|The Now Closed Caroni Distillery|
Bahama Bob's Rumstyles
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Caroni Distillery has an interesting history, especially concerning Caroni Rum from the island of Trinidad. At one point in time, there were 50 distilleries on Trinidad, but by 1950 there were just eight. Today there is only one, the House of Angostura. From 1923 till 2003 were the golden ages of the Caroni Rum distillery, founded in the heart of the Caroni plain's sugarcane plantations, this famed Trinidad distillery was renowned throughout the world for producing some of the best heavy rums. They received high praise from the British Navy for whom they had produced rums. In 2003, a disaster struck, with the closing of the nearby state owned sugar refinery resulted in a slow decline of Trinidad's sugarcane production. It was a short time later that the Caroni distillery was also shut down.
It’s not too far from here that Italian Luca Gargano found something on a trip to the island in 2004. He located the last of some legendary Caribbean rum. A little more than a year after the Caroni Rum Distillery had closed, Gargano discovered that inside the old facility were hundreds of barrels of Caroni’s “heavy” rum aging, some of which dated back nearly three decades. Gargano, a spirits importer that has made an art form of locating rare and sometimes thought to be lost old spirits, was able to acquire the rums and eventually bottle them. This is a treasure trove of rum archaeology.
The Caroni 12 Year Old bottling contains rum from the 2000 vintage, the last available barrels of 100% Trinidad Rum made from local molasses, distilled and matured for 12 years on the island. The hot tropical weather resulted in an angels share of 60% loss of distilled spirit due to evaporation. To perfectly capture the unique heavy rum character of this closed distillery, Gargano has bottled the Caroni 12 Year Old at 50% ABV. To add to the mystique, the label reflects a 1940 label to commemorate Trinidad’s golden age of rum. This is a very limited supply, it should be a must own expression even for one that is not a regular rum drinker.
This expression is a deep gold rum with the aroma of charred molasses, a barbaque in your neighbor's garden, vanilla and caramelized ripe bananas. On the palate it is velvety, with hints of toasted nuts, smoked licorice, vanilla, honey, marzipan and delicate spices. It is a heavy bodied rum that is well balanced with a long dry oaked finish.