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ED Single Barrel ICBU

Chip Dykstra signs in with a review of El Dorado Single Barrel ICBU.  This is part of the super-premium (and difficult to find) Connoisseur’s Range from ED.

Chip iconEl Dorado Single Barrel ICBU Rum
(Savalle Still) (86.5/100)
a review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)


El Dorado has introduced a Single Barrel rum using only distillation and fermentation techniques of the Savalle Still (using the same traditional methods which have been employed for 250 years).  As the barrels from this still were originally marked with an ICBU marque to signify the rums from the Uitvlught Sugar Factory in Gayana, this rum is labeled El Dorado Single Barrel Demerara Rum ICBU.  It is part of the new Connoisseur’s Range from ED.

I consider this somewhat of an artisan offering which gives the rum aficionado a glimpse into the particular characteristics of demerara rum from a particular still, in this case the Savalle Still.  Rum from this particular still would normally be blended with product from other stills and from other barrel types to construct a quality Demerara blend.  The original distillation techniques of the Savalle Still produces a very particular flavour profile to the distillate, and this review will be a reflection of that particular flavour profile which the Savalle Still imparts.

In The Bottle  4 /5

Picture 27As you can see the bottle has an elegant tapered shape which is distinctive from the more familiar bottles in the El Dorado line up.  The wider shoulders and narrow bottom is a functional design making the bottle easier to grip and hold.  The bottle also has a nice little booklet attached to the neck which provides an interesting write up on the Uitvlught Sugar Factory and the Savalle Still.

In the Glass  9/10

The rum displays a rich oil which presents long legs down the inside of my glass.  A complex oak and tannin-filled scent rises from the spirit.  In the breezes with the woody tannin, I smell sweet dark brown sugar spices, and a firm citrus note that reminds me of orange and banana peel.  The overall impression is of richness and complexity.  In my previous review of the El Dorado Single Barrel PM, I noted a much more severe woodiness in the aroma. The ICBU offering appears to be much more approachable.

In the Mouth  52.5/60

The first thing I taste in the ICBU is the balance between the woody tannins and the sweeter molasses based flavours. My earlier review of the El Dorado Single Barrel PM noted that the PM offering was very intense with woody tannin flavours.  The ICBU is much gentler.  The oak is strong, but the sweetness of the brown sugar spices balances the sharpness of the oak and citrus zests.  There is no bitter aftertaste to spoil the experience.  As well, flavours of caramel, toffee, and vanilla all lie in moderation under the oak spice as does a slightly charred nuttiness, and flavours of toasted coconut.

In the Throat  12.5/15

Oak tannin and orange peel dominate the finish on the palate.  It may be a tad spicy,  but a touch of sweetness also lingers which tempers the experience.  In the empty glass are rich aromas of baking spices and brown sugars.  The smell is very luxurious, and I sense a bit of that rich luxury in the finish as well.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

It is fascinating to explore the taste profile which the distillation and fermentation techniques of the  Savalle Still  impart into the demerara rum profile.  Although I was sampling and tasting  for the purpose of this review, I have an impulse to purchase a bottle and make this a regular encounter. If you are curious and wish to experience an exploration of the demerara rum taste profile,  you will enjoy these new El Dorado Single Barrel Connoisseur offerings, particularly the ICBU.

Suggested Recipe

Although the El Dorado Single Barrel ICBU Rum is primarily meant as a connoisseur’s sipping rum; I could not resist the urge to explore at least one cocktail experience.  Since I have been using cranberry juice in my cocktails lately, I decided to do a variation of one of my earlier bar drinks, the Traveler Cocktail.   I call the new cocktail made with the El Dorado ICBU Single Barrel Rum, Savalle Row, which is probably a bad pun but a very good cocktail.

Savalle Row
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)

Picture 311 1/2 oz El Dorado ICBU Single barrel Rum
3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz Lime juice
3/4 oz Cranberry juice

One each, frozen Raspberry and frozen Blackberry for garnish

Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a suitable glass
Garnish with the frozen fruit

Note: This cocktail is “Forrest Approved.”

And always remember, the aim is not to drink more, it is to drink better!


To read more of Chip’s work click here and here.