Caribbean Journal Reviews a Legendary Rum from a Lost Trinidad Distillery


Opening the post with a description of the beautiful flashes of color of scarlet ibis birds flying across the green mangroves of Trinidad’s Caroni Swamp, Caribbean Journal waxes poetic on the rare, evocative flavor of the Caroni 17-year Old Rum. Here are excerpts from the “Rum Journal,” which describes the rum as “something very, very special”:

[. . .] A little more than a year after the old Caroni rum distillery had closed its doors, [Luca] Gargano [on a trip to the island in 2004] discovered that inside the old-state owned facility were hundreds of barrels of Caroni’s aging “heavy” rum, some dating back three decades.

Gargano, the owner of Velier, a specialty spirits importer that has made an art form of discovering rare and seemingly unobtainable old spirits (including rum), was able to acquire the rums and eventually bottle them, a treasure trove of rum archaeology.

Rum Journal was lucky enough to obtain a bottle, which is available in limited supply on the global market, including in the United States. RJ tried the Caroni 17-year Old Rum, a 1998 vintage rum bottled at the end of 2015.

Housed in a beautiful bottle with a replica of a 1940s-era rum label, the 17-year has an alluring amber color and a funky, robust aroma of caramel and dried apricot and a hint of smoke; the moment you smell it you know you’ve found something very, very special. The flavor profile is at first quite spicy before quickly rounding off into notes of dried mango, citrus peel, apricot and banana. Then come smoky suggestions of black pepper and oak. [. . .]

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