First review in 2020 is of a liquid that comes from a distillery closed for around 18 years. The Caroni Distillery in Trinidad was shut down in 2002 “thanks” to the only rum producer on the island at the moment – Angostura. The heavy, pungent flavour, limited stock and Luca Gargano of Velier would be main factors that brought Caroni in the attention of nowadays rum enthusiasts. Similar to peated whiskies, the flavour profile of the remaining stock from the defunct distillery is quite divisive amongst rum drinkers – it’s a love it or hate it (I know I love it).
Now That Boutique-y Rum Company of Maverick Drinks is an independent bottler alongside That Boutique-y Gin Company and That Boutique-y Whisky Company with an impressive portofolio so far. As the name suggests they are all about rum… unadulterated rum to be more precise (always worth mentioning that), most of them being limited releases/batches with a few continuous ones as well. I’ve reviewed a couple of their stuff here and here with more to come – when a company has Peter Holland from The Floating Rum Shack as their “Rum Guy” it means they’re really doing something right.
In my bottle I have the second batch of juice from Caroni released by That Boutique-y Rum Company with a limited run of 1875 bottles. The rum is molasses based distilled at Caroni Distillery and aged for 20 years assumingly in ex-Bourbon barrels. Knowing Boutique-y I doubt it has been fully matured in the tropics. Bottled at 54.7% ABV in the signature Boutique-y 50cl bottles and free of any additions. Let’s start the rum year!
On the nose, oh, the intensity. Dusty cardboard, old car tires, rubber, quite nutty and filled with herbal and medicinal aromas – quite similar to Fernet. Engine oil, wood shavings, vanilla, cloves, cocoa nibs, an earthy aged agricole rhum scent and faint aloe vera. Fruity as well with ripe red apples, apricots, sultanas and candied bananas. Pungent, earthy and mouth watering.
On the palate if I didn’t know I could’ve easily confused this with a Single Malt. Moth balls, roasted sunflower seeds, peppermint, old leather and homemade chocolate cream. It has an oily mouthfeel with a slight saltiness and hints of peat smoke. Pear eau de vie, apricots, white grapes, black pepper, vaseline, smoked almonds and faint vanilla in the background. The finish is long with peat smoke, black pepper and dry plums.
Retails at £131 on Master of Malt which is quite a bit of money but I’m sure people have spent more on younger Single Malts and this would be a very good, arguably costl-y, gateway for Scotch drinkers into rum. Not to mention the limited stock of Caroni out there – this is well worth it for me and you should hurry to grab one as apparently there are only 2 left in stock at the moment.
That Boutique-y Rum Company – Caroni Distillery Trinidad 20 Year Old (Batch 2) score:
Value for money: 11/15