Mezan Trinidad 1999

Mezan Trinidad 1999 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateMezan Trinidad 1999 is a rum from the iconic and now sadly closed Caroni Distillery.

The Caroni Distillery was founded in 1918 and it was a Single Estate Distillery with its own sugar refinery.  Renowed for its heavy “Navy” style rums it sadly closed in 2002.

Velier have in recent years “resurrected” the Caroni making it into a brand years after it last produced any rum!  By buying numerous barrels from the the defunct distillery Luca Gargano and Co. have given Caroni Rum a reputation which is now reaching mythical status.

With the distillery last producing rum in 2002 you may well have thought that stocks of Caroni would becoming more scarce.  Whilst undoubtedly they are there has been no shortage of independent releases form numerous bottlers of Caroni Rum.

UK Independent bottler Mezan have released a few Trindad rums over the years.  I’m actually a bit behind with their Trinidad range as the latest release is a 2007 vintage (from Angostura not Caroni).

You can still find the odd bottle of this rum lurking around the Internet.  My advice would be to try smaller independents if you want a bottle.  Distilled in 1999 – I can’t find any information on when this was bottled -2014?  Bottled at 40% ABV it would have set you back around £35-40 when released a few years back.  It was produced on a column still.

The rum comes in the standard stubby rounded Mezan bottle with a white label. Information beyond the year of production is limited to disclosing its from the Caroni Distillery followed by information on the distillery rather than the actual rum.

As a result I don’t know if this is one of the “heavier” styles of Caroni.  Like DDL’s stills Caroni could produce various marques of rum from the same still.  I suspect other producers can do the same but I’ve only ever wrote about those two.

Mezan Trinidad 1999 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBottled at 40% ABV I am not sure how a “heavier” style would translate.  Lowest “Heavy” Caroni I have had is the 12 Year Old Caroni 50% ABV. Coming to think about it I don’t think I have had a “Light” Caroni?

Anyway with no further information I may as well get on with seeing just how “Heavy” or “Light” this Caroni rum is….

Pouring the Mezan Trinidad 1999 into the glass it reveals itself as a vibrant gold colour.

The nose is the closest I have experienced to the Velier Caroni 12 Year Old. It is lighter than some of the darker Caroni’s I have tried but it still has that familiar burnt rubber/petrol note with perhaps a little less of the smoke and tar that is found in older bottlings.  The colour of this rum and the profile may have something to do with some European ageing.  I do not think this has been aged entirely in the Tropics.

Beneath the burnt rubber you get a lot of fruitiness and a touch of coconut.  It’s much less aggressive than the 12 Year Old Velier.  Nice notes of brown sugar and a touch of baking spice.  Nice wood influence as well which gives it an added layer of complexity.

Sipped it initially tastes of elastic bands – very rubbery. There is also a big hit of smokiness – almost like a Mezcal. Despite this initially quite challenging flavours the rum does have an underlying sweetness which balances things out.  A touch of prunes and a little icing sugar.

It fade out a little on the finish – I do feel this would have benefited from a touch more power – maybe 46% ABV.  It does lose a little.  The finish is quite spicy and satisfying but it is a little short.

Mezan Trinidad 1999 Rum Review by the fat rum piratI’m not sure if this is a lighter style Caroni or if European ageing and a lower ABV are making it seem lighter.  It’s much less aggressive than the Velier Caroni 12 Year Old.  It’s arguably a more balanced, softer rum which might not really be what Caroni lovers are after.  The Velier 12 is full on burnt tyres and tar.

It’s another very decent, value for money bottling from Mezan.  However as mentioned Caroni Lovers may be a little disappointed with this.  I quite like the fact it is different and lighter.  Overall I believe I have got more enjoyment out of this than the Velier Caroni 12.

This is a very different beast though to the likes of the Bristol Caroni 1997, The Ancient Mariner or the Velier 15 Year Old. It isn’t dark, heavy and menacing.  Mezan Trinidad 1999 isn’t sweet in the sense of a sugar bomb like Zacapa but it is much lighter and more fruity than you might expect.

A really interesting take on a Caroni and an almost very good rum.  Just falls short a little.

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