Caroni 24 Years 1998 (Lion’s Whisky + Distilia)

Caroni 24 Years 1998 (Lion’s Whisky + Distilia)

Last week the sad news reached us that Diego Sandrin passed away. While I never met Diego in person, we exchanged some e-mails and he said some very nice things about my work as a blogger. So here’s a small tribute review to honour his passion for whisky and rum.

I dug up a sample of the Caroni 1998 rum he selected to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his brand Lion’s Whisky. It was bottled by Distilia. If you’re interested in a short interview with Diego and some information on this particular bottling, check this piece on the Distilia website or this interview from Whisky Auctioneer.


Caroni 24 yo 1998 (61,6%, Distilia for Lion’s Whisky 10th Anniversary 2022, cask #1, 220 btl.)

Nose: a fairly heavyweight start, on mossy and muddy notes, petrol fumes, dark treacle and Dutch liquorice. Then eucalyptus, menthol and hints of cough syrup, as well as worn leather. Hints of compost heaps (in the nicest way possible) and fermenting bananas. Tobacco, Vicks and whiffs of cola sweets too. Burnt cinnamon pastry. Underneath there’s also a brighter, fruitier note of overripe pineapple and orange peel.

Mouth: heavy style again. Wood, dark liquorice, tar and motor oil. All kind of herbal extracts, black olive tapenade, espresso and tobacco. Then cloves, industrial notes (car workshop) and slightly bitter charred notes. Once the burnt side settles down, there is brine and fermenting banana and pineapple.

Finish: very long, nicely sweet and sour, with smoky hints, some grease, salt and honey.

While this is certainly the heavy and dark style of Caroni, you cannot deny the fact that there’s also a certain elegance to it. A retired punk rum, if you like. Google still finds it on the Lion’s Whisky website, but it doesn’t look operational to me. RIP Diego.