Apr 122017
 

Rumaniacs Review #033 | 0433

The Facundo rum series from Bacardi which was launched in 2013, is an attempt by the company to insert itself into the premium market with a series of aged blended rums.  Strictly speaking, it’s not a true Rumaniac vintage (the idea is to write about old stuff that isn’t actually in production any longer), but every now and then a more current expression slips through the cracks without having gone through the process of being recalled only by the elderly, filtered through their fond recollections of where they had been when they first tried it.  You know how it is – when you can’t get the vile crap you had in your younger years any longer, it grows in the memory, somehow getting better each time.

The Paraiso is the top end of the four expressions released under the brand (Neo, Eximo and Exquisito are the others) containing various rums aged up to 23 years, finished in old cognac barrels and is priced to match, though one wonders how much of that is the bottle and enclosure rather than the rum itself.  And of course there’s all the old marketing blather about jealously guarded, never-before-seen, private stocks and family casks meant only for visiting royalty, not the ignoble peasantry.

Colour – red-amber

Strength – 40%

Nose – Briny, soft and mildly fruity, with almonds and vanilla. Some toblerone and a whiff of tobacco. Herbal, grassy notes, and oak, and exactly two grapes. Sweet and light and too damned faint.  Not sure what’s stopping them from boosting it to maybe 45%.

Palate – It may be a blend of old rums, but I think it hews too closely to the formula represented in its downmarket mega-selling cousins.  The thing is too light and too weak in both mouthfeel and taste – there’s no assertiveness here. Caramel (weak). Pears and another two grapes (weak). Alcohol (weak). Vanilla (some). Almonds, oak, breakfast spices (almost nonexistent).  Sugar (too much – I read it has 15-20 g/L when doing my research after the tasting, so now I know why).  Plus, all these flavours blend into each other so it’s just a smooth butter-caramel-vanilla ice cream melange at best.  Did I mention I thought it was too sweet?

Finish – Short, kind of expected at 40%. One last grape. Halwa and Turkish delight (seriously). That is not entirely a recommendation.

Thoughts – Unless you’re a fan of light, easy sipping rums from Cuba (or in that style), and are prepared to drop north of £200, I’d suggest passing on it.  It’s not, as the website suggests, “possibly the finest rum ever sipped,” not even close. Still, the presentation is excellent, and for its strength it has a few pleasant notes — but pleasant is not what we want in something bugled to be this old and this expensive: we want a challenge, a blast from the past, something majestic.  This isn’t it, and frankly, it just annoys me. There’s more and better out there at a lesser price from the same island.

(75/100)

Other Rumaniacs were quite irritated with the rum as well, and their reviews can be found here on the Rumaniacs website.

Dec 272016
 

Rumaniacs Review 027 | 0427

Bacardi has had so many iterations of their rums over the decades, made in Mexico, Puerto Rico or Bermuda (or wherever else they squirrel away production these days), that it’s impossible to state with precision what the genuine article actually is any longer. This version clearly states on the label it was a Puerto Rican rum, six years old, imported into Italy, and I’ve been informed its was made and acquired in the 1980s.  Perhaps it was a forerunner, an experiment, to see whether aged rum sales held promise, and afterwards morphed into the current 8 year old (which isn’t half bad)

Colour – Gold

Strength – 40%

Nose – Dry, almost dusty, very light, grassy and gradually fruity, something vaguely reminiscent of the Alfred Lamb Special Reserve 1949. The fruits are less sweet and more tart – guavas, Thai mangoes yellowed but not soft, unripe pears, with a nearly imperceptible background of flowers and nail polish.

Palate – Light and fresh, yes, perhaps too much so – there’s almost nothing to report, everything has been diluted and dulled down and dampened to the point of nonexistence.  It’s got alcohol, so there’s that, I suppose.  Oak, too much, because there’s too little to balance off against it. Adding water would do no good except to drown it and make what few flavours there were expire without a murmur. Even after half an hour, it evinced little more than the profile of sugar cane juice (without any syrupiness) in which someone mixed some caramel, grapes, vanilla and a lily or two…maybe that was for the funeral, which of course would be in an oak casket.

Finish – Gone so fast it would make The Flash weep with envy.  Again, too faint and vague to appeal – oak dominant, held somewhat in check with clean final scents of half a vanilla stick , a half-hearted squeeze of citrus, one grape and a flower petal.

