Mr. Roger Caroni answers questions

The man, the legend. I don’t think I need to introduce this fella to you and if you really never heard of that man, check out his blog! And guys, I just love this guy. I guess you could just ask him any random question and he will still come up with a great answer. But we shall let him do the talking!

When did you start with Rum and what were your first experiences?

I’ve started with rum about 5 years ago (on the continent, so about 1 year if I was in the tropics:) ) with Appleton and Angostura 1919 for exemple.
With my cousin, we started drinking rums with what we could find without any experience, so there were Diplo, Zaya, Milloniario and other mega sugarized rum on my cellar.
My first contact with a real rum was the Papalin from Velier that Hubert Corman advised me. Next week I decide to make a crazy blind purchase with the Uitvlugt 1997 that I directly cracked… what a rum 🙂
After that, everything goes quick with my first Caroni, an Enmore/Port Mourant, some Jamaican rums etc… Reading the Facebook page “La Confrerie du Rhum” and blogs such as “Durhum” or “Les rhums de l’homme à la poussette” helps me a lot. Along with the precious advices of friends and Hubert Corman.

What motivated you to start blogging?

I was writing some reviews on Facebook and with some friends we decide to create a web page with more notes and articles… sadly, as Spinal Tap, we broke up just after the construction of the website… (I URGENTLY need to watch that one again -SCR)
After that, we retry to do something on Facebook but I always had in mind to create my page. So one day, I create my blog and began to write notes, articles etc… alone, as I want and when I want. The only boss in fact 🙂
I just thought that puting my notes on a website could be funny…without any other plans in fact. It was just funny to create something from A to B and write what I want.

What’s your view on the current rum scene?

The rum scene is growing faster and faster… perhaps too quickly in fact. There is a lot of people interrested byt this spirits and by the way to do quick and easy money.
Some bottlers and distilleries quickly understood that and so, prices are going just crazy for some of them and limited release are doing to make buzz… and it works, also for me in facts 🙂
I think it will calm down as for the moment, rums are just too high on price. Look a Whisky of 25yo that can be found for +-180€… no way to find rums with the same age on this price.
But some bottlers or distilleries always play the game. I hope it will stop and we can find some crazy rums with correct prices again.
Something more about the rum scene, I don’t know if it’s the same for others spirits, but I think there is a lot a small little wars between guys on this scene… between distilleries and bottlers, bloggers and haters, facebook groupes etc… And I think it arrives with the rum cause the public was perhaps fall in love with rums during the rise of Facebook.
And Facebook is the best way to make small ridiculous wars 🙂

Now give me some high- and low lights from your recent memory.

You know, I do not think there is a high or low lights. If I had to summarize my life today with you, I’d say it’s first of all meetings.
People who reached out to me, maybe at a time when I could not, where I was alone at home.
And it’s quite odd to say that accidents, encounters forge a destiny …
Because when you have the taste of the thing, when you have the taste of the thing well done, the beautiful gesture, sometimes we do not do not find the opposite person I would say, the mirror that helps you move forward.
So that’s not my case, as I said there, since I, on the contrary, I could: and I say thank you to life, I say thank you, I sing life, I dance life … I am only love!
And finally, when many people today say to me, “But how do you do to have this humanity? “Well, I tell them very simply, I tell them that it is this taste of love that taste that pushed me today to undertake a mechanical construction, but tomorrow who knows? Maybe just to put myself at the service of the community, to make the gift, the gift of oneself … (crazy answer no ?? 🙂 see Asterix and Obelix Mission cleopatre)

so… what’s the question in fact ? I don’t understand…

Well, thanks for that answer! The idea was related to Rum though… bottlings, bottlers, events, people, memories… whatever.

So, best rum: very difficult to Say of course, i prefer speaking about some of my best tasting memories. Some name appears when I think about that: Appleton 50 yo, Chantal Comte Sainte Luce 1980, Caroni 1974 (Bristol & Velier), La Favorite “cuvée à Roger”…
Best souvenir, of course the Martinique rhum awards and the caroni ceremony from this crazy year… also of course all the nice people I meet since the beginning… Face to face or face to Facebook 😅
Worst rum? I supposed it’s a port Mourant from DDL or the 93 from velier.
Worst souvenir ? I think I’ve forgot them, sorry

What’s your view on OBs vs IBs? How about distilleries not allowing IBs to use their name!?

I’ll speak about the distilleries from Jamaica for exemples, it makes me smile when the refuse from 1-2 years that IB used their name on a bottle… I think they were really happy by sellings to Europe lot of rums during history.
It was lot of money without doing aging, bottlings etc… It was “easy”. Now they realized there is some crazy stuff in Europe and nothin on their own stocks and they try to prohibit the use of their name. So some one who have bought a rum 15-20 years agon can’t use the name of the distilleries… I think it’s bullshit and hypocrit.
If they prohibit the use of their name, why selling their rums?? Just do as French distilleries and don’t sell rum to bottlers. Or as Appleton. I don’t undertand.
They can force IB to put some clear informations about the aging and where it was done of course… but if Worthy Park sold rums, it’s hypocrit to prohibt the use of their name.
Once again, without lots of independant bottlers, lot of distilleries doesn’t exist anymore I think…

What’s your favourite, always available OB?

I’m in love with La Favorite from Martinique. One of the smallest distilleries in French West Indies, they do great works with passion and authenthicity. Not a fan of all their production, as flibuste for exemple, but all their new bottlings are really nice for correct price.
White rums from them are really nice in Ti Punch and the old one are very good too…
After that, It’s not easy to have only one “favourite”… there is a lot of others distilleries that I like really much 🙂

Did your “perfect” Rum change within the last couple of years? What is it that you are looking forward to these days?

I’m looking more and more for elegant spirits with lot of class in facts… I’m less and less fan of high esters rum for exemple, or big dark Demerara… I prefer very old Hampden that were polished by time in Scotland than young funky tropical ones.
So I’m in loved with great bottlers as Samaroli, Masam, Bristol, Velier “when they are touched by grace” etc… or distilleries from French West Indies for exemple.
So yes, taste change with time.. I supposed it’s normal. Of course I don’t disown my past favourite… they were nice at this time and no reason to say something negative about them.
And I’m already a big fan of crazy caroni from Velier with lots of power for exemple… It’s still amazing! But you won’t see me drinking a HERR rum from Savanna for exemple, I prefer their traditionnal ones..

When will we see your tasting notes of the blind samples I’ve sent to you!?

Hoooo, I’ve to finish the linup and I’ve to see how many stupid answers I’ve sent to you… I think too much in fact to be published 🙂 🙂 🙂
I really like this works… drinking something without apprehension, just the spirit and me (and you laughing behind your messenger apps). It make some funny moments as when I found a don papa rare cask “drinkable”..and yeah, it was really drinkable 🙂

Any last words?

I’m waiting for a Letter of Marque bottling for Kreator… something great and powerfull as them (and not an high esters one please 🙂 )

We will be working on that! Thanks Mr. C.!