Caroni 1996 Velier 21 Year Old 100 Imperial Proof
The Caroni distillery is said to have been established in 1918, however there are several historical references that suggest distilling was happening there earlier in the 20th century. It became part of the Tate & Lyle firm in 1936, who used it as a base for expanding their eventually considerable sugar operations in Trinidad. Caroni was a key ingredient of the British Navy rations, where its famous high-ester 'Heavy' rums helped to make up the signature flavour. Sadly, with the decline of the Trinidadian sugar industry, Tate & Lyle sold a 51% controlling stake to the government in 1970, before it became fully nationalised in 1975. Despite being self-sufficient in molasses, the newly established Caroni (1975) Ltd continued to lose money for the next 25 years until the government tried to minimise its ownership, selling off 49% of its share, just enough to retain control. Angostura were the preferred bidders, but a dispute over the value of Caroni’s warehoused stock scuppered the deal, and Caroni was closed for good in 2003.
As it transpired, Angostura still acquired the majority of the circa 18,000 warehoused Caroni barrels, but perhaps the most important share went to Italian distributors, Velier. In 2004, their inimitable CEO, Luca Gargano, travelled to Trinidad for a photo shoot and happened upon the boarded-up distillery, brokering a deal for some of its stock in 2005. He released eight Caroni bottlings that year, alongside his first cask strength collaborations with Demerara Distillers Ltd, which includes the hugely important Skeldon bottlings. This was a landmark year that not only changed the landscape of rum but was the genesis for the legendary status that Caroni rum now holds amongst collectors and connoisseurs alike.
This 100 imperial proof edition is a blend of 1996 vintage Caroni rum, aged for 21 years in Trinidad, resulting in a massive 86% loss of liquid to the angels' share. This is a 100% Trinidad Rum, distilled from local molasses and aged in the country for its full 21 years. It was shipped to France by Velier in February 2017 and bottled in April that year.
The label is a reproduction of the classic 1940s livery, an homage to the golden age of Trinidad rum.
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Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.