I absolutely adore Caroni 12yr Velier Rum.
This Rum is so often overlooked by consumers and Rum fanatics as people edge towards older age statements. People also look for higher strength ABV than this but at 50% it is very approachable. This was the first Caroni I ever tried. I fell in love with it without knowing about the closure of the Caroni distillery.
This is Caroni at its best, young enough for you to taste the raw spirit in all its might. As a lover of Caroni, I have to accept that it’s a divisive Rum and that not everyone, ‘gets it’. The majority of Rum fans out there I am sure would consider it their pinnacle. I recently revisited it to remind myself of how good Caroni can be:
I tasted that classic burnt rubber note, that also makes me think of an airfield in the summer. This is such a full-flavoured Rum that you really don’t have to work too hard to pick out the notes of funky molasses, and a note that always makes me think of riesling wine. There is also however the unexpected delicacy that this Rum harbours, with slight floral notes like jasmine, ylang-ylang and lychee. All this at a sensible 50% on the palate makes for an all-out pleasurable experience. It’s such a unique Rum that once you’ve tasted it. you can’t mistake it for anything other than classic Caroni from Trinidad. Give me a thousand Rums to pick it out from and I won’t fail to find it.
It is a real tradgedy that the distillery closed down. For a whole number of different reasons, not least for the jobs that were lost on the Island. From a selfish perspective, however, it drives up the price as the liquid becomes rarer and rarer. This is exceptionally fun liquid but it doesn’t come cheap these days. If you’ve never tried Caroni Rum then this would be a great place to start, but don’t expect it to get any better than this.
For other big challenging rums you might want to try another Velier Bottling that I recently wrote about.