The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Caroni Distillery

The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Caroni Distillery rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years hails from the iconic and now defunct Caroni Distillery. Despite the length of time since the distillery closed – way back in 2002, we are still seeing casks of rum being released by Independent bottlers from the late 1990’s.

There have been a good number of 1997, 1998 and 1999 releases over the past few years. Fears that the Caroni stock will quickly “evaporate” seem a little wide of the mark. I think most rum lovers will be able to enjoy a glass or three of Caroni for some time yet.

The Duchess are an Independent bottler from the Netherlands. I interviewed the man behind the brand Nils Van Rijn, at the very start of the year. I have also reviewed a couple of The Duchess other releases, from Worthy Park and Guadeloupe. Both of which were very good.

So lets see what I have for you today. The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years is, as mentioned from the Caroni Distillery, rather than Angostura. This rum is from cask #20 and has been bottled at cask strength 64.1% ABV. It was aged from 1998 to 2019 and is noted as being 21 years old. The rum is available in Europe and will set you back €200. Being from Caroni Distillery, it is a column distilled rum. The cask produced 245 bottles. The exact Tropical/Continental ageing percentage is unknown but it is noted as being mostly Continental. To be fair, aside from Velier releases this is no surprise.

The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years, once again has some stunning artwork by artist Hans Dillesse. Hans has designed all of the artwork in these “Flower” series rums. The rum comes in a 3/4 stubby style bottle with a wax seal on the The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Caroni Distillery rum review by the fat rum piratecork. The cork beneath is a chunky synthetic affair. I really like the artwork on these releases, though the differing coloured fonts can make some parts more difficult to read than others.

Nils is a pretty astute businessman and he has a background in whisky. As a result some of the most respected voices in the Whisky world have reviewed this rum. I’m expecting pretty big things from this as a result of these reviews, which were very positive.

In the glass, we have a medium brown/orange spirit. It is lighter than a lot of other 20 year old Caroni’s. Nose wise, it is by Caroni standards quite a well balanced rum. Yes we get creosote, varnish, petrol and tobacco but it’s balanced by some sweeter notes of vanilla and dark berries.

It’s heavy but has a really good balance and sweetness to it. It’s a bit like melodic Heavy Metal. Yes it’s undoubtedly metal but it has a softer undertone to it. It’s kind of like late nineties Pop/Punk. The Green Day of Caroni if you like. Not 100% Punk but near enough and pleasant enough to make it a really fun ride. Okay I’ll change that to the 70’s – The Buzzcocks or the The Damned. Better? I think so.

Further nosing reveals a really nice smoked element which adds further complexity to this rum.

Sipped – we get everything that was on the nose and some more. This is a really good version of Caroni for me. I like the extra fruity notes of blackcurrant and raspberries mingling with The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Caroni Distillery rum review by the fat rum piratea tinge of vanilla. The initial tobacco heavy entry quickly moves to a sweeter mid palate full of these fruity flavours. The overlay of smoke, tobacco, tar and nail varnish make this a very complex and rewarding tot.

The finish is long and spicy with a lot of complexity. Sweet and tarry notes intermingle and you find yourself pausing before having another sip of the rum. The finish is exceptional. Wonderfully long and complex. Fruity and tarry at the same time with plenty petrol and nail varnish to keep you entertained.

This is a very complex and very enjoyable rum. It’s heavy but it also has a really good balance – it’s kind of like a peated Foursquare in some respects. It has everything you might want from a Caroni but none of the off notes – it never gets too tobaccoey or too tarry. The nail varnish never totally takes over with this one.

Excellent stuff.






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3 comments on “The Duchess Trinidad Rum Aged 21 Years Caroni Distillery

  1. You migth know about rum but you know shit about heavy music or hardcore/punk. 🙂
    Heavy Metal and punk, thought might being related is like gin and vodka, both are spirits but have very little in common.
    Anyway… good review.

    At the end of the day Iron Maiden is far far from Bad Religion. Wouldn’t you say?

    • I like Motorhead so I would disagree….

      • Haha, for real

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