Review: Angostura 5 Year Old

Trinidad Distillers Limited (TDL) was established in 1949 in Trinidad (duh!) with a state of the art column still distillery in order to start making their own rum for their bitters and Angostura range – they were previously sourcing their rums from other distilleries on the island in the 19th century. Today their bitters are present in almost any bar (including my place) and their rums are found in various blends besides their own, as they sell a lot of what they distill in bulk.

Fermentation at TDL happens in 150 thousand litres tanks (12 in total) using their own proprietary yeast with the raw material being molasses. The duration of the fermentation can last from 48 hours (for the light rums) to 72 hours (for the heavy rums). The heavy distillate comes off the first column of their multi-column still (5 columns total) at around 80% ABV, whereas the light one goes through all the columns, coming off more “pure” at around 95% ABV.

If you are looking for more details regarding TDL/House of Angostura, check the Cocktail Wonk’s in-depth articles here and here.

Angostura 5 Year Old is a blend of the light and heavy components mentioned above which were aged from 5 to 8 years in first fill ex-Bourbon casks in the tropical climate. While Angostura has the habit of dosing their rums, according to thefatrumpirate the 5 year old seems clean, maybe besides some colouring. Bottled at 40% ABV, now let’s check this “Superior Gold Rum” claim from the label.

On the nose there’s quite a bit of wood influence. Coffee beans, brown sugar, toffee and blackcurrants. A bit earthy with a lovely Earl Grey note as well. Pink pepper, red apples, lemon zest, maple syrup and cloves. Quite enjoyable.

On the palate is definitely lighter. Vanilla, condensed milk, banana, cashews and light tobacco. Mandarins, yellow apples, pears, cacao, cloves, honey and caramel. Some tickly white pepper and a grassy note in the background. There’s quite a bit of ethanol heat developing from the mid to end palate. The finish is short with some banana, a touch of cloves and a slight bitterness.

The nose was promising, but then the palate needed a bit more body to it in my opinion. Not a bad 5 year old at all though, it’s pretty well balanced and I can see it working well for mixing, I just wouldn’t call it “Superior”. It can be found for £24 on Amazon or Master of Malt.

Angostura 5 Year Old score:
Flavour/taste: 41/70
Value for money: 14/15
Transparency/purity: 13/15
Overall: 68/100


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