The Colours of Rum Trinidad 1998

The Colours of Rum Trinidad 1998 rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Colours of Rum Trinidad 1998. Whilst the Independent Bottler of this rum may be fairly new, stocks of 1998 Caroni Rum have been circulating for a while. It’s probably one of the most released vintages, particularly over the past few years.

You’ll find that most of these Caroni 1998 bottlings will have been at least partially aged here in Europe rather than in Trinidad or the Tropics. Which is partly why such bottlings are able to be aged for so long. There are a number of things to consider when ageing spirits. However, whilst ageing and maturing rum is important, evaporation has to be considered. No point ageing barrels of rum for years and years to come back and find you’ve barely anything left……

The Colours of Rum Trinidad 1998 is the first Trinidad/Caroni release from The Colours of Rum. As this bottler is linked with the Wealth Solutions group, it is perhaps no surprise that even at €351 this bottling sold out virtually straight away. Again it is a bottling you might want to look out for on the secondary market.

As with previous The Colours of Rum releases the rum comes in an opaque bottle with labelling and a carboard sleeve using colours from Trinidad’s flag. In this case we have only red from the flag alongside a gold typeface.

The Colours of Rum Trinidad 1998 is a single cask rum. It was distilled at the now defunct Caroni Distillery, Trinidad. Distillation took place in January 1998 and it was bottled in April 2021. So it is 23 years young. It is a single cask #47. It is said to be a “re-cycled rum cask” but I fancy its really just an ex-bourbon barrel.

The rum was released at 62.2% ABV Cask Strength and only 249 700ml bottles were produced. Maturation is noted as being Continental only.The Colours of Rum Guyana 1999 rum review by the fat rum pirate

In the glass despite over 23 years in the barrel it is a surprisingly light spirit. I’ve certainly seen much darker Caroni’s of a similar age/vintage.  It is quite a dark brown but it does have yellow/golden hue to it.

The nose whilst unmistakably Caroni is quite sweet. There’s a fair amount of oak driven vanilla and some sweet cherries.

Running alongside this, you still get those dark tarry Caroni notes and a nice hit of shoe polish and nail varnish. There’s a slightly medicinal note and a smoky note as well. Whilst I wouldn’t by any stretch call this a “light rum” it is certainly not as heavy as some Caroni’s I have tried.

This is likely to do with the Continental ageing not accelerating the maturation as much.

I think for most people trying Caroni rum for the first time it can be a bit of shock to the system. I would say that is a little more forgiving. It’s not a bad introduction to the style – without battering you over the head to much in the process.

The initial sip is powerful and full of heavy dark fruits, spicy oak, bitter marmalade, boot polish and some intense yet astringent raisins and sultanas.

The mid palate mellows out a little and more of the lighter notes of vanilla and cherry come through. This is overlaid by some soot and tar and a sharp tobacco note. There’s a lot going on with this rum and its quite hard to identify everything.The Colours of Rum Trinidad 1998 rum review by the fat rum pirate

As you move into the finish the rum does dry out a bit quicker than I might have expected. So the finish isn’t as long as I would have hoped. Whilst flavours remain long after you’ve sipped, due to the heavy nature of the rum, it doesn’t evolve and fade out slowly as I would have liked.

Overall this isn’t the heaviest Caroni rum I have tried. It’s definitely not as “full on” as some other bottlings. That said the sweeter and fruitier notes make it much approachable.

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t the type of rum you want to be giving someone who is just dipping their toe in the world of aged rum but it’s certainly more forgiving that a lot of Cask Strength Caroni.

More Hard Rock than Heavy Metal.








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