Thoughts – Perhaps it’s wrong to bring a modern sensibility to a rum made for drinkers from thirty years ago, where Scotch was The Man, vodka was ascendant, cocktails were king and the term “sipping rum” was considered an oxymoron.  Whatever.  It showcases all the current strengths and weaknesses of the brand – column still light rum for easy drinking and mixing, probably at an easy price. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s clean and clear, and better than some modern (and more upscale) Bacardi products.

(77/100)

NB – other Rumaniacs’ reviews of this rum (if any) can be found here.

May 162016
 

bacardi-oro-gold-1970s-rum-001Rumaniacs Review 022 | 0422

On the surface, rums like this one remind one how long Bacardi has been around (as if we could forget);  the Superior has also had a long history – I found a photo dating back to the 1930s.  This one is of more recent vintage, the 1970s, and made in the Bahamas (and that’s where I’ll tag it).  Other versions of this rum were made in Trinidad and Cuba, some white, some not.  The labelling of “Carta de Oro” and “Añejo” and the colour, however, makes this a lightly aged product, less than five years old I’d say, based on taste.

Colour – hay blonde

Strength – 40%

Nose – As light as the morning sunshine on a winter day, so lacking in anything resembling strength I wonder if my sample was mislabelled and it was actually 37.5%. It’s right on the edge of vanishing in a stiff breeze: vanilla, citrus peel, some really weak watermelon and papayas, with the vaguest hint of something unidentifiably tart over the horizon.

Palate – Mild, thin, watery, weak, wussy, bland, feeble, insipid, lifeless.  You can swallow this whole, no problem. The idea of adding water to the rum is an exercise in redundancy. After ten minutes or so one can sense sugar water, light lemon zest, brine, pears, cucumber, and if water had a smell, lots of that.  It barely registers as a rum, though some faint rummy-ness manages to make it out if you search for it.

Finish – Short, vague, here now, gone a second later. Couldn’t sense anything beyond some heat, a little brine and vanilla and (again) light lemon.

Thoughts – This might have been a cocktail mixer back in the day, or a digestif of some kind.  Chuck a lemon and some soda in there (or the perennial coke) and you’d be okay.  As a rum to stand alone, it falls down stone dead without even a feeble twitch.  Maybe I’m bringing a modern sensibility to a rum from Ago, and not taking into account the lighter Spanish style so in vogue in those days: but if Kinloch can produce a Guyanese rum around the same time that could tear all thirty volumes of Encyclopedia Brittanica in half at once, I don’t know what was stopping Bacardi.

(72/100)

Nov 062014
 

D3S_9071

Don’t bash the bat until you’ve given this rum a fair shot.  Because it’s damned good.

(#187 / 87/100)

***

Many – myself among them – believe that one of Bacardi’s more unappreciated rums is the 8-year-old, and I’d argue the Reserva Limitada joins the club…and even dials it up a few notches.

The company may sell more rum than anyone else, has enormous (and heavily criticized) tax breaks and subsidies to keep its costs down, is a global juggernaut of the entry-level rums, but at the upper end of the scale has a real bad rep with rum lovers who just disdain it. So if Bacardi wanted to break into the rarefied realms of stratospherically-priced premium rums lovingly issued by craft bottlers, they did well with this one.  And yet, many who taste this rum will express their “surprise,” and how “unexpected” it is.  But it shouldn’t be: one can’t be in the rum making business for over a hundred years and not pick up something, right.  The real mystery is what took so damned long, and why they can’t do better, more often.

Still,  let’s just move away from any preconceptions we might have regarding the brand, and simply address what I tasted that day: a dark amber rum in a standard bottle (I didn’t see a box, but a quick search confirms it comes with one) bottled at — what is now, for me — a mild 40%. (Interestingly enough, while I meant it when I said dark amber, some photographs online suggest a lighter colour, almost honey-like).  The nose demonstrated a solid, creamy nose of coconut, some fruit, burnt sugar, even nougat… and a touch of mischief thrown in via a flirt of lemon peel.  Some clove and cinnamon danced around there after opening up.  It was well done: there was nothing truly exciting or freakishly adventurous about it — it probably wouldn’t be a Bacardi if it exhibited such traits — just above-average quality.

