CARONI TRINIDAD 22 ans 1996 John D Employees 1st Rel. 66,5%
Rhum De Melasse, Trinidad & Tobago, 70cl, Ref: 55019
Equipped with both pot stills and column stills, until 2002 Caroni produced very original "heavy rums". This version is named after a former staff member, John Eversley, who worked at the distillery for 22 years - exactly the same amount of time that this small batch was aged for. Right from the start, notes of hydrocarbon, camphor, soot and earth permeate every inch of a very enthusiastic aromatic palette. The flavour palette is just as present and these petrol notes have tarry, earthy and liquorice nuances.
Profile: the deep initial nose is particularly empyreumatic (petrol, tarmac). Coated in a fine layer of soot, it becomes increasingly complex: liquorice, saffron, dark chocolate, turpentine, cane sugar... The distinguished attack delivers whole blocks of damp earth and liquorice. The mid-palate is exotic (persimmon, guava). The long finish is at first floral (violet, gillyflower), before becoming luscious (rosemary, savory). The retronasal olfaction is then empyreumatic (macadamia).
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- Appearance : copper with glints of green.
- Nose : rich, deep. The empyreumatic (petrol, tarmac) initial nose is also camphoric and spicy (curry). Allowed to breathe, a fine layer of soot covers the aromatic palette. Behind it, we catch a glimpse of mineral (slate, schist), citrus (orange, lemon), heady floral (broom, cornflower, rose), black liquorice, saffron, 100% dark chocolate, turpentine and bourbon vanilla notes, whole fields of sugarcane, still hot cane sugar and molasses.
- Palate : complex, distinguished. Immediately establishing Caroni's extroverted style, the attack has lots of presence and firmness. Compact blocks of damp earth and liquorice are literally crushed onto the palate. On the mid-palate, lots of exotic fruits (persimmon, guava, banana, mango) join the palette of flavours. Next, heady florals and honeys (bay leaf, jasmine, rose, heather) make a majestic entrance. Later, pipe tobacco, emery cloth and beeswax enrich the very end of the palate.
- Overall : long, statuesque. The finish begins by releasing the aromas of violet, iris butter, geranium and clove. Next, rosemary, savory and sorrel essential oils further nuance the Caroni's heady character. For its part, the retronasal olfaction takes charge of the empyreumatic register (oil, macadamia, manganese, burnt wood). The empty glass is a perfect reflection of the palette of flavours and aromas.
- The brand
Beginning production in 1918, Caroni was the state distillery of Trinidad. It had access to its own sugar refinery that guaranteed its supply of local cane sugar. Equipped with both column stills and double distillation pot stills, until 2002 it produced “heavy rums” with an individual and noteworthy style. Only rarely producing bottlings under its own label, for a long time the distillery remained known only to a handful of connoisseurs, which gave it a mythical status further enhanced by its closure in 2002 by the Trinidad government. In 2004, the discovery of hundreds of bottles stored away in a bonded warehouse in Trinidad led to the joint purchase of the entire Caroni stock by Velier and La Maison du Whisky and to the bottling of various rare years which were then sold in limited editions and quickly gained cult status. This veritable and unique treasure lead to the production of a 12 year old Caroni. Despite its already respectable age, this completely new and historic bottling will be the last version of Caroni to be bottled so young.
The Velier company was founded by the Chaix family in 1947. From 1953 to 1983, this small traditional company, located in the port of Gênes, specialised in the importation and distribution of wines, champagnes and spirits. In 1983, then aged 25, Luca Gargano acquired shares in Velier. Under his influence the company began specialising in the importation of exceptional spirits to be supplied to the most prestigious establishments in Italy. In the early 1990s, Luca Gargano heard rumours of a mythical, quasi-legendary stock of St James Rum that had supposedly been distilled at the end of the 19th century. Eventually he discovered proof that this stock, distilled in 1885 and bottled in 1952, did indeed exist. And in 1991, following lengthy discussions, Luca finally managed to acquire the entirety of this stock, which he then released on the Italian market. These selections of rums have since multiplied and led to the birth of exceptional ranges.
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