Caroni Employees

Caroni Employees

Every rum enthusiast or collector knows the story of the Caroni distillery. Founded in 1918 in Trinidad & Tobago, this famous rum distillery produced strong, unique and dark rums. For years, it was a state-owned enterprise with its own sugar factory. This guaranteed the distillery access to a local high-quality sugarcane juice. Only a small fraction of its production was bottled under the Caroni brand, and that went mostly for the British Navy rations. After the war ended, the distillery and its heavy rums grew in popularity among inquisitive connoisseurs who loved its unique profile.

Caroni was closed in 2002. Its legacy survived thanks to Luca Gargano, who in 2005 acquired a significant share of Caroni barrels. Currently, Caroni rums, widely known for their complex and rich flavours, together with the interesting history of the plant, build the mystical status of a distillery on the alcohol market.

The Caroni Employees series pays tribute to the workers of the famous distillery (whose pictures are shown on the labels of given bottles).

Caroni Employees 1st Release

Caroni Employees 1st release

The 1st release of the Caroni Employees series consists of two nearly 70%, 70cl rums that celebrate two loyal employees of the distillery, Dennis “X” Gopaul, and John “D” Eversley, both of whom worked in Caroni from the 1980s to its closure.

The 1st release of the Caroni Employees series consists of nearly 1200 bottles each.

Both rums have a prolonged, 100% tropical ageing in oak barrels. Combined with the heavy character of the flavours and exquisite production precision, they provide indescribable quality that makes the drinks extraordinary and unforgettable.

 

1. CARONI EMPLOYEES 1ST RELEASE: DENNIS “X” GOPAUL – 69,5%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 20yo
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2018
Strength: 69.5%
Number of Bottles: 1151

Long finish with petrol, wood and dark caramel. A great example of flavourful and aromatic rum, perfect for connoisseurs.

Colour: Dark amber

Aroma: At first, it reveals fruity aromas. Allowed to breathe, DENNIS “X” GOPAUL rum becomes more lively and spicy. Full of vanilla, caramel, balsamic vinegar, oil, coconut and biscuits scents.

Taste: Rich, but slightly lighter than JOHN “D” EVERSLEY rum. It tastes of brown caramel, granulated sugar, lamp oil, vanilla, toffee, biscuit dough, latte macchiato, with traces of spices and wood from the cask.

 

2. CARONI EMPLOYEES 1ST RELEASE JOHN “D” EVERSLEY – 66,5%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 22yo
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2018
Strength: 66.5%
Number of Bottles: 1192

Complex, dark and fruity rum with traces of slightly bitter oak, spices, oil and caramel.

Colour: Deep amber

Aroma: Very rich and complex, explosive and deep, of exotic fruits, dried fruits, many sweet spices, citrus zest, liquorice and Gourdon. A great mixture of floral and dirty aromas like raw cocoa, tar and dark caramel.

Taste: Powerful, warm, full-bodied and very intense, although at first, it seems delicate and almost fragile. Characterized by the richness and aromatic concentration, with an endless persistence of flavours like hydrocarbons, camphor and earth. It is rich and complex, much fruitier and fresh than the aroma might suggest.

Caroni Employees 2nd Release

Caroni Employees 2nd release

The 2nd release of Caroni Employees series portrays a perfect example of heavy yet fruity, tropical rums that smell and taste unforgettable. This should, of course, come as no surprise to any rum enthusiast – the Trinidad & Tobago distillery that operated 1918-2002 is famous for their particular production process, that resulted in complex flavour profiles. After all, they gained popularity thanks to their unique and dark and strong rums.

The 2nd release of the Caroni Employees series consists of two nearly 70%, 70cl rums that honour Kevon ‘Slippery’ Moreno, and David “Sarge” Charran who worked at the distillery for 10 and 28 years respectively.

