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The Caroni distillery is said to have been established in 1918, however there are several historical references that suggest distilling was happening there earlier in the 20th century. It became part of the Tate & Lyle firm in 1936, who used it as a base for expanding their eventually considerable sugar operations in Trinidad. Caroni was a key ingredient of the British Navy rations, where its famous high-ester 'Heavy' rums helped to make up the signature flavour. Sadly, with the decline of the Trinidadian sugar industry, the island’s remaining rum producers became increasingly dependent upon imported molasses, making distilling less economical. Tate & Lyle sold a 51% controlling stake to the Trinidadian government in 1970, before it became fully nationalised in 1975. The newly established Caroni Ltd continued to lose money for the next 25 years until the government tried to minimise its ownership, selling off 49% of its share, just enough to retain control. Angostura were the preferred bidders, but a dispute over the value of Caroni’s warehoused stock scuppered the deal, and Caroni was closed for good in 2003.
This is a 1998 vintage, bottled by Italian firm Rum Nation and matured for 12 years tropically and 6 years in England. Bottled in 2016 from 20 casks, the numbers of which can be found on the reverse label.
Rum Nation was founded in 1999 by Fabio Rossi, CEO of Rossi & Rossi and modelled after his highly successful whisky bottling company, Wilson & Morgan. Since its inception it has earned a good reputation for producing some excellent quality and value drinking rums, especially at the premium end of the spectrum.
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