I have recently joined a rum club and am trying to learn all about rum and it’s various types and all such things. I doubt it will ever replace whisky as my drink of choice, but it’s a whole interesting world unto itself and is a very nice way to mix things up and try something different. A short while ago the rum club did a Caroni evening. Caroni is a rum distillery from Trinidad that was held in very high regard and has since closed down, so what’s floating around now is pretty much the last of it. Caroni is known for its heavy, rubbery, chemical profile. Now what’ all this got to do with a whisky review you ask?
Well this 5-year-old Kilchoman I have before me, which was a special release for the 60th anniversary of La Maison du Whisky, a whisky shop in France, spent 6 months being finished in a cask which previously held Caroni rum. As a real whisky geek I really love being able to taste the exact substance that sat in the casks before the whisky went in, and then the whisky itself. I also just love Kilchoman in general, and I do quite like Caroni, so what could go wrong?
Aged 5 years. 59.4% ABV. Finished in a Caroni rum cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 531/2011.
Nose: That typical Kilchoman farmy peat but covered in a layer of sweet herbal something. Bubblegum. Tapioca. Juicy, sweet fruits. Lemon salts. Engine cleaner. Slight note of ammonia.
Palate: Rubber. Engine oil. Farmy peat. Quite herbal. Woodspice. White grape juice. Salt. Sweet malty note and Islay iodine on the swallow.
Finish: Long. Sweet peat. Wet slate. Palm fruits. Grassy herbal notes galore. Neutral fruit syrup. Salt.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a very interesting one. It certainly had a lot of recognizable Caroni influence. Some of the Caroni notes didn’t gel so well with the Kilchoman notes for me, but I think that it’s very much a matter of personal taste. It was a complex and above all interesting whisky, very different and unique. Very glad I got to try some, especially with the Caroni rum evening fresh in my memory.