The 2nd release of the Caroni Employees series consists of 2353 bottles – 1400 Kevon ‘Slippery’ Moreno’s and 953 David ‘Sarge’ Charran’s. Both rums have a prolonged, 100% tropical ageing in oak barrels, which gives them a unique, unforgettable aroma and flavour. Therefore, the Caroni Employees rums should be enjoyed neat, after a few minutes of breathing.

 

1. CARONI EMPLOYEES 2nd RELEASE: Kevon ‘Slippery’ Moreno – 69,5%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 21yo
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2019
Strength: 69.5%
Number of Bottles: 1400

Colour: Dark amber.

Aroma: Powerful and complex. At first, it reveals fresh aromas of tropical and dried fruit. Allowed to breathe, Kevon ‘Slippery’ Moreno rum becomes more lively and spicy. Full of sweet spices, coffee, tobacco, citrus and liquorice.

Taste: Rich, imposing and warm with surprising persistence. It reveals tastes of brown caramel, granulated sugar, vanilla, coffee and liquorice.

 

2. CARONI EMPLOYEES 2nd RELEASE: David ‘Sarge’ Charran – 66,5%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 23yo
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2019
Strength: 66.5%
Number of Bottles: 953

Colour: Deep amber

Aroma: Very rich, powerful and complex. Full of exotic spices, citrus, and dried fruits. This rum has a charming, almost floral character on the nose. First, it almost hits you with the scent of candied lemon, and tar. Allowed to breathe, David ‘Sarge’ Charran develops notes of oak, vanilla, wood smoke and fruit compote that linger in the finish.

Taste: Powerful, warm, full-bodied and very intense. Complex, dark and fruity rum with traces of slightly bitter oak, tar, smoke, vanilla, sweet spices, stewed fruit and caramel.

Caroni Employees 3rd Release

Caroni Employees 3rd release

Since 2005, Velier has been releasing small batches of Caroni rum to alcohol connoisseurs from all over the world. Caroni’s signature heavy, oily quality of spirits, coupled with its truly limited supply, results in highly renowned rums and desired collections. The 3rd release of the Caroni Employees series is no exception.

The third release of the Caroni Employees series dedicated to the employees of the famous distillery is composed of three tropical-aged blends: a blend of 4 casks from 1996, a blend of 7 barrels from 1998 and a blend of 8 barrels from 2000. The star employees of this release are Ganesh “Buju” Ramgobie, Vijay “Vijay” Ranmarine, and Nita “Nitz” Hogan. Similarly to the previous editions, each of the rums in the series honours one of the loyal employees, whose names and pictures adorn given labels.

The 3rd Caroni Employees series consists of three, 70cl rums. The limited-edition series includes 1445 bottles of Ganesh “Buju” Ramgobie (67%), 814 bottles of Vijay “Vijay” Ranmarine (64,5%) and 1187 bottles of Nita “Nitz” Hogan (65,2%). Each is a perfect example of the highest quality, complex and heavy, tropical-aged rums that should be enjoyed neat.

 

1. CARONI EMPLOYEES 3rd RELEASE: Ganesh “Buju” Ramgobie – 1998 vintage – 67%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 22yo
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2020
Strength: 67%
Base: Trinidad Molasses
Number Of Bottles: 1445
70cl

Colour: Golden brown mahogan.

Aroma: Very harmonious, a perfect mix between melted hydrocarbons and tropical fruits with some supporting menthol notes. Very apparent notes of barrel, rubber and polish, as well as sweet citrus and tropical spices. When compared to Dennis “X” Gopaul (from Caroni Employees 1st release) that was also bottled in 1998, Ganesh “Buju” Ramgobie comes off as less sharp. Although both rums need some time to breathe, the 67% “Buju” is much smoother than the 69.5% “X”.

Taste: Very strong, complex and deep. Ganesh “Buju” Ramgobie hits with gourmet and oily, burnt-wood attack. Very pronounced natural sweetness, reminiscing of brown sugar and dried fruit, with notes of anise dominating the last sips. It has a long, dirty finish, with noticeable, tingling alcoholic spiciness.

