Velier Caroni 100% Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years

Velier Caroni 100% Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateVelier Caroni 100% Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years. Velier have in recent years become synonymous with Caroni Trinidad Rum.

They have the largest stock of Tropically aged Caroni and have released a staggering series of rums. Which seem to have no sign of ending soon. This is the fourth bottling in their series of “blended” Caroni’s from particular years. They are more common and easier to find than the single cask releases, but they are still much sought after and may seem to some to be quite pricy.

Rightly so as well. This blend of rums distilled way back in 1996, has a reported Angels Share of 86%. So of all the rum they distilled back in 1996 they were left with only 14% of it when they came to bottle it up in 2017. It was aged in ex-borubon barrels entirely on the island of Trinidad. This is the oldest in the series of these rums to date. All the rums have the old style 1940’s era Caroni bottle and artwork. I’ve tried the 12, 15 and now this the 21. All the rums were made using Trinidad molasses and distilled on a column still.

In the UK a botle of this rum will set you back around £200. It is bottled at a very exact 57.18% ABV. The presentation is great and antique looking (as it is intended) you get a good quality cork stopper and a very sturdy presentation/storage card sleeve. On the label this rum is noted as being Extra Strong 100 Imperial Proof.

I’ve reviewed quite a few Caroni’s and I quite enjoy the heavy style of the rum but I’ve also appreciated some of the European aged Caroni’s. They have had a more fruity note to them at times and been lighter overall. It will be interesting to see how this Caroni has aged in the Tropical heat. 21 Years is quite a lot in the Tropics.

Velier Caroni 100% Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirate Poured in the glass (the opaque bottle doesn’t allow you to see the colour of the rum) the Caroni 21 presents itself as a very dark brown.with an orange hue.

The nose is re-assuringly familiar. Petrol and tobacco are the first things that greet you. Then a mustiness that I have noticed before with older Caroni. Especially those Tropically Aged.

A deeper nosing reveals a little mint and menthol, some sweet mushy banana and some prunes and dates. It’s sweet yet heavy at the same time. The mint develops into a sweeter spearmint like toothpaste.

It smells “old” in a smoky, musty kind of way. The oak and barrel ageing are there but it isn’t young and spicy. You get a little vanilla from the cask but you really have to dig deep to find it.

The nose is very approachable even at the 57.18% ABV. It doesn’t nose as a particularly strong spirit. It’s actually very nicely balanced and not quite as aggressive as I was expecting.

A small sip reveals a very rich, intense and oaky spirit. It’s really heavy (as the label denotes). Despite this it still doesn’t have anywhere near as much burn as I thought. It’s It’s very gentle in that respect.

Where the real action takes place is not in the throat but on the tongue. It’s a very intense spirit. It’s initially quite bitter and very oaky. At full ABV it is perhaps a little overwhelming. I feel like I’m losing some of the taste as my taste buds have to much to deal with. It’s not the alcohol burn or ABV but the intensity of flavour.

A few drops of water are definitely recommended to enjoy this rum. It really is very striking how much easier it is to actually taste the spirit once you’ve added just a couple of drops of water.

If Caroni is your thing then you will be very much in your element with this rum. It’s rich, dark and a little bit dirty. Tar, menthol, tobacco, oak, touch of petrol and just enough sweetness not to make it to bitter and dry.Velier Caroni 100% Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirat

On nosing this I thought it would be really interesting – on the first couple of sips at full ABV I was a little underwhelmed. I couldn’t get any of the sweeter notes. A touch of water and they return giving you a much more balanced and enjoyable sip.

If you prefer a sweeter profile then a younger Caroni might suit you. However if you really like a barrel driven spirit then the older oakier, smokier and heavier profile might suit you more. I might have slightly preferred the 15 but we are talking very small margins.

As the stocks of Caroni the prices are going to increase. Tropically Aged Caroni such as this is going to get more expensive. If you can get samples from people to try then do so – Caroni is not very everyone.

However I doubt anyone who knows their Caroni will be disappointed with this one.

 

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