Distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2014, this is the first release of 1998.
Founded in the early 1900s, Caroni was the Trinidad state distillery. The first productions date back to 1918 and its success, has an incredible story. In October 2004, Luca Gargano, owner of Velier, leaves for the tropics direction Guyana and Trinidad for a photo session on Caribbean rums and its lands, together with his friend and photographer Fredi Macarini. Once in Southern Main Road, a disused, abandoned distillery, with a post-apocalyptic movie atmosphere, appeared in front of him.
Once inside, Luca found a lady who told him that the sugar factory and its state-owned distillery were closed by government decision in 2003. In all of this, Gargano noted that a manual bottling was in progress, done in a completely handmade way and asked the lady if there were any barrels left in aging. The lady introduced Luca to the liquidator Rudy Moore, who making his way through the thick grass and abandoned tracks, led him to a big warehouse. When the doors were opened, the view that appeared in front of him was incredible: hundreds of barrels of different vintages, starting from 1974 up to the last distillations of 2000.
Gargano immediately decided to send samples to Italy to analyze and certify their quality.
The results were so impressive, that he decided to acquire the entire remaining stock of barrels and bottle them to full degree (full proof) or to high degree (heavy) to maintain the perfect harmony of fragrances and aromas. For the labels, Luca decided to use the same photos taken by Fredi Marcarini during the trip. Thus, the work of importing, bottling and spreading this important and precious heritage began, a work that without the mastery and vision of Luca Gargano, would have been lost and forgotten forever in the warehouse of the silent distillery.
They are rums rich in history, aromas and fragrances that will never be produced again. It was the beginning of the start of a legend, which represents what remains of a bygone era. Distributed exclusively in Italy until 2012, the spasmodic research of an increasing number of fans and collectors from all over the world, makes Caroni the investment with the highest and most immediate return.
Velier was founded by the Chaix family in Genova in 1947 as a small traditional company specialised in the importation and distribution of wines, champagnes and spirits. In 1983, a young Luca Gargano, former brand ambassador for Saint James at that time, acquired shares in Velier. Under his influence the company began spacialising in the importation of outstanding spirits exclusively destinated to the Italian market. By the early 90s Luca heard about a legendary stock of Saint James rum dating back probably to 1885 and bottled in 1952. After a complex negotiation, he finally managed to acquire the entire stock. This was only the first of a list of legendary selections to come in the following years.
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