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DESCRIBING RUMS IN A WAY THAT PAINTS A PICTURE AS WELL AS GIVES THE EVERYDAY READER REFERENCES THAT ARE BOTH FAMILIAR AND RELATABLE

I started in the world of wine tasting around 2006. These tastings were always blinded, so you had to work on finding and building a repertoire of a broad range of descriptors in order to piece together what you had in your glass...So when it comes to smell and flavour description, I’ve been doing it for quite a few years. In 2015, my interest in rum was sparked and since then I have thrown myself deep in to the world of this amazing spirit and wonderful people.


/Kris von Stedingk

 
 
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Velier Caroni 20 year (1996) 35th Release - 70.1% abv.

Updated: Dec 26, 2018

Velier Caroni 20 year (1996) 35th Release - 70.1% abv.

This rum is BOLD! First thing that hits me is a fruitiness that is beyond what I expected from a Caroni at this age and proof. Pears and Green apples. Something distinctively sour. I was thinking sour strawberry or cherry, but possibly closer to rhubarb. This rum is also very spicy. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper…mix that with vanilla, chocolate and HEAVY fresh wet oak, and you’ve got yourself a delicious apple rhubarb pie. Topped with burnt butter and melted brown sugar. There is also something green going on here. Green banana peels, and I may even go as far as saying hints of green bell pepper. Some nutty notes. Roasted bitter almonds. The petrol/plastic notes that for me are typical of Caroni are a little subdued, but there are still glimpses into this world. Almost like being in a garage or factory with old spilt oil on a concrete floor that someone has tried to clean up with an old shredded dusty newspapers.

On the palate…This is explosive. Explosively hot. Dry sour wood. Strawberries and black cherries. Green apples and banana flambé. Wood and vanilla. Cinnamon more than any other baking spice. There is a certain meatiness going on. Bloody iron. But at the same its dried meat. Like old leather. Think about an old pair of Birkenstocks without the smell of feet. A little bit of rubber. A bit of cork…strange how accurate an old leather sandel is here. As I let it linger it fades to an extremely nutty (and very long) finish. Almond butter with a few drops of petrol.

Mouth feel is extremely dry and hot. Not oily, but the intensity of the flavours coats everything it touches anyway.

A few drops of water and this becomes more butter and caramel dominant on the nose. Beautiful woodiness and the sourness has been tamed. On the palate, the black cherries have taken the front row seat. The heat is more tolerable, allowing me to enjoy all the descriptors mentioned above without giving myself (even worse) heartburn.

This is a surprisingly atypical fruity Caroni, that I highly recommend enjoying with a drop or two of the good ol’ H20.


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