Caroni 1996/2013 – Bristol Spirits review

20150826_114803What is it? Heavy rum from molasses, distilled via column still at the Caroni distillery in Trinidad. Distilled in 1996, aged in Trinidad until 2008 (for some casks) and 2010 (for some other casks) and then further matured in the UK until it was bottled in 2013. Makes it 17 years old, or there about.

I doubt it’s coloured but it is filtered and bottled at 43% abv.

Sugar? Nope.

Nose: Lightly phenolic. Slight tar, liquorice and distant creosote (someone doing their fence down the road). Once the tarry notes have blown off there is some lovely soft toffee, hot buttered croissants and bananas. Sweet oaky vanillas pop up right at the end. I could nose this all day.

Palate: Medium mouth-feel. Sweet entry definitely, candied fruits and white jelly beans (those old school ones, not these new “Jelly Belly” things). Ah-ha, now we’re talking; totally flips and goes savoury with olives, a little tar and maybe even some brine. Green olives in brine maybe. Smoky, a little salted liquorice and even some engine oil/diesel….or what I imagine it engine oil and diesel would taste like.

Finish: Very long. Big. Smoked oranges, smoky lemons, smoked bananas, smoked tar (WTF?), even a little bit of cream soda sneaks in and a tanginess somewhere – almost grapefruit like.

Thoughts? Woah. This is very good. Totally caught me on the hop, I wasn’t expecting phenolic rum at all – this really reminds me of Ardbeg (peated Islay Scotch whisky). Perfect balance between zippy fruits, sweetness and savoury. There is so much to find in this rum, these tasting notes are likely to get longer and longer the more of this I drink so enough of that, time to stop. Fantastic!

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