The Whisky Barrel 19 Year Old Caroni Berry Bros & Rudd 10th Anniversary

The Whisky Barrel 19 Year Old Caroni Berry Bros & Rudd 10th Anniversary rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Whisky Barrel recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary. For those unfamiliar with The Whisky Barrel, it is an online retailer based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This 19 Year Old Caroni Rum is actually the fourth bottling in their 10th Anniversary series of whiskies and rums.  For this bottling not only have TWB looked to an iconic closed distillery they have also worked with a very much alive and kicking independent bottler, in the shape of the legendary Berry, Bros & Rudd.

Presented here is a 19 Year Old Single Cask #165 of Caroni rum bottled 55% ABV.  There are 310 bottles available in this rum and priced at £90 it is unlikely they will last very long!

Much like The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt, TWB’s main source of income is in whisky.  However like the above mentioned they also have a more than decent stock of independently bottled rums.  TWB have a particularly good selection of Hunter Laing’s Kill Devil range of rums.  As well as their own bottlings.  I reviewed a bottle of Rabbie’s Rum Uitvlugt recently.

Beyond the information on the bottle I don’t really have much to add.  As the rum comes from Berrys Bros & Rudd stock I will guess that this Caroni will have been mostly European aged rather than aged in the tropics.  This makes quite a difference to both the Angels Share and often the flavour.  I won’t say one is better than the other as many more factors come into whether a rum is good or not.

Presentation wise the rum comes in a standard “bar” style bottle.  The label is clear and uncluttered giving full credit to Berry Bros & Rudd for their part in the bottling.  A nice quality cork stopper tops off the presentation.  Minimal you could say but its still got more information on the label than some so called premium rums!

Releasing a Caroni Rum as part of a whisky sites 10th anniversary is quite a shrewd move.  The Caroni style is suited to a Scotch Whisky drinker especially those who prefer peatier whiskies such as Islay Single Malts.  Caroni is a heavy style of rum which can be quite challenging at times.

So without further ado lets take a look at the rum and see how good it is.

The Whisky Barrel 19 Year Old Caroni Berry Bros & Rudd 10th Anniversary rum review by the fat rum pirateIn the glass the Caroni 19 Year Old is a nice golden brown – it is not as dark as some other aged Caroni’s but it is darker than the Velier 12 Year Old I reviewed some time ago.

On the nose the rum is quite fruity.  Quite a lot of zesty lemon and lime notes.  The familiar musty and tar like Caroni notes are there but they are more in balance with other notes on the nose.  Not overpowering the nose like with some other heavier Caroni rums.  There is a sweetness – cloves, milk chocolate a hit of rum and raisin ice cream adding a boozy kick.

Even though the rum clocks in at 55% ABV the nose is relatively light – by Caroni standards anyway.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Caroni rum without a little bit of menace lurking.  There is still a touch of shoe polish and tar in the nose but its very nicely balanced.  It reminds me most of the Mezan 1999 Trinidad – though the extra heft in the ABV is certainly benefiting this bottling. The interaction with the oak and 19 years of ageing give a nice range of spicy notes as well.

Sipped the rum is initially quite sweet with a hit of toffee and a sharp intense bitter/sweet zesty note.  It has an almost menthol like note on the palate and is very intense in terms of flavour.  It has a slightly medicinal mouthfeel and sweet almost cough mixture like note.  This is mixed with a musty, smokiness that any Caroni drinker will be familiar with.

It is a really intense, complicated sip.  There is a lot going on with this – you definitely need to be taking small sips and savouring this one.  It has a balance which sometimes can got a bit skew-wiff when it comes to Caroni.

This is probably the fruitiest Caroni I have tried, yet it still delivers that heavy Caroni style that is so popular.

The finish is long and spicy.  Smoky, dry and very satisfying.  This really is a great example of a European aged Caroni rum.

Also just looking at the price I really can’t see the 310 bottles lasting very long.  It really is a huge bargain.

 

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