In 1923 the Caroni plain’s sugarcane plantation and distillery were founded in Trinidad. In 2003, when the islands sugarcane refinery and production was shuttered by the government, the distillery subsequently was forced to close the same year. Two years later La Maison and Velier, a company that bottles rare spirits, purchased all of the remaining stock at the Caroni facility. The rums for this product were distilled in 2000 using a double column still and a copper pot still and aged in oak. In 2017 this rum was developed using a stock of seven barrels that was blended to 55% ABV, creating 2700 bottles total to be released worldwide.
The 750 ml dark glass bottle conceals the rum and instead focuses on the photo by Fredi Marcarini on the front label and information loaded back label.
In the glass the molten amber color shines through the mahogany liquid. Agitating the liquid created a medium size ring that quickly thickens and drops two waves of legs. The bands and legs slowly evaporate, leaving behind remnant of the ring and pebbles around the glass.
The aroma of the rum when I first poured it was a combination of tropical fruit, particularly banana, and fresh asphalt. After I let the glass sit for a few minutes it the asphalt note settled revealing notes of mineral and oak tannins.
This rum delivers a full bodied mouth feel laden with a concoction of combative flavors. Front and center notes of over ripe banana, mango, and roasted almonds lay a foundation as the 110 proof liquid ignites the perimeter of the mouth. Additional sips reveal saddle leather, medicinal cherry, cacao, prune, acidic copper, tar, hemp rope, charred oak, and treacle, with a long mineral rich finish.
La Maison and Velier have developed a successful business model where they find rums from around the world and create limited edition bottlings. Caroni 2000 is their first venture in to the United States and it has been interesting watching the collectors and rum connoisseurs get excited to finally have access to this brand in the country. I found the flavor profile challenging in a good way as the congeners in the spirit are a tad overwhelming. Clearly designed for sipping, I felt this rum was part of a puzzle piece and am curious what it would have been like as part of a blend with another island’s rum. If you have to mix it in a cocktail, avoid lemon and lime juice, the flavor profile fights with those flavors. However a rum Old Fashioned cocktail using an ounce of the rum was an interesting experience. With a limited amount of this product being released worldwide it is going to sell out quickly and the value will only go up. If you are interested in this product you may want to check select stores in New York and some online outlets for availability. Happy Hunting!