Angostura 12yo “1824” (40%, Circa 2014, Trinidad & Tobago)

Are you mad? Reviewing the same Rum again? Nothing better to do? Well, at first I didn’t want to write two reviews about one Rum. I actually wanted to write one review about two Rums, expecting both to be the same, with just an upgrade in the presentation. When I was on my way writing the previous review, I grabbed this more recent bottling of the “1824” and was quite surprised about the difference when smelling it. I poured it back, without even tasting it, and right on the spot decided to break up the review and write two of them. So here is number two. By now we already know there is a difference in smell, but does it also taste differently? Let’s find out…

Angostura 1824 (2014)Color: Copper brown, ever so slightly lighter than the 2008 version.

Nose: Dry and woody with only a distant funkiness. Well balanced yet very laid back in the nose. Nice red fruity acidity kicks in. Dry vanilla powder and sugared almonds. Sugary in its sweetness as opposed to honey, caramel and toffee. There is vanilla. Smelling very smooth, almost elegant and sometimes perfumy. Sweet black tea with a tropical twist. Dried pineapple? It smells nice, smells like a decent brown Rum, but lacking something. It doesn’t smell like something special, but it does smell rounded out and appetizing. Also performs a bit poor in development. Altogether very middle of the road. Yes, smelling like an Abuelo, but that comes from a different place entirely.

Taste: Starts with red fruity acidity, sugary sweetness with some toffee. Warm diluted, but thin, caramel. Sugary with an herbal quality (cannabis), maybe that’s the influence of the wood. I imagine splinters taste like this. Quite simple with a short finish. Luckily this doesn’t remind me of the “1919” but this new “1824” isn’t one to be overly enthusiastic about as well. Bugger. At least Angostura was able to show its potential with the old “1824”. By the way, this Rum tastes better in big gulps. You need to concentrate it yourself to get the most out of it.

Well, there goes batch consistency. Quite worrying, the difference between a 2008 and a 2014 bottling can be so great, especially when the newest one isn’t the netter of the two. New and improved? nope, alas. Obviously they didn’t change the taste profile of this Rum with the new glass container it comes in, but if I were you, I would still seek out bottles looking like the one from the previous review. That one had a lot more going for it. This newer bottling is not a bad Rum, but the older one is a bit better better!

Tasting the old and the new “1824” side by side I now notice that the old “1824” is more akin to the old “1919” I tasted earlier. Having said that, the old “1824” is still a lot better than the new “1824” and both are better than the old “1919”. Capiche?

Points: 80

Angostura 12yo “1824” (40%, Circa 2008, Trinidad & Tobago)

A long time ago I reviewed the 8yo Angostura “1919” and to be honest, great quality, but it’s taste is not for me. Since then a long time has passed, tried the “1919” on many occasions and it still didn’t manage to grow on me. Well, sometimes that happens. Something like the saying about the organic matter and the personal-cooling-propellor-device…

As I said a long time has passed without the urge to try more Angostura and why should I, since the now defunct Caroni Rum also comes from Trinidad? I somehow liked all Caroni’s I tried better than Angostura “1919”. Finally time has come to try the older brother of the “1919”. A distinguished gentleman from the drinks business personally recommended me this 12yo “1824”, so I just had to buy it. Here goes…

Angostura 1824 (2008)Color: Copper brown

Nose: Initially sweet, but soon more funky, and dries out over time. Nutty start with nice wet outdoorsy clay. Like running with Wellington’s through the fields in autumn. A wonderful depth I didn’t expect, why? Just read the review of Angostura’s 1919 which turns out to be something completely different from this. Soft elegant notes of wood and even some red fruit scents. Red berries. After the Rum got time to breathe more and more vanilla surfaces, and for a moment I got scared this is developing into the vanilla I remember so well from the 1919. No, in this one it stays in check, it is under control, so to speak. A slightly burnt note appears as well, giving the whole some more oomph. The burnt note combines well with the dry woody notes that lies underneath.

Taste: A thin kind of sweetness to start with, with some burnt caramel and toffee combined with hints of red berries. Nice sugared fruity sweetness. At 40% ABV, it tastes a bit thin, but the aroma’s are lovely. Not overly complex, but it works well as a whole. Nice sweetish and warming. You can sense there is more to this Rum than meets the palate, but it probably is reduced too much, weakening that mystery. I’ve said it before, and I won’t say it again. (Hint: it’s about reducing too much), there, I’ve said it anyway! The funkyness from the nose is present again in the finish and aftertaste, where a sweet and slightly burnt not have the longest breath.

I scoffed a bit at the Angostura 1919. I can recognize the quality of that Rum, but after drinking the whole bottle over a prolonged period of time, I never got around to like it. In the world of Rum it is my main example of a decent Rum I really don’t like. It may work very well for you, but it is most definitely not my cup of tea. This 1824 however very much is my cup of tea. With nice Rum funkyness we know from Jamaican high ester Rum, and Borgoe 15yo to name but a few. Nice.

Points: 85

Rum Week – Day 2: Angostura 1919 (40%, Trinidad & Tobago)

On the site is this snippet of a great story: “After a fire in 1932, which destroyed the Government Rum Bond, the master blender of Fernandes Distillers, J.B. Fernandes, bought the charred casks, only to discover they had been filled in the year 1919.” but also this: “Our rums are 100% Trinidadian, made in one distillery on one Island. Much like a single malt only better” – John Georges, Angostura Master Distiller.

WOW that’s quite a statement! I know a lot of maltheads or connoisseurs of single malt whisky are looking around for something beyond malts, since the original product is getting, more and more outrageous in price. yet, most will tell you that it is to broaden their horizons. Well I’m broadening my horizon here and am very curious how (this) rum will do.

Color: Gold

Nose: Sweet, but not overly sweet. A lot of creamy components. Enormous amounts of vanilla, toffee and custard. Also a little hint of smoke and there is a little bit of wood. Also a little bit of varnish or thinner, and a lot of toffee, caramels and such. Clay. (The blocks they make for children), but otherwise quite simple.

Taste: Sweet and thick. Caramel and woody toffee. The varnish or thinner component is here at the front of the taste, but dissipates with some air. After the initial sweetness, comes a more dry spell. Definitely more woody, like chewing on grand dad’s cedar cigar box. With that it also becomes more thinner and reduced. The finish is the part I liked the least. It has a little burned component to it, that would be great if there was any more, but the rest of the finish is rather thin, and more or less quickly gone.

In essence this is an eight year old blended rum from Trinidad (West Indies). Comparing it to the Diplomatico offering, there is no doubt about it this is the more interesting rum from a single malt point of view, but in all honesty I like the more aromatic and more complex Diplomatico better. Somehow, this 1919 is not my Rum, not for sipping anyway. I’ve drank a whole bottle of this and I think I’m allowed to say so.

Points: 75