Same for the taste. Soft, smooth, sweet, it was a baby’s drowsy kiss to your palate.  It was a really good melange of coconut shavings, banana, almonds, caramel, raisins, honey, some allspice and cinnamon; even some freshly baked bread.  Barely any smoke and leather or tannins from the ageing. I’m hoping that they didn’t cram sugar into the thing to smoothen it out – that would be a real shame (yet I can’t rid myself of the thought). The mouthfeel at 40% held to that unwarlike temper to which I had become accustomed in my recent enjoyable battles with full-proofs – gentle and easygoing, almost creamy, with merely a nip of the alcohol bite, far from unpleasant.  As for the fade, pretty decent for a milquetoast offering – soft and lasting, with all those rich scents taking their bow before departing.

D3S_9072

Bacardi does this so very well: they don’t seek the edge of the envelope, they don’t shoot for the stars, they don’t go off the reservation.  They simply, day in and day out, make rums that are a slight cut above the ordinary for their age, type and price point. Okay, the cost for this rum is pushing it for the masses that drink and move the brand by the tankerload, yet it must be conceded that it’s being marketed as a premium rum, and so perhaps a different audience is being sought.

This rum apparently hailed from stocks which were reserved for the founder’s family, and were released rarely – commercial production began in 2003, and one supposedly had to go to Puerto Rico to get any, up until 2010 when it began to be released more widely.  Varying online sources mention that the age of the blends comprising the rum is 12-18 years and averaged 16 years (one noted that this average is now 12 years, another said 15) and aged in lightly charred American oak.  The 2010 press release noted 10-16 years. I found it enormously irritating that the Bacardi website itself didn’t mention a damned thing about it. What does it say about a marketing strategy in today’s world, that you get the most information from re-sellers, online shops and hobby sites, rather than from the actual manufacturers?

In the end, whatever the background material (or lack of it) says, I think Bacardi’s Reserva Limitada is neither a cult object, nor a brave miss nor even a “flawed masterpiece”.  It is, simply, a solidly excellent rum, well made, carefully put together, showing real care and attention —  I enjoyed it a lot. And if it is, at 40%, a little to weak for my own personal taste these days, it sure won’t let down legions of its drinkers, who might just be encouraged by this review to pony up the coin which the bottle will cost them – or at least for the cost of a shot in a bar somewhere.  In that case, I honestly don’t think they’ll be disappointed.

 D3S_9071-001

Other notes

Bacardi’s strategy mystifies me.  The rum is a blend limited to 8,000 bottles per year, which many boutique makers would be proud to issue: and as noted, it’s a very good rum, great for sipping. My question is, why blend it at all?  Why not issue an age-specific or even a year-specific rum and ratchet up the advertising to tout its uniqueness?  What’s with the anaemic 40% – this thing could easily be a shade stronger and deliver more punch. And then really earn its “premium” cachet.

Update, March 2017 – Interesting how things develop. I looked at this rum again in passing last week as I was comparing a number of others in Berlin.  In just three years, it’s sunk in my estimation.  Blind, I scored it 78 on this go-around, and it was largely because of my tastes gravitating towards pure pot still rums, and because of the 40%.  It’s still a decent rum and beats out the Paraiso…but is left way behind, by all the amazing rums that have emerged since that time when I first tried it.

 

Mar 262013
 

First posted December 3rd, 2010 on Liquorature

Bacardi Black is a deep, dark rich mixer’s drink just the right side of sweet enough, but lacks the cojones to be a decent sipper on its own merits. 

(#054. 77/100)

***

The mainstays of Bacardi’s massive sales are, to my mind, the low-enders: those rums not good enough to stand on their own, but which have a bold taste, a decent body and – somewhat like Johnny Walker – sufficient overall quality to be a cut above the average.  The normal Joe who walks into a liquor store isn’t after all, looking for a life-changing experience: he’s looking for a decent drink at a good price that won’t make him void his bowels, lose his sight and tie his alimentary canal up into a complex knot.

Such a rum is the Bacardi Black, which I will tell you right out, is not a sipping rum by any stretch of the imagination (unless you like low enders to sip and cause you pain) but will liven up any drink you make with it. It’s a cocktail base, pure and simple, and should be treated as such and I must be equally honest and tell you it’s one of the best out there at its price point (less than $30 for 750ml). I should also point out, however that the Black is no longer available as the Black since it has now been replaced as the Bacardi Select rum. Dunno what difference there is between the two.

You can almost always tell tipple for the masses: with a very few exceptions, almost no care is taken tartin’ ‘er up, and this is no exception.  Tin foil cap.  Cheap label with bare minimum of facts.  A reekingly pungent nose that only reluctantly releases its claws and puffs a grudging fart of caramel into your face like a baby’s bum at the exact wrong time. A thin little toot, you understand…the Black is not a heavy dark rum.  But to some extent you are compensated by a transformation of the initial caramel whiff into light cinnamon, some bonbons, and a weakly burnt-wood belch.

