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Rum Reviews

Caroni HTR 20 Year Old, Batch 12, That Boutique-y Rum Company (TBRC), 63.2% ABV


Today I have with me another Caroni sample from @boutiqueyrum which was launched in late-2022 as part of the lineup for @boutiqueywhisky’s 20th anniversary. It is Batch no. 12, bearing the HTR marque and aged for 20 years before being bottled at 63.2% abv with an outturn of 423 bottles. Now I’m sure many of you would then ask what vintage this Caroni belongs to because 20 years old would mean 2001 or 2002, which is pretty much unheard of in Caroni vintages. But @boutiqueypeter explained that this actually came from the remnants of their particularly large Batch no. 2 which was released back in 2019, and I guess they decided to go a little crazy, but not too crazy, by finishing the remaining liquid in a Caol Ila cask for four months.

When nosed, I thought it had many hallmarks of a great Caroni rum. There was a quite a bit of depth, thick, bold, lots of vanilla and oak, and it carried a sweetness to it too, toffee apples and cola. There’s no mistaking the Islay cask influence right at the end, where you get those little bits of iodine, and a kind of soft peat that complements the notes of petrol and tar, and surprisingly actually softens the overall dirtiness of the Caroni. I thought it was rather fresh and uplifting, with a side of menthol too.

The palate came across rather savoury from the outset, sour plums, just the slightest hint of those petrol notes of a traditional Caroni before the rest of the rum was overtaken by the spiciness and peat of the Islay cask. Unfortunately there wasn’t much more I could taste once the peat took over, which was slightly disappointing given that the nose was so very well balanced. The finish was long, similarly packed with peat initially, but as it lingered, the fruitiness of the Caroni was brought back once again with hawthorn berries and sour plums.

I was in two minds about this rum - on the one hand, I’ve never really been much of a fan of rums finished in peated whisky casks, as many of those I’ve had just tasted pretty much like having peated whisky, which then completely defeats the point of drinking rum altogether. But yet on the other, this particular Caroni was extremely well balanced, and I did think that the finishing was spot on - even though the peat was dominant, the traditional “dirty” notes of a Caroni were still present in the glass, especially in the finish. In all, I’d say this was a rather good rum, and cheers to @boutiqueyrum for that!


Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu


Your occasional rum addict!