Caroni 1996 Velier 23 Year Old Full Proof Blended / Tasting Gang
Established in 1923 on the site of the sugar factory for which it was named, Caroni was a key ingredient of British Navy rations, where it's famous high ester 'Heavy' rums help to make up the signature flavour. Sadly, with the decline of the Trinidadian sugar industry, the Islands distillers became more and more dependent upon imported molasses, making distilling less and less economical. The writing then, was already on the wall when in 2001 the Trinidadian government sold a 49% share in the holding company to Angostura. Caroni was shuttered in 2002 and a behemoth of flavour was lost to the world.
Thankfully, in 2004, Luca Gargano discovered the ossuary of Caroni's warehouses filled with barrels of the legendary heavy rum, quietly ageing. Since then we have seen a number of outstanding releases, proving increasingly popular with collectors and drinkers alike.
The 38th Caroni release from Velier, this is their penultimate bottling from the now iconic distillery. On 12th April 20198, a group of 23 Caroni lovers from across Europe met in France's Cognac region to sample the last 173 barrels of Caroni stock that Velier had acquired from Guyana and Trinidad. This is the result of a blend of 22 of those, from both the heavy and light style produced on the Caroni pot and column still, respectively.
100% aged in the tropics, this had an Angels' share of over 85%.