quick, somebody cover up that last line with sugar. I'll launch the apology tour and sign up for diversity re-education training.
70 pts/C-. And that's generous. I mean, it's tolerable, but what a bore. It's not rum, it's flat soda and it makes Dr. Pepper seem dry and compelling by comparison. This is safe-space rum; and I don't need trigger warnings or sugar.