1997 Caroni, 23 Years Old, HTR, Single Cask #880, 61.1% ABV, Batch 7, That Boutique-y Rum Company (TBRC)
@boutiqueyrum is no stranger to Caroni rums, having released at least 12 different bottlings since they started. Batch 8 was the first that I tried, and I was very very impressed with it, so much so that I decided to grab a sample of Batch 7 too - a single cask #880 that was distilled in 1997 on the Indian mash column bearing the HTR marque. As with most independently bottled Caronis, this was aged for 12 years in the tropics, followed by another 11 in Europe, and bottled in September 2021 at 61.1% abv with 326 bottles produced.
On the nose, it was rather hard to explain but the batch 7, when compared to the batch 8, seemed to span the two extreme ends, being sweeter yet more hard-hitting at the same time. You have that of thick, sweet caramel, with light perfumes on the side, but immediately followed up with heavy varnish, acetone notes, rather different from the dirtiness or petrol that we usually associate with Caronis. And as it opens up, you begin to get those slight tropical notes coming through, and a hint of brine too.
The palate on the other hand is a whole other story. There’s very little fruitiness or sweetness in it, mainly lots of herbal and woody notes, a bit of cola, and the exception comes in the middle palate where some caramel and red fruits do come through. The finish is medium in length, once again rather dry and oaky, hint of brine and mint, and red apples.
Comparing this with batch 8, I do think where batch 7 falters is in its complexity, and I do think it misses those tarry notes from the more memorable Caronis, although flashes of that do appear across the tasting, but perhaps just shy of hitting the mark.
Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu
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