Rum Review: Angostura 1824
Angostura 1824 Trinidad & Tobago Caribbean Hand Casked Premium Rum
While everyone who’s ever had a cocktail has heard of Angostura, many do not realize that Trinidad’s House of Angostura produces much more than its namesake bitters. From bulk third-party rums to fine aged rums, Angostura has a lot going on. Among their older and pricier blends is the Angostura 1824–a premium hand-casked rum that is aged in charred American oak for a minimum of twelve years, bottled at 40% ABV, and priced at about $50 US. Let’s crack open a bottle and see what we have here.
The bottle itself is quite different than the other bottles in my collection. It’s square bottom shows about a half inch of thick clear glass before the copper rum can be seen. The black and gold label is necessarily small given the bottle’s form factor–no marketing lingo or extraneous messaging here; it’s simply Angostura 1824. On the neck of the bottle is an age statement that I’m lead to believe is a true twelve years (many, if not most producers’ age statements typically refer to the oldest rum in the blend, not the overall age or youngest rum in the bottle). Topping off the handsome bottle is a wood cap and natural cork stopper. A nice presentation to be sure, but how’s it taste?
I poured a few ounces into my tasting snifter and swirled which produced a severely thin ring at the top of the bowl. Even a minute later, the droplets were still descending. The color is a golden copper bronze that has more brown highlights than red.
Going in for a smell, I detect virtually no astringency. The initial aroma is of of orange creme, followed by banana and vanilla. A slight cherry note then gives way to toffee and oak. I detect no spice notes to speak of, but that may change once we taste, so let’s continue.
As the 1824 hits my palate, oak is the first flavor I detect. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I expected given the viscosity demonstrated in the snifter. A second sip provides another dose of oak followed by spice notes reminiscent of allspice and pepper. There is also a dusty component here. The taste belies the aromas of fruit creme pies, and I’m now feeling like I’ve been the victim of a bait and switch. More investigation is necessary. The sweetness is moderate, and now on the third pass I can start to detect the vanilla and creme notes I smelled earlier, but the woodiness is really the star of the show here, and not in a good way. It’s almost like a Cognac barrel-finished rum, but not as nuanced. The finish is long with pepper and lemon notes, but my mouth is simply not happy.
Wow, given that this is nearly the top of the Angostura rum line, I really had high hopes for the 1824, but there is a real lack of dynamism in the glass. The oak notes are overpowering, and there is no mid-palate excitement. For $50, I’m sorry, but I must demand more.
On to the scores:
- Appearance 1/1
- Aroma 1.5/2
- Mouth feel .5/1
- Taste 2.5/4
- Aftertaste 1.5/2
- Total 7/10
Have you tried the Angostura 1824? I’d love to hear your comments below!