Rum Journal: Trinidad’s Angostura 1824


IT’S A COMPANY known around the world for its trademark bitters, but Trinidad’s Angostura is also a leading force in the rum world.

It’s been 189 years since Dr Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert perfected his recipe for Angostura Bitters (named for the town in nearby Venezuela in which he lived). In 1949, Angostura established Trinidad Distillers Limited (although the Siegerts had been blending rum for decades already), a modern commercial distillery in Trinidad’s Laventille.

And it’s that history, and heritage, that is evident in the company’s products, particularly its higher-end aged rums.

Angostura currently produces five rum blends, from the Angostura Reserva white rum to the Angostura 1824 Limited Reserve (the distillery is also home to Rum Journal favourite Zaya) And in the interest of historical research, Rum Journal decided to try the top-of-the-line, the 1824.

The company says Angostura 1824 is a “blend of the finest mature rums, hand-picked by the Master Blender from selected casks.”

The rums are aged in charred American oak barrels for “a minimum of 12 years,” then hand-blended and re-casked.

The 1824 has an aroma of cherry, oak and spice. Its colour is a dark amber.

The flavour is robust and spicy — caramel, wood, dried fruit, even a hint of licorice (and, if you close your eyes, you might be able to taste the slightest hint of bitters, too).

Trinidad’s 1824 has the sheer strength of the best Jamaican rums but with a certain refinement and complexity.

Angostura’s 1824 is a powerhouse rum. And an early contender for Rum of the Year.

— CJ