Caroni 23 Year 1996 Tasting Gang Rum was produced by the famed and now long closed Trinidad Distillery.
While the Caribbean has a long history of rum, a significant part of this history has been irretrievably lost. Trinidad once boasted more than 50 distilleries. The number dwindled to eight by the 1950s and now only Angostura remains.
The decline was mostly due to the demise of the local sugar industry (Trinidad now imports molasses for rum production). This increasingly rare bottling represents a small part of that era.
The Caroni Estate Distillery (est. 1918), closed in 2003 and is now sadly, demolished. It was built on the site of an old sugar factory and for a period supplied rums to the British Navy. At the time, there were some eight to ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types (and qualities) of rums, bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. Caroni gradually increased the quality of its distilling process, moving on from its original cast iron still to a wooden coffey still, until 1945 when they acquired a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980. Rums from the estate gained a reputation for being particularly heavy and flavoursome.
The Caroni 23 Year 1996 Tasting Gang Rum was bottled by Velier.