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Rum Reviews

Velier Caroni Paradise #3 1994 (Guyana Stock), 26 Year Old, 52.8% ABV

 

In a similar way that the Caroni Paradise series #1 and #2 by @lamaisonandvelier were introduced during @whiskylivesingapore 2022, 2023 brought with it another two new bottles, series #3 and #4. There should have been a #5 alongside them too, though sadly it was unavailable this time round.

The Paradise series was named after the cognac tradition where eau de vie is transferred into dame-jeannes to rest in a warehouse named the paradis, where the oldest cognacs are kept. In this instance, Caroni rums of the Paradise range were transferred from Trinidad or Guyana to the Cognac region of France in 2019, and placed into dame-jeannes to rest until its bottling.

Bottle #3 of the Caroni Paradise comes from a single cask #6132 of the 94 vintage, and is a blend of Heavy Trinidad Rum (HTR), and Light Trinidad Rum (LTR) or neutral spirit from the Caroni distillery. It would’ve spent roughly 25 years aging in the tropics, 15 in Trinidad and 10 in Guyana, and then laid to rest in the dame-jeannes in 2019 in Cognac. It was finally bottled in 2023 with approximately 200 bottles produced at an abv of 52.8%.

The nose was possibly one of the best, and my favourite from the Caronis I’ve had thus far. It had this significant depth and complexity, thick, sweet caramel and maple syrup, mixed with the tar and the traditional dirtiness from the HTRs, although rather nuanced and well balanced in this case. It was also quite fruity, cantaloupe, flambeed bananas, and even a bit of red chilli.

The palate for me was where everything fell apart. It was very dry, oaky, and without doubt had spent too much time in the cask. Fortunately after getting through the intense woodiness, the tarriness did make a short appearance in the middle, coupled with burnt caramel, and prunes. The finish stretched on for very long, with the woody notes being a mainstay, but as it opened up a little more, some sweetness did peek through, with apples and cola too.

I struggled quite a bit when reviewing the Paradise #3 because I really wanted to like it, the nose was so exquisite, so finely balanced and hit all the right notes, but the palate just didn’t do it for me and was far too over-oaked. Though as an exercise in tasting Caronis, and rums in general, it was a very educational experience yet confounding too, because I could not think of how it could’ve been done better to achieve that right balance between the perfect nose and an equally delicious palate for the 94.

 

Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu

  

Your occasional rum addict!

@weixiang_liu