Caroni Rum 1998 , 21 yo {The Duchess}

I have not reviewed a new RUM recently, and now that temperatures are rising in Israel (and Europe i hope too), it’s a perfect opportunity to try the latest release from The Duchess, an independent Rum bottler (and whisky too, yes). This time they have chosen to bottle a Caroni (again, the last one was awesome) at cask strength. This Rum spent a glorious 21 years in the barrel (Distilled 1998 and bottled 2019 – split between tropical and continental – heavy on the continental), and only 245 bottles made it out of this cask.

Caroni 1998, 21 yo {The Duchess} , 64.1% abv , € 199 (BoW)

Nose: Yes, this is 100% Caroni for sure : Smoky, dirty, and deep notes of rubber, kerosene and mint. It’s like a visit to your local car garage, but in a nice way. Sweet honeyed fruit (stewed apple, pear and apricot), which give way to more wood smoke, some dunnage warehouse notes as well. Damn. It’s lovely and complex. 

Palate: bitter entry with loads of wood, more rubbery notes, and more spiced wood. Nutty, and ashy, pepper and mint, very dry and the fruit is nowhere to be seen. Black tea, mocha and more wood. 

Finish : long with a deep smoky and rubbery touch, dry oak,pinch of salt. 

Conclusion: The nose on this one is amazing – everything I had hoped for, and then some, a brilliant melange of sweet, fruit, smoke, dirt and rubber. The palate however, is a bit to dry and woody and did not fully live up to the (amazingly) promising nose. It’s still a lovely palate, with the oak, mocha mint and wood working well together. Lovely endless finish, concludes a great combo altogether. I don’t score Rums, but this one’s a good choice for Caroni lovers with money to spend (as Caronis are never cheap).

Another welcome bottling from the Duchess which is becoming one of nicer voices in Indie rum these days. Good work by Nils & Co.

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