Not too long ago i wrote about the excellent Jamaica Pot Still Limited Edition rum from Rum Nation which i`m very impressed with and now they are launching their next rum which is none other than a Caroni….
I hold the Caroni rums and especially the heavy types very dear to heart because they are so incredibly GOOD! and i`m so sorry about the fact that the old Caroni distillery is no more making these fabulous rums and unfortunately one day they will be nothing but a sweet memory.
But luckily we are not yet there….and so there is still time to enjoy them and they really are true treasures to sip and savor both neat and in cocktails.
The Rum Nation Caroni is 16 years old have been aged both in the tropics, thus imparting the thickness the angels share produce…(the tropical conditions causes a 60% loss of the distilled spirit due to evaporation) and then aged further in Europe in American Oak casks that contained bourbon then rum Peruano 8yo.
It`s distilled in 1998 and bottled this year, in 2014. The sugar content is only 5 g/l and the alcohol proof is 110 or 55%
The result is an intense dark rum with notes of wood, cloves, cola, coffee and aromatic herbs.
The bottle is a beauty to behold…and the label a work of art – it has the characteristic stamp on it – the stamp on the bottle is due to Fabio Rosso being an avid stamp collector in younger years and now adding a touch of class to the bottles with the stamps and a nod to the country of origin – which i find lovely.
The Caroni Sugar Factory
There were originally more than 50 different rums brands produced in Trinidad – by 1950 it was only 8 and today only Angostura is left. Caroni was established in 1918 on the site of the old Caroni Sugar factory and operated until 2002.
The Caroni sugar factory started to operate a cast iron still in 1918 and at that time there were some eight or ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types of rums and these rums were bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. There were all kinds of “blends” and concoctions being made by both the merchants and the rum shop owners and sold over the counter as “petit quarts”
Eventually Caroni increased the quality of the distilling process and went from the original cast iron still to use a wooden coffey still – until 1945 when they got a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980.
They produced a number of products like Superb White Magic Rum, Creole Punch Rum, Special Old Cask Rum, Felicité Gold Rum, Caroni Puncheon Rum and Caroni Bay Rum.
For nearly 100 years Caroni has had large sugar estates on the island and was the major producer of molasses. Sadly now since it`s closed no more of their magnificient rums are produced and when it´s gone it´s gone.
And that is sad because the Caroni rums are unique. That said i must confess i haven`t yet tried many but the ones i`ve tried have all been outstanding and original in the same way as the demerara rums are.
And i must say the flavor of the so called heavy Caronis DOES remind me quite a bit of a demerara rum, it has the same full bodied character but without the demerara flavor – but there`s something similar…it has the same type of character despite of being a totally different rum.
My taste notes:
Nose – In the nose i feel wood, orange peel, sugarcane and tropical fruits.
Mouth – It`s smooth with hints of wood, kola and toffee, aromatic spice and tropical fruits.
A few drops of water mellows it out and brings out more fruitiness and i get the flavor of apricot. I like the fruitness in it and it´s not too sweet either with a sugar content of 5 g/l.
I tried it in a daiquiri and as expected it made a great daiquiri and what i call a “Caroni daiquiri” with it´s distinct flavor from the Caroni rum.
But i have had so many daiquiris posted on this blog that i lost count, so i opted for something else and here`s my take of a really nice cocktail called Creole Fix which i found on Pinterest and which led me to this post (this awesome cocktail was created by Ania Robbins for Texas Tiki Week)
2.0 oz Rum Nation Caroni-98
0.75 oz fresh orange juice
0.75 oz lemon/lime juice
0.5 oz rich cinnamon syrup
A couple good dashes of Bitter Truth creole bitters (or Peychaud`s) on top of the ice gives the drink both a pretty color and a layer of spicy “creole-bitters/peychaudish” flavor that you`ll feel the taste of by the end of drinking.
Speared cinnamon powdered orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish!
Shake and pour into tall glass filled with crushed ice.
This is a refreshing fruity-rummy drink and it got a wonderful aroma from the cinnamon powdered orange slice…it`s rummy, fruity, a little spicy and the Caroni rum flavor does shine through.
The Rum Nation Caroni-98 is a excellent sipping rum and also equally good for various cocktails thus making it a versatile rum fit for a king or queen:-)
If there´s anything i could think of that could make it even better would be a bit higher proof, like 61% to give it some more punch – but in that case, not really for sipping – more for say…tiki drinks – but at 55% it´s good for everyone. And besides, nothing stops a tiki drink maker from adding a overproof float if you wish…i think we are quite notorious for that…
If this rum was on the shelves here i`d definitely buy it as a staple for my homebar. I must say that Rum Nation does not disappoint me!