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 iswhen 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.

Colourred-amber

Strength – 40%

NoseBriny, 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%.

PalateIt 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 tastethere’s no assertiveness here. Caramel (weak). Pears and another two grapes (weak). Alcohol (weak). Vanilla (some). Almonds, oak, breakfast spices (almost nonexistent). Sugar (too muchI 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?

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

ThoughtsUnless 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 notesbut 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)

ColourGold

Strength – 40%

NoseDry, 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 tartguavas, Thai mangoes yellowed but not soft, unripe pears, with a nearly imperceptible background of flowers and nail polish.

PalateLight and fresh, yes, perhaps too much sothere’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 twomaybe that was for the funeral, which of course would be in an oak casket.

FinishGone so fast it would make The Flash weep with envy. Again, too faint and vague to appealoak 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.

ThoughtsPerhaps 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 termsipping rumwas considered an oxymoron. Whatever. It showcases all the current strengths and weaknesses of the brandcolumn 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)

NBother Rumaniacsreviews of this rum (if any) can be found here.