Raising Glasses Trinidad 8yo – “Guardians”

American independent bottler Raising Glasses released a series of 375ml cask strength rums in 2022, among which was an eight year old Trinidadian rum. After being column distilled from molasses in 2014, it was aged six years in Trinidad then an additional two years in the United Kingdom. It was bottled for the U.S. market at 67.9%.


The nose is earthy, herbal, and a little smoky. I get notes of geosmin, burnt orange, cigarette ash, dried mint, and black pepper. There’s also a good bit of rubber, which, despite the other smoky notes, is not burning. Just nice, room temperature rubber.

On the palate, I get leather, orange hard candy, smoked meat, tobacco, thyme, sandalwood, milk chocolate, menthol, vanilla, cola, and even some passionfruit which I was not expecting. There’s lots of cask influence here, but the distillate stands up to it very well, especially with addition of water.


I wasn’t optimistic about this at first, but it really won me over by the end of the glass. While it initially came across as hot and vaguely bourbony, a little water and time revealed a lot of character and balance. I would gladly recommend this to anyone who already enjoys rums from Trinidad or St. Lucia, and it may also be a good branching-out bottle for those just getting into rum.

By the way, I love what Raising Glasses is doing. Interesting, cask strength rums in 375ml bottles, available around $40? I’m here for it. With other brands like Hamilton, Down Island, and Holmes Cay putting out some great rums in the last couple years, I’m more optimistic about the state of independently bottled rum in the U.S. than I ever have been. (7/10)