We are aware of two Caroni bottlings from this vintage, both of which are Heavy Trinidad Rums (HTR).
Velier Caroni 1983 22YO (52%): Nose: This is clearly not the heaviest HTR out there and definitely not as dirty and intense as the Caroni profile you might have in mind. Instead we get a mix of leather, vanilla, oak and perhaps a few discrete fruits. Quite the odd one. It really just doesn’t come across as an HTR. Palate: Well, now you can tell that this is a Caroni, as we find rubber, old tyres, raisins, licorice and sheet melted metal. Also vanilla, chocolate muffin and sugar. The palate is a lot better than the nose, fortunately, even though we are still not at a crazy-high Caroni level. Finish: Relatively short with sugar, pepper, oak and vanilla. Here and there we can find some rubber as well but it all vanishes way to quickly. It’s a good Rum but not my favorite Caroni. (82/100)
Velier Caroni 1983 25YO (55%): Contrary to what it says on the label, this is a high proof and not a full proof Rum. Apparently Caroni distilled up to 75% in the 1980s! Nose: Just a reserved as the 22YO I think. The profile is very buttery with a few spices thrown into the mix. Hot buttered Rum perhaps!? Oak, vanilla, and pepper are other associations but I think that those are mostly notes from the cask. Oh dear. Palate: Again very buttery, with an equally buttery texture. We get a few Caroni-like notes such as old rubber, lid matches or a junkyard on fire but this is mainly vanilla, oak, raisins and a glimpse of banana. Clearly not the Rum we were hoping for. Finish: Relatively similar to the 52% version: Short and disappointing. There just isn’t much going on here. The extra abv does help in direct comparison, but I’d say that the additional years didn’t do so necessarily, as this is much cleaner and less expressive. (82/100)
The featured image shows (one of) the last column still(s) of Caroni, just before it has been scrapped. Credits go to Fredi Marcarini (RIP).
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