 

2. CARONI EMPLOYEES 3rd RELEASE: Vijay “Vijay” Ranmarine – 1996 vintage – 64.5%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 24yo
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2020
Strength: 64.5%
Base: Trinidad Molasses
Number Of Bottles: 814
70cl

Colour: Deep copper.

Aroma: Initially not very strong and expressive. After a while, it releases notes of butter, pastry, and pralines, accompanied by hydrocarbons and the sweetness of ripe mango.

Taste: Strong and precarious, with a good length. Overwhelming notes of brioche, pastry and butter, as well as caramelized nuts, dried tropical fruit and melted hydrocarbons.

 

3. CARONI EMPLOYEES 3rd RELEASE: Nita “Nitz” Hogan – 2000 vintage – 65.2%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 20yo
Distilled: 2000
Bottled: 2020
Strength: 65.2%
Base: Trinidad Molasses
Number Of Bottles: 1187
70cl

Colour: Amber with copper highlights.

Aroma: Dry and complex. Powerful notes of wood, accompanied by floral, almost acidic notes of white tropical fruits. Nita “Nitz” Hogan smells of sweet apricots cut with scents of vanilla, custard cream, caramel, buttery buns and pastries.

Mouth: Powerful, flavourful and smooth. Nita “Nitz” Hogan comes off fruitier than the aroma could suggest. It is well-balanced with a mid-long finish, sweet and fruity, full of citrus fruit, ripe bananas, brown sugar, honey and cake dough.

Caroni Employees 4th Release

Caroni Employees 4th release

The 4th Caroni Employees series consists of three, 70cl rums. The limited-edition series includes 1251 bottles of Basdeo “Dicky” Ramsarran (64.3%), 1158 bottles of Balas “Brigade” Bhaggan (68.4%) and 1180 bottles of Dayanand “Yunkoo” Baloon (70.7%). Each is a perfect example of the highest quality, complex and heavy, tropical-aged rums that should be enjoyed neat, after some breathing time.

The distillation process at Caroni differed considerably from that at other rum producers. During fermentation, in addition to ethanol and water, so-called congeners were created. This, combined with oily, yet tropical aromas, resulted in complex, unique combinations that satisfy even the most demanding rum critics.

 

1. CARONI EMPLOYEES 4TH RELEASE: BASDEO “DICKY” RAMSARRAN – 64.3%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 20yo
Distilled: 2000
Bottled: 2020
Strength: 64.3%
Number of Bottles: 1251
70cl

Subtle aromas, but very rich taste palate.

Colour: Rich amber with copper highlights.

Aroma: Subtle, yet complex and dry. Notes of persimmon, petrol, blackberries and glue. Alcohol aromas are hardly noticeable.

Taste: Oily and fruity, slightly sweet. Nicely balanced with a long finish. Full of warm notes of exotic fruit (citrus and guava), as well as hydrocarbons and wood.

 

2. CARONI EMPLOYEES 4TH RELEASE: BALAS “BRIGADE” BHAGGAN – 68.4%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 22yo
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2020
Strength: 68.4%
Number of Bottles: 1158
70cl

A pure blend of English-style rum with exceptional aromatic richness.

Colour: Deep copper with orange highlights

Aroma: Extraordinarily powerful, distinguished and complex. The first nose explodes with notes of grapefruit and orange. Allowed to breathe, “Brigade” releases notes of salted butter, warm spices, umami, exotic fruits and chocolate. Excellent quality, exuberant, complex and harmonious.

Taste: Clean, precise. At first, “Brigade” reveals very apparent notes of violet, laver, vanilla and citrus which are followed by dirtier, heavier flavours of smoke, spices and cocoa. Serves long, aromatic and strong finish.

 

3. CARONI EMPLOYEES 4TH RELEASE: DAYANAND “YUNKOO” BALOON – 70.7%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 22yo
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2020
Strength: 70.7%
Number of Bottles: 1180
70cl

A surprising take on the 1998 vintage Caroni rums. Intense and well-balanced.

