Trinidad and Tobago is a country of wetlands, and rivers, mountains and plains. This Caribbean country happens to be the most cosmopolitan of all in the region, and its inhabitants are credited with the invention of the steel pan, the only musical instrument that was invented in the 20th century.
Trinidad and Tobago is home to Angostura bitters, and the finest light rums.
Mr Siegert, the surgeon general of Bolivar’s army in Venezuela, invented angostura aromatic bitters and later decided to transfer the production to Port-of-Spain in Trinidad.
Only three individuals know the full recipe, and when I visited the distillery a few decades ago, my guide declines to even show me the room where the product is blended. Talk about being secretive!
Regardless, Angostura bitters is unique and no bartender worth his/her sale can create cocktails without it. Most North American rum drinkers think of established brands that are advertised all the time. The House of Angostura, established in 1824 produces four fine rums from locally grown sugar cane.
I had the opportunity to taste them recently.
Angostura Five Year Old
Blend of rums, is aged for a minimum of five years unlike other rums where the average age is five.
This golden coloured rum, with coconut, caramel and lemon aromas is enticing. Smooth, with notes of mangoes and bananas. Pleasant and appropriate for cocktails.
Seven Year Old
Rich hue of deep mahogany; emanates aromas of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, coffee, spices and oak. Refined smooth rum to enjoy on its own or in cocktails.
A blend of eight year old rums, aged in second fill Bourbon barrels. Luminescent golden-amber in colour. Rounded, dry palate with caramel, vanilla, roasted nuts, spices, and smoke flavours. Smooth and mellow.
Enjoy after an extended meal, in a snifter.
A blend of 12-year-old rums aged in second fill Bourbon whiskey barrels.
Dark golden colour with hints of amber. Aromas of honey, vanilla dominate the nose. On the palate, chocolate, spices tropical fruit flavours become evident.
Sophisticated, ethereal, and elegant rum to sip, and reflect on the lush scenery of the country.