Caroni Rum 1998 21 Year Old (The Duchess) Review

It’s been a while since we had a non-whisky review and once again I turn to a Rum bottled by The Duchess, this time their recent 21 Year Old Caroni.

This Caroni was distilled 02/1998, then matured for 21 years in cask #20 before finally being bottled on 05/03/2019, yielding 245 bottles from the cask (so not 100% tropical weather maturation).

This is a sister cask to the 20 Year Old Caroni The Duchess released last year and I loved it so let’s see how this one with extra year fares:

Caroni 1998 21 Year Old (The Duchess) (64.1%, €199)

Nose: Rich nose! Mahogany furniture, brown sugar, fermented banana, mint freshness, sweet olives, fresh sawed oak, the expected petrol and diesel, plums. After a few minutes it’s getting sweeter with sweet oak extracts, caramel, some burnt wood and eventually perfume-y – balanced and fun! With a few drops of water it’s lively with gentler oakiness.

Palate: Surprising big wave of sweet oak wood, brown sugar, burnt rubber and sugar, black olive pits. Trying with water…OK this is far better, still intense and dense with sweet oak wood but it’s down to manageable levels. The rest is livelier with brown sugar, lots of olives and petrol, nuttiness, menthol and pepper.

Finish: Medium long length, lingering rubber, brown sugar, black olives and sweet oak wood. With water: drier but full bodied. Sweet brown sugar, olives, petrol and very gentle sweet oak spice.

Thoughts: A roller coaster of a Caroni. The nose is fantastic, neat and with water with classic aged Caroni profile, but the wood impact is a tad too cloying and overpowering when sipped neat. But with water it shines as well. Another good Caroni bottled by The Duchess.

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