Colour: Deep copper

Aroma: Intense and balanced, similar to Ganesh ‘Buju’ Ramgobie (Caroni Employees 3rd Release). Dirty, woody aromas combine smoothly with hints of tropical spices like aniseed, as well as ripe mango and papaya. The alcohol is also very well integrated.

Taste: Silky and smooth, which perfectly accompanies “Yunkoo’s” strength. The palate is rich with natural sweetness, tar, black pepper, wood, muscovado sugar and molasses, as well as ripe fruit. Minimal to no burning from the alcohol. Strong, long finish.

Caroni Employees 5th Release

Caroni Employees 5th release

From the legendary Trinidad distillery closed by the government in 2003 comes the 5th release of Caroni Employees rum. Composed by Luca Gargano and distilled in 1996, this limited edition series of nearly 300 bottles is a staple for every demanding rum collector or enthusiast. The series holds rich, exuberant, and complex blends from 4 casks. Aged for 23 years in tropical weather in Trinidad, the collection was bottled in 2021 at a full alcohol content of 67%.

The 5th release of Caroni Employees Rum is rich with notes of exotic, sweet citrus fruit, various wood, and local spices. It celebrates the legacy and pays tribute to the workers of the famous distillery (whose pictures are shown on the labels): Roopnarine “ROOP” Toolsie – carpenter, Deodat “BREEZE” Manmohan – sales representative, and Dhanraj “DAN” Maharaj – forklift operator.

The series is bottled to the full extent (barrel strength) and has a prolonged, 100% tropical ageing. These two factors, combined with the heavy character of the rums and exquisite production precision, result in the indescribable quality that makes the drinks extraordinary and unforgettable.

The three heroes of the 5th Caroni Employees series provide various flavour profiles. “ROOP” serves sweet and fruity notes that will appeal to the broader group of rum enthusiasts. “DAN” on the other hand, is rich with dark and woody tones that will satisfy even the most demanding collectors. “BREEZE” combines the unique blends of the former rums; woody and zesty tones.

 

1. CARONI ROOPNARINE “ROOP” TOOLSIE – 66,1%

Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 25yo
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2021
Strength: 66.1%
70cl

A great example of Caroni in a tropical age. It delivers heavy and intense sweet notes. A pleasant surprise in an aged rum.

Colour: Dark with amber reflections.

Aroma: Luscious character, composed of sweet fruit, pungent smells of molasses, and moist wood.

Taste: Gargantuan, warm, and remarkably broad. Perfect for sipping, as sweet fruits emerge with less intensity than olfactory sensations, woody. With time and further tasting, the notes of dried fruit and toasted wood appear more clearly.

 

2. CARONI DHANRAJ “DAN” MAHARAJ – 66,3%
Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 25yo
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2021
Strength: 66.3%
70cl

Perfect for the enthusiasts of drinks with a long and intense finish.

Colour: Dark and rich.

Aroma: More balsamic, darker, firmer, and more persistent notes than these of “ROOP”. With time, notes of ripe fruit appear clearly, softening the whole experience.

Taste: Strong and intense, but by no means excessive. The flavours combine to form an excellent profile: balsamic notes, tartness of wood, fruity sweetness, albeit in the form of fleeting memory, all combined with great intensity.

 

3. CARONI DEODAT “BREEZE” MANMOHAN – 66,7%
Type: Rum
Distillery: Caroni
Age: 25yo
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2021
Strength: 66.7%
70cl

A breath of fresh air in the latest Caroni Employees series.

Colour: Dark amber.

Aroma: It seems more intense than the previous two, serving more pronounced notes of acetone. However, just a moment of rest in a glass reveals a pleasant, clear, and fruity sweetness. With a slight dilution, the flavour evolves further and uncovers light balsamic notes with little lemon zest.

Taste: Warm, rich, persistent, and balanced. Full of intense flavours. Very tart with notes of wood, combined with fruity sweetness, molasses.