The body is, as I say, not for sipping.  A tad on the thin side, tasting of oak and carmel, some vanilla and maybe nuts.  But oddly, for a rum this dark, there is a lack of boldness and assertiveness, a lack of sweet, that’s somewhat at odds with its aggressive styling and bold dark looks: it’s as if Will Smith turned into a wuss, or something.  And that finish: ugh. Lousy. Hobbesian, truth be told – nasty, brutish and short.

I know I’m making a case that this is just another piece of dreck.  But it’s not, really – it’s just not meant to be had neat (and my apologies to all of you who have tried it that way and liked it – but you need to trade up). As a mixer in cocktails it’s actually really good….its weaknesses are compensated for by whatever we chose to add to it.

Bacardi’s 20 million cases of annual sales are more than just a question of a stable of brands or a favourable tariff regime with the US.  They have simply, and for generations, made a damn fine series of rums.  What they lack in uber-quality and premium labelling (they have nothing to even breathe upon the Appleton 30 or DDL’s aged offerings), they make up for in volume of decently distilled spirits that appeal widely because of both their overall quality (sold cheaply) and their ubiquity. I’ve found Bacardis the world over and always affordable, almost always better than the local hooch.

By eschewing top-end and exclusive premium rums and concentrating on making a series of excellent mid- and low-tier products – like the Black and the Gold – Bacardi have essentially created what every manufacturer dreams of making just once and then selling a jillion.  Simply put, with the Black and its like, Bacardi have made the Model T of rums.

 

Mar 262013
 

First posted 17 September 2010 on Liquorature (#053)

A tentative foray, a single spy, sent into the camp of the premium rums, perhaps to scout out the territory for further invasions to come (we can hope).  Capture one and be surprised by its low price and overall quality. If Bacardi can make this one, I don’t know why they don’t come charging into the high-end market in force.

***

Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes find stronger notes and more positive tastes at the middle and lower end of the price and snoot scale;  more premium rated rums can get their cachet from age statements, distillery snobbery and the supposed excellence and uniqueness of their maturation process…but don’t consistently please (or awe) the drinker any more than a regular rum could (sometimes even less). A lesson that does not seem to have been lost on the subject of this review: the 8 year old Bacardi.

Observe this brand.  It’s the best selling rum in the world.  It smartly moved its operations to Puerto Rico and then to Mexico in the pre-WW2 years to take advantage of favourable tariff regimes with the US, and created a marketing campaign which made it the pre-eminent tropical drink of its time.  A series of extremely capable family members (some of them in-laws) kept the voting shares and quality control up to scratch into the modern era.  And yet, it is considered fashionable today to bash the brand for its commonality and staid middle-of-the-roadishness.

Part of that is its utility.  The damned thing can be used for anything.  You can cook with it, drink it, mix it, use it as a base, an ingredient or a mixer. It has no real character except its lack of one.  It’s bland.  It’s like the a ’40s jeep or ’50s Land Rover or ’70s Toyota.  It’s the faceless English banker, the anonymous Japanese salaryman  of rums.  It is, succintly put, often seen as boring. But my lord, does it ever sell. The gold, the black, the white…they can be found everywhere

The 8-year old is something else again. Bacardi blends for the most part, but they’ve taken the time to put together this tawny golden blend of rums aged eight to sixteen years old and aged in used white oak barrels that once held sherry.  This might account for a softer and more candied nose than one might expect from what could be seen as just another young rum. It’s a tad sharp, yet not so medicinal as others I’ve had.  I’ve always meant to try it for that alone.

Tasting is a surprising delight: the slight sting to the nose disappears entirely, and a body of some substance makes sipping this without ice a definite must-try. It’s not as sweet as other rums, and the arrival on the throat is more like a dry, rich brandy, or the Bruichladdich Renegade rums.  It’s got a solid flavour profile, with traces of vanilla, nutmeg and light fruity undertones, perhaps peaches.  More to the point, it has real body, not some kind of anorexic thinness reminiscent of its cheaper cousins further down the scale.  And the finish is excellent, with a slow deep burn, not a sting: this rum is more like a decent whisky, I judge, with just enough sugar in it to keep me liking it.  A lot. I’d sip it straight with no problems, on ice without doubt, and as a mixer in any situation.

