Quite a joint bottling effort, these two wonderfully-labelled Caroni releases. Wu-Dram Clan, Shinanoya, and KFWS unearthed these casks for us. Such highly sought-after rums from this closed distillery in full strength are nothing for the faint-hearted – but we like it dirty, so let’s dive into a head-to-head Voodoo session.
Before I differenciate, both have the Caroni funk and typical traits for these years:
Common notes of both: Jungle undergrowth, banana skin, camphor, ointment (Ichthyol), iodine, resin, sanitary napkin, tar, scented tobacco, fresh mint, rose stems and vanilla – all in all a heavy load, almost overburdening the palate. Let’s go from crazy to nuts:
CARONI 1998 – 2021 Single Cask Trinidad Rum, Cask #2109, 226 btl., 62,2%
Comment: This is the rounder and fruitier one with berries, more accessible and not as dry as its partner – aetherial clouds of aromas somehow. Along the notes above I am getting a deep and spicy impression, huge complexity. Berries, dragonfruit, babana, plum, orange zest, rum-raisin ice cream (Malaga), leather, bitumen, jute sack filled with coffee beans, cinnamon chewing gum, ski waxing workshop, glue, cedar wood, forest floor, mulled Christmas wine (nutmeg, clover, cinnamon, ginger, red wine, etc.), daisies, poppy seed pastry with sugar icing (‚Mohnschnecke‘), new car oil and what not – a crazy ride. It is intense yet balanced, spicy and fruity on the palate, water straightens it out and pushes the berries and tropical fruit center stage, but it can be enjoyed pure as well. The finish is long and soothing. However, we are talking heavy duty here over all.
CARONI 1997 – 2021 Single Cask Trinidad Rum, Cask #59, 224 btl., 60,6%
Comment: This is the spicier, drier and dirtier one, it bites like a jungle viper – no prisoners taken. Tar, licorice, old oil, resin, olive tapenade, hot mulch from jungle wood, rotten banana skin, nutmeg, pepper, chili, burnt caramel, cocoa, juniper berries, painted pine cone and quite some wood influence. A Voodoo Monster that will split the audience. The palate is a full-on attack, peppery spices and woody dryness bite with adstringency, then relief, wow, dryness gone suddenly. Banana, oak and undergrowth are dominant. I recommend water for this one, as it levels out the aggression and allows the subtle berries and fruit to be discovered – but it also depends on your daily shape. On some days, pure is fine – a great one either way. Somewhat brutal but complex, and therefore, very entertaining. Muscle rum, looong finish!
So choose which style you prefer – or get both. Stellar rum that won’t become cheaper and gets rarer by the day. WU!