Velier Caroni 1985 Full Proof Heavy Rum


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Caroni
Origin Trinidad and Tobago
Bottler Velier
Type Single Blended Rum (Pot + Column from the same distillery)
Alcohol By Volume 58.8%
Sugar Measured
Description bottles produced : 6 600
Review 4


Review by "Lance" Score: 87

Two more Veliers to go before we move onto other old rums, this is the "younger" one, bottled in 2006, from that Port Ellen of the rumworld, Caroni. Here in 2004, legend has it, Luca was (as usual) talking rum, chewing sugar cane and taking pictures, when he literally tripped over (not into) a warehouse of stored casks, probably forgotten, all of which he eventually bought. Talk about a coup de maître - they should make a film about him: Indiana Gargano and the Lost Warehouse, know what I mean? No one in the rumworld, before or since, ever came close to uncovering this kind of treasure. And to his credit, he didn't blend the lot, but issued them in no less (and probably more) than 31 separate bottlings, which is good for us as buyers, even if we get threatened with divorce quite often when we fork over our pieces of eight. Colour - Dark amber, 6600 bottle outturn

Nose: Damn, Caronis get better every time I try them, and this one gets better with every snooting (had enough for three passes at the thing). Beats out the Albion 1986, actually. Wooden tannins and vanilla, tarry and deep and hot, with some of that funkiness of the Jamaicans sneaking around in the background. Vague promises of fruits and licorice were being made, just enough to keep me enthused.

Palate: Dry, furiously oaky and sharp. Some brine and olives, more vanillas, ripe red cherries, a flirt of caramel, and then a barrage of dark fruit, esters and licorice lands on you with the solidity of an Egyptian pyramid block. Gotta be honest though, even with all the fruity stuff, that oak is more dominant than usual here. Water helps, and mutes that oak knife, allowing more tars and some floor wax to take their usual central role.

Finish: Long, pungent, hot. Some coffee, licorice, sweeter fruits, more tannins (better controlled than on the tongue). Not entirely dry, but not lusciously damp either.

Thoughts: Kinda conflicted on this one. Started out great then got hijacked in mid-palate by tenacious oaken flavours which, however tamed, still were too obvious. Not one of the worst Caronis, but not one of the best either. No matter, I still enjoyed what I got.

Review by "Serge" Score: 84

This is heavy style Caroni, and it is a large vatting of 22 drums. Remember a drum typically contains 650 litres. Colour: reddish coffee.

Nose: It’s heavy, but not that heavy. Certainly fruitier and oakier than the Long Pond, less phenolic, more on classic high esters. A bag of liquorice allsorts, some polished rosewood, strawberry jam, and only in the background, some seawater, brine and olives. Little tar that I can get so far. With water: can you age strawberry jam in oak? I guess you can… Some sappy tones as well. High oak extraction.

Palate: Lots of oak and menthol! Bites you a bit, I have to say. A lot of quince jelly too, which I love, but the oak really is massive. You have the impression of quaffing walnut stain, in a way. With water: much, much better. The oak remains there and keeps biting you a bit, but the expected notes of tar, olives and polish manage to come through.

Finish: Very long, oaky, mentholy, with drops of salted Grand-Marnier.

Thoughts: Another one that takes your tongue hostage if you’re not careful, but water helps loosening up the ties.

Review by "Marco" Score: 92

Another rum from the closed Caroni distillery of Trinidad. In a few years Trinidad will be as good as dead, when it comes to decent rum bottlings. This bottling consisted of 6600 bottles. That's quite a lot. Colour: Very dark amber.

Nose: Strong flowers and tar, interwoven with an adhesive aroma are dominating the nose. Fine vanilla and herbs are also perceptible. Regarding fruits I only recognize mangoes and papayas garnished with butter. The alcohol stings slightly in the nose. Deep in the glass: toffee, caramel sweet, faintly banana and oak interwoven with tar. A very mature and serious (heavy) Caroni. With water there are now clearly spices besides the flowers and tar. The alcohol burns only discreetly in the nose. The rum has been tamed. I smell star anise and cloves. In addition there are oak, old leather, caramel and toffee. The nose is now slightly sweet. On fruits I smell only some faint ripe bananas and papayas.

Palate: At first a light sweetness mixed with a slight acidity. The rum is burning on the tongue. Then currants, tar, flowers and oak flavors. The rum loses enormously of his power after some time in the mouth. The flowers and tae flavours are becoming more stronger. The sweetness diminishes and disappears gradually. I taste and star anise, bitter herbs, sweet toffee, caramel and leather. The Rum tastes even after more than a minute in the mouth of flowers and tar flavours. Weak nuances of apricots. With water sweet flowers and tar flavours are rushing over the palate. The alcohol burns now very gently in the mouth. Currants, apricots, sweet toffee and caramel come are gradually appearing. The fruit is now a bit more present on the palate. Barrel aromas such as oak, old leather, star anise and cloves. The sweetness and the fruit disappear after a short time and the tar flavours are getting stronger.

Finish: Flowers and tar flavours form the beginning. There are also bitter herbs, toffee and caramel. Tar and flowers stay long on your palate. Of fruits you can taste only briefly some apricots and bananas. With water strong flavours of tar at the beginning. Then flowers and oak flavours with minimal bitterness from the barrel. Again, I taste apricots.

Thoughts: A "fresh and dirty" Caroni, who plays in the "Upper League". I will definitely remember this one when all Caroni bottlings are gone forever. The current state of the rum industry of Trinidad is only to be morne. What a shame.

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