Caroni 1997 Silver Seal 18 Year Old / Rum is Nature
The Caroni distillery is said to have been established in 1918, however there are several historical references that suggest distilling was happening there earlier in the 20th century.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, the island’s remaining rum producers became increasingly dependent upon imported molasses, making distilling less economical. Tate & Lyle sold a 51% controlling stake to the Trinidadian government in 1970, before it became fully nationalised in 1975. The newly established Caroni 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.
This single cask was distilled in 1997 and bottled 18 years later in 2015 for the Rum is Nature series by Silver Seal. One of 280 bottles from cask #48.
Silver Seal was founded by Ernesto Mainardi in 2000. This was Mainardi's second bottling company after the esteemed Sestane in 1979. Both companies were sold to Massimo Righi, proprietor of Whisky Antique, in 2010. Since then the company has produced a steady stream of high quality rum to add to its sought after back-catalogue.