Caroni Rum Nation 1998-2014 2nd batch
Ah…Caroni…the almost iconic distillery in Trinidad that closed its doors more than a decade ago.
In fact, there are two different types of Caroni: heavy and light. And this has got nothing to do with the alcohol strength, but everything with the rectification of the rum. A light rum means distilled at …a higher alcohol percentage, but with higher rectification; and thus less “unwanted” congeners in the spirit. A heavy rum is distilled at a lower abv, but with more congeners; resulting in a more “dirty” rum, containing more sulphur and fusel oils, giving Caroni its typical tar, smoke and oil taste.
The rum: Caroni Rum Nation 1998-2014 2nd batch
Distilled: 1998 – no type of still indicated
Bottled: 2014 – 4580 bottles
Maturation: 9 years in Trinidad and 7 years in Europe – American oak
Nose: the first impression is soft and fruity, with some pepper, burnt sugar and a medium alcohol feeling. Rather fruity for a Caroni indeed, and really not aggressive. I also got a whiff of mocha and some liquorice, together with lamp oil and a vegetal touch. Camphor. After a good 15 minutes some orange peel and grape fruit. Adding some water makes it much softer, with vanilla playing a more dominant role now.
Taste: Firm alcohol now, but still rather sweet – brown sugar. Much more wood influence than expected. Fruity notes, but a bit more on the bitter side. Orange peel and grapefruit again. Herbal too. Adding some water makes the wood less dominant, with the fruits playing their part now – mainly papaya. More liquorice, and the water camouflages that little bitter side note. Pleasant rum…but where’s that typical Caroni flavour of smoke and fusel oils? This actually goes in the direction of a light Caroni.
Finish: Again lots of wood and herbal, without becoming too dry. The finish is rather long and warming. With some water it becomes a bit shorter and less powerful. Coffee with lots of milk.
In short: A rather a-typical Caroni, and certainly not the best Caroni around – but for this price (expect to pay around €56-60) a must have. If you still can find a bottle, don’t hesitate to buy!
Our Score : **** thanks to the excellent quality-price ratio