Jack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997

Jack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997 rum review by the fat rum pirateJack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997. Alongside the mythical Velier Demerara bottlings and the more recent Foursquare Velier/ECS releases – Caroni has remained high on the agenda of many rum collectors and enthusiasts.

The fact that the distillery has been closed since the turn of the century, really hasn’t seem to have restricted the availability of the rum from Caroni. A lot of this has been bottled by the likes of Velier, Bristol Spirits and Cadenhead’s. Newer bottlers such as The Colours of Rum and Jack Tar are also increasingly getting in on the act.

Quite how many Caroni bottlings are actually drunk is a question for debate. The “lost” distillery is increasingly marketed towards investors and people seeking to own something rare/unique. Prices have increased and as the stocks will eventually run down they are only likely to increase even further over the coming years.

Much of the releases from Independents other than Velier will come from the Main Rum Company in Liverpool and E A Scheer in Amsterdam. As a result they are not fully 100% Tropically Aged. Indeed even a lot of the 100% Tropically Aged Caroni has not been aged at source i.e Trinidad. The Velier stock in particular was partly aged in Guyana.

So as you can imagine Caroni bottlings are not cheap. Around 7 or 8 years ago I was fortunate enough to pick up a bottle of 12 Year Old Caroni by Velier for around £50. Those days are long gone.

Jack Tar La Soleil and La Lune (The Sun and the Moon) appear to have been released as a set. I can’t currently find any for sale at retail. So the secondary market will be your best bet to pick these up. I fancy you’ll have to buy the set – I’ve not seen them being sold seperately.  A recent sale at auction saw the set fetch £520. Which is pretty much in keeping with the prices Caroni is fetching nowadays.

Jack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997 is a Single Cask rum. It is noted as being cask number #84. The rum was distilled in 1997 and bottled in March 2021. So by my calculations it is 23 or 24 years old. Most likely 23 and a bit…..

As the rum is from Caroni and from 1997 it was distilled on a column still. Any Pot Stills were long out of operation by 1997 at Caroni. It was also made with Trinidad rather than imported molasses. It has been bottled at 61.3% ABV which is either Cask Strength or very close to it. No colourings or additives. There are 225 bottles. Which is curious as there are only 221 of the Le Soleil. So maybe you can pick the bottlings up individually. Or maybe with 4 bottles “spare” thats why my sample comes from the La Lune cask…………

Yes I am reviewing from a sample. In all honesty if you do see any reviews of Caroni in the future then they are increasingly likely to be as a result of a sample. Either in this case from the bottler or a fellow enthusiast/friend. I’ve tasted enough Caroni and whilst I do enjoy the rum from the distillery, I don’t really feel compelled in anyway to be paying £300 plus for bottles. I don’t think reviewing loads of similar vintage casks makes for a particularly interesting site either.

Presentation wise Jack Tar have opted for an opaque “Velier” style bottle. It’s worth noting that I think the actual bottle may be slightly “stubbier” than the first image on this review. It was about the only one I could find with just the La Lune and not La Soleil in the picture. In terms of the label and cardboard sleeve it depictJack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997 rum review by the fat rum pirates a lunar scene in keeping with the name. The Caroni name is very prominent on the label. This is something which has caused consternation amongst some distillers when their “trademark” (Distillery name) is used so prominently. Suggesting in their view that is may be an “official” bottling.

As Caroni is now a closed distillery I don’t think there are any issues being raised with the use of the Caroni name in this way. Not that I am aware of anyway.

The presentation is good – as should perhaps be expected at the price point. It nods towards Velier, Samaroli etc style in some ways but also has a more modern “Premium” feel.

I’ve not touched upon the Jack Tar name as I have another couple of rums to review from them so I will go in to more detail on the name in one of those reviews.  I always like to keep something back to talk about to try and keep the reviews all a decent length and interesting.

So lets get on with a little tasting of this late nineties Caroni rum……..

In the glass Jack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997 is a dark reddish brown – mahogany in colour. This suggests long ageing and also a fair chunk of tropical ageing. It will be interesting to see how this transfers to the nose/taste. Appearances in the rum world can often be deceptive!

The nose is your typical Caroni – burnt rubber, some heavy oily petrol notes and smoky almost peaty quite savoury notes.

Beneath this further nosing reveals more richness with some richer notes of stewed banana, dark chocolate and cough mixture.

Caroni are famed for their “Heavy” rum and this certainly falls into that category. Time in the glass reveals some ginger and some more delicate slightly herbal oaked spice. It has an intriguing “floral” yet quite industrial note running over the top which reminds me a little of hair spray.

Sipped it is pretty smoky and has an astringent bitterness to it. At 61.3% ABV it is of course no shrinking violet but it’s pretty heavy going stuff. Especially the first couple of sips.

That said there is still a kind of almost burnt/smoky kind of sweetness going on. Flambed Banana’s and some burnt toast with a touch of marmalade. Cremated Christmas Cake or overdone Christmas Pudding.

The mid palate moves on past this into more extr

eme notes of charcoal and a nice hit of bitter Valencia oranges, blood orange and some white pepper notes.

The finish is very tangy again with a real hit of the orange/marmalade notes. There is a real mixture of bitter/sweet notes and the smoky petrol like notes. Finish wise it is very long as the flavours are so intense. Spill any of this

Jack Tar La Lune Cosmic Series Distilled at Caroni 1997 rum review by the fat rum pirate

rum on your clothing and you’ll basically smell like a distillery for the rest of the day.

It’s worth noting at this point I am writing about Caroni rum. So the tasting notes above may not seem your typical fare. They probably don’t sound all that enticing. Much like more extreme heavily Peated Whisky, this is very much an acquired taste.

I don’t say that to be at all snobbish or suggest some kind of superiority because I can enjoy a glass or two of this. If you do not like Caroni rum – there is no shame in recognising that.

If you a Caroni buff then this is a bottling which is well worth seeking out. I do fancy from the profile that it does have a good chunk of tropical ageing. Which for me adds a bit value/quality.





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