That’s what we call an Estebanised line-up in Belgium. Rum Sponge is the rum department of Whisky Sponge, I really enjoyed the totally different style labels they used for whisky so I couldn’t miss their first rum release, and what a strong start! We also have a quite unusual Caroni bottled by Rum Artesanal for the “Caroni rom Dansk fanklub”, behind this bottling we meet again Kenneth Autzen from Nobilis Rum. We should have a great battle today!
Rum Sponge Caroni 1998-2020 (57.1%, 258 bottles)
Nose: Tyres, dark bitter chocolate, vanilla, burnt rubber, leather, flour, exotic fruits, mangoes, honey, blood oranges, citrus jam, butter, oak wood, brass and smoked beef. The nose is very well balanced and flavourful, the nose really suggest me to go further!
Mouth: Nice oily texture and the alcohol integration is very nice. The Caroni oil notes lasts for a looong time. Blackcurrants, leather, tobacco, fuel, wood, cocoa, thyme, black olives, mangoes, vanilla, caramelized fruits and tar.
That’s fruity and dirty in the same time, I love it.
Finish: Long, slightly bitterish and drying. I meet again the nose’s honey, tyres, cereals, vanilla and peppermint.
A very nice balance between the dirty and fruity profiles. Uh, the evening is starting well!
Dansk Fanklub & Rum Artesanal Caroni 1998-2020 (63.9%, 100 bottles)
Nose: More acidulous than the first one, that’s the first thing that jumps out at me. The alcohol integration isn’t bad but it could have been a bit better. Grapefruits, nuts, mangoes, papayas, menthol, caramelized pineapples, old wood, dark chocolate, pop-corn and oranges.
Mouth: Warm and fruity. Chilies, peppers, exotic fruits, pineapples, wood, tannins, mint, oranges, olive oil, fuel, cocoa and brand new leather. That’s simple but effective, it works!
Finish: Long and slightly bitterish. Vanilla, burnt wood, almonds, violet flowers and it lasts with the peppermint freshness.
A fruity Caroni which make the work.
SMWS R13.2 Caroni 1998-2020 (62%, 267 bottles)
Nose: The alcohol is too present and strangles the aromas. It’s less fruity than the two first but we’re also not in a kind of dirty profile. Apples, cinnamon, cloves, cake dough, pineapples, leather, fuel, toffee and tobacco. The nose isn’t very expressive.
Mouth: The oaky side is very present surrounded by some spices. Apples, cinnamon, ginger, metallic notes, honey, tobacco, toffee, burnt caramel and ashes. The oils aren’t as present as expected, globally I get the same impression than I had at nose.
Finish: Quite long. Honey, mix of milk and dark chocolate, wood, vanilla and mangoes.
Despite the long time it stayed in the glass, the smell and taste still struggled, too bad.
Wild Parrot Caroni White 1998-2018 (62.6%, cask #WP98626)
Colour: Dark copper.
Nose: This is the fruitier nose of the two birds!
Polish, wood, vegetal notes, exotic fruits, mangoes, ripe pineapples, fuel, oils, leather, vanilla and peppermint freshness.
Mouth: Aerial and smooth texture. Steel, citruses, dark bitter chocolate, wood, white pepper, peppermint, fuel, honey and Italian gorgonzola. The mouth is less fruity than expected but it remains pleasant.
Finish: Long, dry and very vanilla-flavoured. A thick smoke expand gradually in the mouth and it finish gently with some floral notes.
A nice one but I didn’t fall under its charm. Let’s see how is its brother.
Wild Parrot Caroni Red 1998-2018 (63.5%, cask #WP98635)
Colour: Dark copper.
Nose: That’s powerful but the alcohol is well integrated. The profile is quite different than the white one, that’s surprising. Black olives, leather, fuel, dark bitter chocolate, bananas, pineapples, vanilla sugar, herbal notes, noble wood and some iodized notes.
Mouth: Even the texture is different, this one is more oily but that doesn’t mean better in this case. It’s more spiced as well. Steel, camphor, cocoa, black olives, wood, fuel, leather, burnt sugar and oregano. The end of the mouth is being more bitter.
Finish: Long and very vanilla-flavoured first, then it becomes more bitter with wet wood and honey.
The quality is quite the same between these two parrots, I preferred the white one but that’s close.
Do you know the most famous Belgian track, Spa Francorchamps? Today it smelt like if I was in the paddocks, I enjoyed that race and the Sponge grabbed the pole position. That wasn’t close as it already was, there are more than 10 points between the best and the worst of the day, that’s a huge gap! I’m looking forward to see more sponges in the future.
See you soon for more Caroni’s, cheers.