Bacardi 8 does not try for superiority (although the packaging is quite decent for its price and age…I particularly liked the cork stopper). It really is a good mid ranger, and in its own way, defines what a good rum could be if it doesn’t hanker after any kind of pretentiousness.  A superstar it’ll never be: as an all rounder, it may be one of those undiscovered steals that those who patronize the low-end rums feel is a find all their own, and they’d be right to think so. You wouldn’t be wasting your thirty-plus bucks if you dropped them on this quietly impressive product.

Mar 242013
 

First Posted 27 Nov 2010 on Liquorature

(#049. 73.5/100)

A pleasant mixer but not worth it as a sipper…like a date you want to kiss but really aren’t sure you want to bring home just yet.

***

I’m at a loss to say what Bacardi 1873 is, based on what I’m reading.  Research is maddeningly inconclusive: Is it a solera, as some bottles advertise themselves to be, or a standard blend of some kind?  Some sources suggest that it’s an aged blend that has now been replaced by the eight year old.  I hesitate to commit myself to any of these positions, because while I can tell my bottle is definitely not a solera (that is usually clearly identified as such on the bottle, and the one I sampled makes no mention of it), I can’t ascertain anything else.

It would also appear that the few rum reviews out there are at odds on whether it is discontinued or not, and if so, replaced by what.  Bacardi’s own (woefully inadequate) website is hardly a fount of information on the matter and thus far they have ignored my inquiries. On the other hand, Chip Dykstra of the RumHowler Blog was as helpful as ever, and responded that while the 1873 started life as a Solera made in Puerto Rico, production was subsequently moved to Mexico and the specialized solera method was discontinued.

Faced with this dilemna, a reviewer does what he can: he directs an inquiry at the distiller, does as careful a tasting as he is able, and puts a picture of the bottle up to ensure that readers know precisely what they’re reading a review of.  And this is what I’ve attempted to do.

Price wise, nothing to say. About $35.  Bottle, not the rounded shape of the standard Bacardi’s like Black, Gold or White, but more squared off.  Cap – >>sigh << – cheap crap tinfoil press-on.  I won’t go so far as to say these initial indications denote low-end, but it does seem to be trending that way.  On the other hand, I like the rich and deep amber-gold colour of the rum as the light strikes it (something I’ve attempted to show in the picture I took).

Working on the assumption that this is a blend, the trick is to see if a decent tasting can suggest, with a fair degree of assurance, whether it’s an old or young one running up the spine.

On those nose, there is a surprising lack of any kind of spirit burn on the initial sniff, just soft vanilla notes wrapped around a caramel and burnt sugar core. There is a hint of oaken tannins on the back end which suggest some level of ageing, but it’s impossible to say how much: the relatively simple nose doesn’t lend itself much to dissection.  I need to mention, though, that after I left my glass to stand for a bit, a sly citrus hint came sliding out of the softer background of vanilla.

The palate confirmed the overall lack of complexity the nose had suggested.  The body of the 1873 was lighter than I expected for something of this copper-brown/amber coloured hue; and slightly sweet without overpowering you with sugar, and a shade dry (not as much as the Bermudez, however). The rum is spicy, packing a light stinging burn on the tongue, yet perseverance elicits the taste of dried fruits as well, the nonsweet kind, like dates, perhaps; this last is very faint and is no more than a light impression. As for the finish, it’s short and sharp, and the medicinal fumes which thus far escaped you are back to claw their way up your throat and spoil what so far had been an unremarkable, but also not particularly bad, rum.

I’m really not impressed with the 1873 on its own – this one seems to be tailor made for a cocktail base of some kind, and indeed, as a mixer with the usual suspects, I really enjoyed it. I believe it to be a blend of rums aged no more than five years. As a sort of general product, it doesn’t try to be any one thing, but too many, and there we may have hit on the reason for its lack of success with me.  The makers never got around to hanging their hat on any kind of flavour profile, while trying to please everyone: that marks it out as a low-ender, to my mind.

I sometimes wonder how much rum-lovers’ tastes the world over are formed from early exposure to the best selling rum in the world.  When  you think about it, drinkers who start with scotch appreciate the drier, not so sweet variations that hark back to whisky and cognac, while also liking the sweeter, more full-bodied stuff; but drinkers who began with Bacardi and never strayed from the true faith tend to like the former somewhat less, and concentrate their love on the latter. This private theory of mine is anecdotal at best, but who knows.

