We’ve already had a trio from the 1999 vintage a few years ago, which was an extremely heterogenous bunch. In terms of colour alone, todays Rums already look to be more alike but we shall see.
Corman Collins & The Auld Alliance Caroni “Drink it Zipp it” 1999 20YO (61%): Nose: Clearly a Heavy Trinidad Rum, that’s good news. What is more, this seems to be more on the dirty side of things, which usually is also to our liking. We get a mix oils (think enginge and olive oil, but also the oils from the peel of an orange), lots of menthol, tar, oak and pepper. After a while, all that’s left over seems to be menthol however. My nose is now free! Palate: 61% are present, but that was to be expected. Like with the nose, we are still heavy on menthol and mint here, but can find elements of cocoa, rubber, oak, basil, sage and especially ginger as well. Yup, there’s a pronounced spicyness here. This is definitely not a typical Caroni, but I’d say it is good enough nevertheless. Finish: Long with spicy ginger, menthol, chilies and pepper. You might say that this is somewhat of a hermaphrodite between those minty TDLs and HTR Caroni. (85/100)
The Golden Age of Piracy “Edward Teach Blackbeard” Caroni 1999 21YO (65,7%): This is a series by Distilia. Nose: Initially with the same heavy- and dirtyness as the Corman Collins but here we are also shifting more and more towards those minty notes rather quickly. In direct comparison, they are not as pronounced here however, which suits the Rum much better if you ask me. Different oils, old rubber and vanilla are my main associations but I can also detect milk chocolate and vanilla. The nose suggests that this is a fine distillate but let’s see. Palate: At first we get those oily notes from the nose but then quickly make the switch to ginger and chili flakes. Yup, that’s cearly the same base material as the Corman Collins, there’s no doubt. The herbal notes pop up here and there as well, but the empasis is always on ginger. Now a spicy Thai mango salad, avocado, oak, and vanilla. Cool stuff and not as one-dimensional as the aforementiond bottling. Finish: Medium long with milk chocolate, vanilla and other spices, oak, ginger and mint. An interesting and very balanced expression of this style. (86/100)
Jack Tar Caroni “Limbo” 1999 21YO (63,7%): Nose: This nose differs from the two previous Rums a bit. It has the same oilyness but we are clearly missing those minty notes. Instead we get glue (very rare with Caroni), rubber, some scrap, milk chocolate and cocoa as well as oak, vanilla and other spices from the cask. This is good, despite not being special in any way. Palate: Vanilla ice cream paired with savory olives, tar and old rubber. Now that’s a lovely combination, even though it might sound abstruse. Later Wick Blau ice candies, oak, pepper and chili flakes. There really isn’t much to complain about here – I do like this one. The interplay between sweet and dry elements is truly a joy. Finish: Medium long and pretty standard I’d say. Wood, olives, tar and olive oil meet banana, vanilla and pepper. I don’t have much to add. Probably the best bottling of a rather odd Caroni vintage. (87/100)