A 21-year-old overproof rum from the cult closed rum distillery Caroni.
This was distilled in February 1996 and matured in Trinidad until 22 February 2017, where it was then transported to France. It was bottled in April 2017.
Bottled at 100 imperial proof, 57.18%, it is a big part of the canon of this controversial and lost distillery.
This is a not a quiet rum. The classic deep Caroni notes of tar and dark fruits, with highlights of mint. The Caribbean aging has done its work, thereâs a musty age â particularly on the nose â but the spirit is bold enough to keep up with the intense maturation.
Oakier and smokier than some of the younger expressions.
The rum interests of Caroni, a government-owned sugar cane factory, was implemented in 1923 (or 1918, depending on who you read) in Trinidad and was a prominent, active distillery until the 1990s. With a guaranteed supply of molasses, the rums had a strong international reputation and the distillery often supplied the British Navy.
As Trinidads once-thriving rum industry began to shrink, the government sold a critical stake in Caronis rum arm to private distillery Angostura. Caroni as a whole, including rum production and a litany of other food-related activities, closed in 2003, with 9,000 workers retrenched from the national icon. With the countrys historic sugar cane industry essentially dead, it has been estimated that 35,000 people who were indirectly dependent on the plant suffered from its closure.
The closure itself has been the subject of debate locally in Trinidad, as the plant was seen by some as a key part of the countrys agricultural industry. It has been argued that the demise of the distillery may have been political as much as it was caused by market forces.
Caroni had both pot stills and column stills and produced a big, thick, sweet rum. While in production, the Caroni style was something of an industry secret that has since become an international fascination for rum drinkers since its closure.
Following its closure, the remaining maturing stocks were acquired by Italian spirits importer Velier and French whisky merchants La Maison du Whisky, who have largely been responsible for the Caroni rums that have taken on a cult status in the past ten years.
- Traditional Rum