Be that as it may, Bacardi 1873 is a pleasant blend of no great sophistication, and sports its youthful physique and unpretentious nature like any teenager that ever lived but fails on the finish line. It’s main selling point might be that it’s a cut above the black and gold variations, and works exceedingly well as a mixer. For some, it might work as a low-end, none too stellar sipper (something like the El Dorado 5 yr or English Harbour 5 yr)…not for me, though.

 

Mar 242013
 

First published 01 October 2010. #037

This deep-throated bellowing maniac of a rum does almost nothing well – but one thing so grandly it borders on Van Gogh-level insanity: it hits you in the face.  A lot.  It doesn’t stop, ever. Welcome to the lost week of your life.

***

Even in the world of lesser rums, there is such a thing as subtlety…a whiff of class, or style, be it ever so humble. Bacardi, with this 151 proof beefcake, sneered long and loudly and stated flat out that they wanted no truck with that kind of pansy nonsense.  They stayed as far away from the notion of class as they could, and made a popskull that reminds you of nothing so much as the liquid equivalent of a Tarantino movie, or a permanently pissed off woman packing an Uzi in either hand. The rum acts like Bacardi decided to build some kind of high test which jet engines can run on and set altitude records. It’s as if they let some mad scientist out of their chemistry lab and he went ape while unsupervised.

Bacardi 151 is absolutely not a for the weak. If you’re merely average, then make your will, alert your relatives that the possible cost of long term health care will be theirs, and ensure the insurance is paid up.  Kiss your significant other tenderly one last time. If you’re still single, well, you may be in luck, ‘cause after a shot or ten of this massive ethanol delivery system, you will think just about any girl and maybe even the neighbor’s dog is fair game. And I have to state up front: with a rum this powerful, clear health advisories are in order.  Do not drink while smoking, or when camping out and stoking the fire.  The 151 is as flammable as hell: giving vent to a loud fart or indulging your propensity to bloviate may leave you as a rapidly decomposing burnt amoebic mess on the floor.

Because Bacardi 151 is quite simply, nuts.  It blows out your sniffing nose at 500 hp and 8000 rpm, and when you’ve recovered breath, rediscovered your voice and stopped crying like a little girl, it thunders down your throat with a tonsil-ripping 600 ft-lbs of torque.  Zero to drunk arrives in 2.5 shots – yeah, go ahead, try it – and that figure is only marginally exaggerated.  Generations of insects will expire on your exhale, and professional flamethrowers will avoid you like the plague.  Other drunks at the bar will only vaguely remember seeing a flash of alcohol fumes as your sobriety disappears over the horizon in a cloud of vaporized rum.

In between the waves of spirit and ethanol burns waft tantalizing hints of something warm and caramel like. Hey, if you don’t mind some suffering and try a second sniff or a real taste, you can probably pick out the molasses and the burnt sugar, plus – and I’m reaching here – vanilla (I was comforting my throat with EH25 and weeping into my wife’s shoulder a the time so my memories are a little hazy).  But these are like bunny rabbits in a cane field of jaguars and have about as much chance: the 151 swiftly, efficiently and mercilessly hunts them down, eviscerates them with sharp ethanol claws and has them for lunch. You only think you noticed such warm and comforting scents and tastes before reality invades your fantasy and you are ravaged yet again.

Bacardi’s makers took a rum aged a minimum of one year, snickered into their mustaches, and distilled it to a whopping 75.5%. At that strength, it’s kind of irrelevant what kind of barrels they age it in…they could age it in my son’s potty with a diaper floating in it, and the next morning both diaper and potty would be gone. That also makes it one of a select few overproofs in the world today: their own 151 Dark, or the Stroh 80, Sunset Very Strong, the SMWS Longpond 9 year old 81.2% or poorer bastard cousins like the Wray & Nephew White Overproof (a mild 63%) or the Stroh 54 (at which you can just see Bacardi laughing hysterically whenever they name it).  The company can, of course, indulge itself in such cheerfully infantile pursuits – selling more rum than just about every nation on the planet allows it to pretty much create anything they feel like.

Making this one, they may not have attempted to create a superrum. But for my money, they sure as hell gave birth to a rum like few others. Which probably means that, as with other overporoofs like the Stroh 80, you’re more likely to run out of bar patrons than a bottle of this stuff – or cojones, or whatever other words the Puerto Ricans use for “courageously stupid.”  It’s not quite my thing and I’m not masochistic enough to try 151 on a consistent basis, however grudging an affection I may have for it: but that this rum exists at all is reason enough to admire it.

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