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Near-perfect rum from the Caroni Distillery, 110 proof and 17-years-old. Burnt sugar, gingerbread, raisins, nutmeg...and the always-present freshly paved asphalt and burning tires. Layers of flavor assault your senses in wave after wave of amazing complexity. Caroni is the LSD of rums.
I know that a few months ago that I stated that I would not submit any more reviews beyond 400. Well after a brief foray into mezcal pechugas that really made me appreciate my own rum collection, I went into a favorite gourmet store today to buy a small sample of Cajun Caviar (aka bowfin roe at only about $21 US per ounce and comparable to Beluga...thanks but I will stick to salmon roe that tastes much better and is much cheaper).
This happens to be the same store that had that bottle of Caroni 2000 17 Year 110 Proof for three months. That damn bottle was still there! Since I had money to burn today, I doled out the $190 US for that last lonely bottle that begged for me to rescue it from behind it's locked glass case.
Only 2700 of these bottles were produced from 7 barrels purchased in 2005 by La Maison & Velier of Manhasset NY. The different label also had me hesitant to open it because it was not anything like the original orange label. Fears of it tasting like burned rubber really had me hesitant to even open the bottle. However, I am not one to "invest" in collectible rums, and I bought it strictly for the purpose of seeing what the fuss was all about with Caroni rums.
I opened it and to my delight, there was no smell or taste of burning rubber. Damn, I felt luckier than a dog with two dicks! I have been rating rums on here for three and a half years and immediately ranked this one as an 8. It was better than any of my 7 ratings, but certainly no match for any of my 9-10 ratings. It is also a lot better than any of the Foursquare ECS rums that I have tried, as this one is another dry overproof. This is a damn good rum, but simply not worth $190 US. And price had no bearing upon my rating, as usual. My formula simply tells me if it is worth buying again. Now if it was just a few bucks less than half this price, it would begin to become an attractive buy. For investors and collectors, grab this one if you find it!!!! This one will last a very long time in my bottle since it is a dry overproof.
So now that I finally own a bottle of Caroni, this only makes me feel really sorry for all of those in Europe who have to dole out big bucks for these rums just because Caroni went out of business about two decades ago and these are the last ones. This one only ranks in my top 8% of all that I have reviewed. Not bad, but at this price, better and cheaper rums are more readily available. Seek and you will find. This was a hesitant fool to buy this bottle, but I lucked out with a good one, thank goodness.
And what was the reason for my celebration splurge today? The musical genius of Todd Rundgren was finally announced today to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Had this not happened, this bottle of Caroni would still be crying behind that locked glass.
After note: The reason that I did not taste any rubber tire or other dirty notes was that I have no patience at all. I was advised by another reviewer to let it breathe in the snifter for one whole hour, and then the dirty notes will come out, and this did happen. If that is what you want, then go for it. Not me! Only one other rum that I have tried needs to breathe for one whole hour and this is only to make it enjoyable to drink. That one is Cartavio 12 Year Solera from Peru.
Update a mere 8 days later with only 10 percent sampled from the bottle: Now that my bottle has had time to breathe, the dirty notes have finally reared their ugly head. I am not a masochist nor do I have memories of being run over by a car tire and then having to lick the asphalt afterwards. If that is what you desire, then go ahead and waste at least $200 US on this long forgotten rum. And always remember that Caroni is pronounced like Karen E with the E standing for Entitled.
Update June 8, 2021: The more that I sipped on this rum over the past few weeks, the more that I did not care for it all. It is simply not fair for me to keep my rating at an 8 just because others in Europe may love this stuff. I now have no choice except to drop my rating to a high 7. This one is a waste of money, for both taste and as an investment.
Update June 22, 2021: The final 10 ounces or so from this bottle was finished last night. I have no ill after effects at all from it today. It did require lots of ice cubes to make it drinkable. I can now add Caroni to my one other brand that I refuse to buy again, that being Brugal. This was not a bad rum, just WAY overpriced. After having opened it 40 days before, it was finally time to get it out of my sight.
I tasted quite a few Caroni rums and am always impressed when I come back to this one. Rich, balanced and definitely one of the best examples of Caroni. An absolute must to try!
If you are drinking this rum, you qualify as a candidate for most interesting person your friends and colleagues know. Truly one of the greatest spirits experiences you'll ever have.
Das hier ist schon ein verdammt guter Caroni,herrlich ausgeprägte Caroni typische Aromen und doch einigermassen zahm,schöner langer Abgang,etwas Honig,dezente Süsse.
Ein Must Have.
Mit rund 100 Müllos geschenkt in Anbetracht der momentanen Preisentwicklung.
Der 21er ist zwar noch einen guten Tick besser aber nicht mehr als doppelt so gut wie der Preis des 21er mit etwa 220 Bankrottos in der Ausgabe aktuell
Kaufen Kaufen und Bunkern was das Zeug hält,Das wird ein Stück Rumgeschichte Die es so nie wieder geben wird
.... while the 12 year old is "just" a taste of heaven - this is heaven. Just perfectly rounded. I love it
A powerful yet subtle solution to your overproof needs. Very beautiful sharpness that elevates your senses with power.
I have been lucky enogh for tastin Caroni 15 and 17. Both are fantastic and unfortynatelly very limited.
Just adding a small dash of wather makes them even better.
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