Appearance: Warm amber.
Nose: Initially restrained, then spicy, balsamic, with notes of pine sap. Pepper, mint, black liquorice, eucalyptus, wood polish.
Palate: Dry, tannic, intense and spicy (black pepper and cloves). An explosive crescendo of tannins, with aromatic notes of liquorice and propolis, and a barely perceptible sweetness from the sugarcane. Like a small batch handcrafted herbal liqueur with no added sugar or caramel.
Finish: Getting hotter and more peppery, but clean, straightforward and elegant: the note of diesel fuel and wax that can be overpowering in other Caroni bottlings is actually quite restrained here. Again, liquorice and even a salty hint.
Comment: An austere Caroni, with no compromises towards sweetness and softness, but at the same time particularly elegant and without falling into the oaky heavy handedness that often plagues rums which have spent too long a maturation in the Caribbean.