Transcontinental Rum Line Trinidad 2002 Friendship Cask

Trinidad Distillers Limited – #3


For the final entry in this quick series, we’ll cover a cult classic of American rum geekery: TCRL’s 2002 Friendship Cask. Its name comes from the fact that the cask was split between the Florida Rum Society and Rumchester. It was column distilled from molasses in 2002, aged 15.7 years in Trinidad, an additional 3.7 years in Europe, then bottled at 63%. 


The oldest of these three is indeed the oakiest. The nose presents campfire smokiness, black pepper, rubber, molasses, and a touch of mint. This is beginning to come across like St. Lucia Vendome distillate, and I’m here for it.

The palate is hot and intense. The minty menthol notes return in full force, now joined by pine needles. There’s some pineapple and passionfruit too, but just the “top end,” whatever that means. Let’s mix metaphors even further and say it has tropical fruit with a high pass filter.


Though it’s only the silver medalist among the three I’ve tried in this series, I can see why this is such a beloved rum: it’s unique, intense, and very flavorful. Maybe I’m sensitive to menthol flavors in spirits, but for me, that note is a bit too dominant here. It feels as though the fruity notes which make the 2003 so good are pushed to margins in the 2002. Regardless, this is very good and, miraculously, still available. (7/10)

Click here to view all posts in my “Trinidad Distillers Limited” series.