Caroni 1998 – The Duchess

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Sample provided by Best of Whiskies

I’ve reviewed quite a few rums from the now closed Caroni distillery in Trinidad before and have come to like its heavy character quite a bit. Caronis are pretty much exclusively available from independent bottlers and this particular one comes from the Netherlands based “The Duchess”, a brand of the online store Best of Whiskies.

There have been a few rum released under the Duchess label, the last one before this from Travellers distillery in Belize which I tried and liked a lot (I also have a bottle) and set a very good precedent for me for this bottler, so I was excited to try a Caroni. I had some at a Caroni themed meet up of the Israeli Rum Club a few weeks ago, but sadly missed the boat on getting a bottle for myself, so huge thanks to Nils and the guys at Best of Whiskies for the review sample so I can sit down with this and take notes.

Aged 20 years. 64.6% ABV. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask #19.

Nose: Sweet, sticky wood oils. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Brown glue. Diesel. Little hints of rubber. With time some dark fruity notes (blackcurrants?) appear along with a littler herbal honey.

Palate: A lot of the familiar Caroni notes are more prominent here, gasoline, rubber, dark fruits and brown sugar. There’s a really nice note of unsweetened chocolate and ribena behind all that.

Finish: Long. Cacao. Rubber. Glue. Maple syrup. Wood oils. Slight stewed fruit.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

Really a lovely rum. Slightly lighter than some Caronis I’ve tried, with some good wood character in here that appeals to the whisky aficionado in me, but also a good deal of the core Caroni character. Really a lovely rum, top class stuff from The Duchess.

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