How exclusive is Caroni?

Hi guys,

It might seem a naïve question or maybe creating a small controversy, but is Caroni that exclusive to justify such sky high prices?

I understand it’s a dead closed distillery, it has a great story behind.
BUT, do we have an idea of the cask stock Velier bought, and do we know how many are still available?

There might still be tens of thousands of casks available, selling bottle at 2k seems o
Slightly overpriced (?).


I also keep asking myself these questions repeatedly. As often is the case with high-priced products, several factors come into play:

  1. Caroni (especially the older releases) simply possess a unique, almost unmistakable flavor. Undertones like diesel, dirt, rubber tires, gas station, and so on are not just tolerated but also desired. If one wants to experience the original Caroni taste, they must purchase an original Caroni.

  2. Caroni is genuinely limited in terms of the absolute available quantity (as opposed to the “artificial” limitation of existing distilleries). Supply will run out some day. The current prices already consider the fact that there will be nothing left at some point. FOMO comes in.

  3. Collectors and investors naturally anticipate that one day the last drop of Caroni will leave the cask, and they are willing to pay high prices for what they can get. Auction prices confirm this.

  4. Bottlers and sellers are well aware of the current prices Caroni fetches at auctions and that they can demand almost anything for a genuine Caroni in the current environment. The likelihood is high that they will eventually sell it.

I am not an expert on Caroni, as there are much more knowledgeable members here. But these are my impressions and insights that I have gathered in the last few months on this forum and in conversations with rum enthusiasts.

I understand that people are willing to spend a lot of money for a good experience. However, when it comes to four-figure prices, as is not uncommon with Caroni, I would say: The hype feeds the hype. (This, of course, applies to some other brands or bottlers as well).

At all: If my assessments should be incorrect, please correct me. I would like to understand Caroni better myself.


First, Portman, thanks for your thoughtful answer!

Even though I believe you are very right regarding the Caroni unique tasts, I would guess that Caroni bottles have among the lowest openning rate.

There is a real limitation in number of bottles, but if they keep coming with new bottles for 5 years or 20 years, it should make a difference. I think indeed FOMO is well established on Caronis.

The million dollar is, to what extent is it speculation and if so, how high can it fly?
They maybe had the same questions regarding Karuizawa whisky at first…


To me Caroni is not “exclusive” more like a hype that people have decided to jump in on, thus the high prices.



Der Markt bestimmt selbst über seine Preise. Wenn keiner die Flaschen kaufen würde, würden die Preise sinken. Durch Inflation, Hype und das große Vorbild Whisky sehen viele Sammler Caroni als die große Investment-Chance im Rum. Bis der Markt nicht zusammenbricht, wird hier keine Preissenkung stattfinden.

Viel interessanter wäre aber die Diskussion, was die Preise/Exklusivität mit dem Geschmack zu tun haben. Es muss zB auch “schlechte” Abfüllungen von Caroni geben. Tatsächlich hat der Name aber eine dermaßene Strahlkraft, daß Bewertungen unterhalb von 80 (sehr gut) quasi nur als Ausreißer vorkommen. Womit wir wieder beim Lieblingsthema: “Was bewerten wir eigentlich?” sind. Den Rum oder das Produkt an sich inkl. Prestige, Flasche, Preis.


From the latest talk I had with a few knowledgeable bottlers, I was informed that there should be around 300 casks of original Caroni left, worldwide


also, die verwässerten Bristol Caronis, Mezan etc. haben es bei mir allesamt nicht über die 75 Punkte Marke geschafft


I have some Caronie Bottles. But all from Bristol or Kill Devil. I bought all between 200-250Euro. All for drinking because i love the caroni taste. It is importand to say that the hype is about the velier caroni and new releases are probably expensive to jump on the hype train or the barrels are more expensive. I don’t know that. But when you look at Demerara Rums from Velier the Question is, if the Hype is more about Velier than about Caroni :laughing::sweat_smile::yum:. In the End they bottled the rare stuff first. So i think as often talked about it is the market in the end which makes the prices.


Ich sprach ja auch von Ausreißern. Mir fiel da vor allem SBS The Beast ein.


Richtig. Widerliches Zeug für über 300Euro… also rein subjektiv natürlich. Dieser seifig schmierige Anteil ging gar nicht. Wer möchte, hab noch 2cl in der Sample Liste :innocent:


Was bedeutet “verwässert” in dem Zusammenhang? Sind die geblendet?




ich meinte solche, wie den VSOC oder Felicite Gold, die auf 40% ABV reduziert sind. Da ist fast nix mehr von dem typischen Caroni-Profil wahrnehmbar


I discovered English rums with « The Last », I found it clearly the best alcohol ever tasted and I have a friend that is a whisky enthusiast for more than 25 years.

So Caroni is not an unjustified hype.
Of course you have not so good Caronis, watered down, with problematic casks or just less interesting.
But in general I just love the huge benefit of those strange mechanical workshop aromas. They give incredible depth and breadth to the rum’s usual aromas.

I love rum in general and I’m so happy to see huge differences between raw material, countries, distillers, marks, maturation and barrels. But as a fan of the distillery, I found also a world of differences between each bottle put on the market. I find myself like an explorer sometimes.

For me, those Caroni aromas are the key because they give depth and breadth. That’s one of the things I love most when sipping a rum. Only a few really old, rare and really expensive whiskies can satisfy me on that aspect.

So for me, the passion for Caroni is first of all based on taste and pleasure.


I share that view, but at the same time you also confirm what has been stated before:

The “justified” hype is mainly around the Velier releases, be it the Caroni Single Casks or the Velier Demerara bottles (Skeldon etc.).

99% of the other releases that use the “leftover” stock consists of mediocre to good 97/98 casks that are solid at best, but far away from the original stock that Luca Gargano secured (with very few exceptions). But most of these releases also get priced in no relation to their quality any more, instead are way overpriced and just tacking on the success of the Velier bottles.


Da hätte ich auch noch 3cl vom S.B.S The Beast #3, wenn jemand genug Mut hat diesen zu trinken


At least someone answered the original question :sweat_smile:

I was hoping for someone who has Steffens book at hand to chime in (if that topic is covered in there).
Until then I can only contribute my superficial knowledge:
From Veliers side, it is more or less known that there are only a few casks left. “The Last” was indeed the last release where multiple casks were combined into an outturn of 1000–5000 bottles. The remaining casks, identified as “the best” or “most special” were filled into glass (dame jeannes) and are to be released in the paradise sereies (#1 and #2 already out, at least 15 more to come, as documented in the epic velier tasting). After that, it’s more or less it from Veliers side. Maybe a couple of casks left in Lucas cellar, but overall my guess would be <20 casks.

Bristol was another major buyer, no idea how much they bought and how many are left. The number provided by @Steffmaus feels a bit on the low side, but at least it’s a ballbark. There are definetly not several thousands left.

The prices are a combination of taste and rarity. Tastewise, Veliers stuff has the edge, that why they are leading the price curve as well.


I also think, that the mechanical taste is unmatched until these days and thats the key element for me. If there is any other cheaper rum that tastes like oil, tar, diesel etc. and has not an alcoholic taste, I would buy it instead. Until then Caroni is the nonplusultra for that kind of tastes.


Die nummer 1 ist OK aber 2 und 3 sind nicht gut :slight_smile:


You gave a better note to the no 2 (80), than to the no 1 (76). The number 3 instead seems really bad.