SMWS R10.1 Carnaval Concerto

Spicy Sour Fresh Coastal Oily Earthy Fruity Sweet
Cask *** Spirit * Peat – Complexity *

Review 2017-056 «Specifics» Rum • Vintage 1991 • Bottled in 2016 • Distilled from molasses  • 63.4% Alcohol • Matured in the tropics for 25 years in a refill barrel • Non-chill filtered? • Natural coloured • Unsweetened • Sourced from Trinidad Distillers Limited (San Juan, Trinidad) • Bottled by Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) • Edinburgh • Scotland • Limited availability (228 bottles) • Difficult to find (price £195)

STORY. We are looking again at one of the new single cask spirits that have recently been released by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. This time it is a single cask rum from the Caribbean isle of Trinidad that has been lying in a warehouse for 25 years! Rums that are this old are very rare, at least the ones with a proper age statement and not a made up number that relates to something with the solera system (to give you an example). The rum has been sourced from Trinidad Distiller’s Ltd (not Caroni, which resulted in a slight disappointment from my part), which produces multiple rums including Angostura, Kraken Black, Zaya Gran Reserva and Vat 19. The price has been set at a whopping £195, which is not cheap to say the least. It is by far the most expensive rum (or whisky for that matter) that I have tasted. Noblesse oblige, I hope.


APPEARANCE. The new designs of the bottle and label are stylish and modern, I like them. As advertised, we have here unaltered spirits with a honest colour. The bottling is accompanied by an intriguing name, what can we expect?

NOSE. An extravagant nose begins first with tropical fruits (bananas, mangos and passion fruits), followed by mahogany wood, sugarcane molasses and curry spices. Then comes a burst of vanilla, smoked wood and wood spices. The long maturation in the cask is definitely on the front foot. Well, this needs water to put it on a leash. (water) The wood still overpowers the rum, but give it some time and you can get some notes of mint, cinnamon, vanilla, and if your are lucky, rum. After a very long time in the glass (>30 minutes), it gets rounder with more gentle tropical spices, mango, passion fruit, brown sugar and freshly sawn planks.

TASTE. Vanilla, smoked wood, hot spices, mint. These are the first to set a foot on your tongue. Followed by mostly vanilla and wood spices. This is made to impress the drinker. (water) I get some aniseed, liquorice and tropical spices. Again it needs time, which offers some gentler spices, caramelised banana, pineapple juice and mint. Finish is dry with sugar cane and brown sugar.

VERDICT. The first impression is that this is a big, big rum. It is huge, think of Wagner. However, the more I tried it, the less I liked it. The wood totally overpowers the rum, and I have no idea if it was a nice one or not. Probably not then?

Recommended for wood lovers, who are not very font of the taste of rum.

A sample of this was kindly provided by the SMWS!

«What others say»

  • Angus @Whiskyfun: “The dodgy grain whisky of rum” Score: 72/100
  • @Benwhisky: “A rich and interesting spirit but none of the fireworks from the others [single cask spirits]” Score: A+
  • @Phillipstorry: “A very good aged rum” Score: 4/5
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