The evolution of rum distillation dates back over 400 years. Upon arriving in present-day Guyana in 1493, Christopher Columbus planted the first successful sugar cane grown in the Caribbean in the Essequibo River basin, which joins the mighty Demerara River, running along the equator and below sea level. 150 years later the Dutch established the region’s first major European settlements, Essequibo and Berbice, capitalizing on the cultivation of sugar cane along the coastal plain and the banks of the great rivers.
At its peak, Guyana was home to over 300 sugar estates with distilleries, each producing their own signature rums. Over the years these 300 sugar estates were whittled down to one lone estate and distillery, Plantation Diamond, located on the east bank of the Demerara River. The parent company for El Dorado and Diamond Reserve is Demerara Distillers Limited, aka DDL – the corporate name for Plantation Diamond, still located on the historic estate. Demerara Distillers Limited is the only remaining producer of Demerara Rum in the world.
Diamond Reserve is the brand name of DDL’s introductory and lightly aged rums. The Diamond Reserve brand was created to differentiate between the aged rums of El Dorado (3 years or more) and the introductory spirits produced by DDL. These rums are designed to mix into cocktails, as well as for sipping on their own.
For the line of fine aged rums by Demerara Distillers Limited at Plantation Diamond, please see the brand page for El Dorado.