Caroni distillery closed in the early 2000s


Trinidad's Great Lost Distillery

Caroni Distillery, once a crown jewel of Trinidad's rum production, holds a legacy that transcends its physical existence. Established in the early 20th century, its distinctive rums have become highly sought after by rum lovers and collectors alike. This article explores the rich history, the rise and fall, and the indelible mark Caroni Distillery has left in the realm of rum distillation.


The date Caroni was established varies depending on the source, with some citing 1918 and others 1923. The distillery was located on the grounds of an old sugar factory near Port of Spain, Trinidad​​ and was initially state-run, and eventually becoming part of Tate & Lyle sugar company in 1936. The location on the Caroni Plains, a key sugarcane growing aream was strategic, and the distillery had it's own sugar processing plant ensuring a steady supply of raw materials for rum production​.

What makes Caroni unique?

Caroni Distillery was equipped with both column and pot stills, a setup that allowed for a wide range of rum styles to be produced. The use of traditional distillation methods and the employment of both types of stills contributed to the creation of rums with a notable robust profile. The cast-iron still used in the early days further contributed to the distinctive flavor of Caroni rums​​.

Decline and Closure

The latter half of the 20th century saw a decline in Trinidad's distillery operations, with over fifty distilleries dwindling down to a mere eight by 1950. The fate of Caroni was sealed in 2001 when the Trinidad Government sold a significant stake in Rum Distillers Limited, the entity overseeing Caroni. Despite protests, the distillery ceased operations in 2002 or 2003, marking the end of an era in Trinidad's rum history​​.


The closure of Caroni Distillery didn't diminish its allure, but as is so often the case, amplified the mystique surrounding its rums. The rums distilled at Caroni continue to be some of the most highly sought after in the world, making regular appearances at rare spirits auctions and private collections - a testament to the enduring legacy of Caroni.

Caroni 20 Year Old Batch 12 TBRC
HED22415 / 50cl / 63.2%
The legendary Trinidad-based rum distillery Caroni closed its doors in 2002 and since then, its distinctive, full-bodied rums have become some of the most sought-after among collectors. This is a 20-year-old expression bottled independently by That Boutique-y Rum Company. A full flavoured and rare taste of history, this rum is rich in those nutty, sweet and smoky molasses.
Caroni 24 Year Old Batch 14 TBRC
HED29099 / 50cl / 62.1%
The Caroni Distillery was established in 1918 on the site of the old Caroni Sugar Factory, and during the 20th century, it was an important producer of rum, both for the local market and for export. However, due to a decline in the sugar industry in Trinidad and Tobago and other financial challenges, the distillery ceased operations in 2002. This 24-year-old expression from That Boutique-y Rum Co was drawn from a single cask and bottled at cask strength.
Caroni Replica 90 Proof
HED79133 / 70cl / 51.4%
A limited edition release from Velier celebrating the 100th annivrsary of the Caroni distillery, which closed in the early 2000s. This particular edition was release was distilled in 2000 and is bottled at 51.4% ABV.
SBS Trinidad Caroni The Beast #3
HED23168 / 70cl / 49.6%
Based in the small town of Ringe, 1423 is one of the fastest growing distributors of premium spirits in Denmark. S.B.S. – which stands for Single Barrel Collection – is their ongoing series of single barrel rums from all over the world. This particular expression was produced in 1993 at Caroni distillery, which is now closed. The liquid was matured in a single bourbon barrel for 29 years before bottling at cask strength in June 2022. An opulent, multi-layered rum, offering notes of roasted macadamia nuts, raisins, spices, coffee, tobacco and caramel.
The Appleton distillery in Jamaica

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