~5 years in oak barrels
Alcohol by volume:
"Early Landed Cognac" is a term used to describe a cognac maturing in Great Britain. What's so mysterious about that?
Well, cognac can be proudly called cognac because it comes from Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and is subject to obligatory certification appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC).
But let's take Hine for example - the spirit is initially aged for two years in the Jarnac region, and since it can be rightfully called cognac, it is sent to Great Britain to rest a little more there. John Barrett adopted a similar method for the Bristol Brandy Company cognacs (est. 1973). He renamed it twenty years later into Bristol Spirits Limited and began using the 'early landed' method on rum imported from the Caribbean.
The dark, cool and damp quarry near Wickwar provides conditions quite different from the tropical climate's relentless heat. A drastic aging temperature reduction slows down the rum interaction with the barrel and significantly reduces the evaporation volume (angel's share). However, at high environment humidity alcohol precipitates faster than water so over time the alcohol volume of the barrel decreases. Therefore the rum aging location affects both the technological and financial aspects.
That's not all - there is also an ideological aspect. The legendary Luca Gargano is of the opinion that referring to the rum origin is only valid if the place of aging is the same as the production place. Rum distilled in Barbados is therefore not Barbados rum if it has been aged in Europe. According to Luca fair name would be here, quote “Gargano Pure Single Rum. Made with Caribbean rums". So I look at the Bristol Classic Rum Caribbean Collection label and I wonder if Luca frowns?
It says at the front label 'fine blend of Trinidad rums', 'produce of Trinidad & Tobago' and 'selected & bottled by Bristol Spirits Limited' and at the reverse 'produced at Caroni distillery'. Furthermore you will find on the manufacturer's website the following description: 'blend of golden island rums, matured in England for an average of five years'. Indeed, theFatRumPirate consulted John and confirmed the presence of young Caroni aged in the UK.
So I would be very pleased except that my bottle has a new label design and also a slightly different content. The mention of Caroni disappeared from the reverse and was replaced by 'produced by Trinidad Distillers'. Which means Angostura. It seems that Caroni at a really affordable price disappeared from the market irreversibly (the distillery gates were closed in 2003).
Let's summarize similarities between current and previous versions: Trinidad sugarcane, column distillation, aging in oak barrels, no sweetening, 40% abv. And differences: distillation at Caroni with five years of continental aging previously. And currently distillation at Trinidad Distillers Limited, similarly long, but I'm not sure where exactly.