Yesterday I reviewed a 19 yo Golden Devil exclusive rum for K&L. That one was from Guadeloupe. For this review let’s leap over to Guyana and go up a few years in age. This is a 25 yo Enmore, referred to by some—and few less enthusiastically as the people selling it—as the Port Ellen of rum. I’m not really sure what that means. Enmore and Port Ellen are closed distilleries but so is Dallas Dhu; why is Enmore not the Dallas Dhu of rum? I demand answers! But seriously, you can’t expect me to get excited about something that’s not the Pappy of its category—Driscoll must have been slacking on the job that day.
The history of the Enmore distillery and of Guyanese rum in general is complicated. All the Guyanese distilleries were consolidated into one in the mid-1990s and even before that Enmore produced both column still and pot still rum. This particular release is a single cask of pot still rum and it was bottled at a whopping strength of 63%. I have, as it happens, had another 25 yo Enmore bottled for K&L—that one was from their less fancy Faultline label (is that still on the go?) but I liked it a fair bit. Will this be as good? Let’s see.
Enmore 25, 1992 (63%; Golden Devil for K&L; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Rich caramel mixed with dried orange peel and overripe banana. On the second sniff there’s engine oil, aniseed and more herbal notes. That engine oil note expands as it sits and picks up a varnishy note. With more time the caramel comes back out on top—and it’s pretty dark caramel now. With water it gets quite acrid on the nose as well.
Palate: Pretty much as promised by the nose as it hits the palate but as I swallow there’s a big smoky blast (acrid coal smoke) with coarsely ground black pepper mixed in. On the second sip there’s some Jamaican-style funk as well. Drinkable at full strength but obviously quite hot. That smoky note ebbs as it sits and it gets much spicier: pepper, cinnamon, clove, aniseed. I’m curious to see what water does for it. With a few drops of water it’s the pepper that’s to the fore, mixed in with the caramel.
Finish: Long. Gets spicier and more herbal as it goes. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Very close to the previous 25 yo on the nose but on the palate there’s far more going on. I’m not sure how much this one went for but this I would have been tempted to get a full bottle of at a reasonable price. I may have added too much water but I thought it was more interesting neat.
Rating: 88 points.
Thanks to Sku for the sample! (I’m not sure if he ever reviewed it himself.)