This series of Rumaniacs reviews (R-149 to R-154) we’ll be looking at over the next week or two, is a set of Bacardis from the 1970s to the 1990s that were all part of a small collection I picked up, spanning three decades, and made in Mexico and Puerto Rico – they display something of what rums from that bygone era was like, and the final review will have a series of notes summing up what few conclusions we may be able to draw.
This Bacardi Superior noted as being “Silver Label” is the doddering uncle of the set. The label refers to an 80 proof 1/10 pint white rum, which suggests the pre-1980 dating after which ABV and a metric system common (in the USA) – the rum of that title continued to be made until the 1980s after which it just became Ron Bacardi Superior. Puerto Rico is where the facilities of the company are headquartered, of course, so there’s little to be gathered here. It’s entirely possible that it goes back even to the 1960s – something about the label just suggests that dating and I’ve seen a similar one from 1963 – but for now let’s stick with a more conservative estimate.
It’s not a stretch to infer some fairly basic facts about the Silver Label Superior: it’s probably (but very likely) lightly aged, say a year or two; column still; and filtered. Beyond that we’re guessing. Still, even from those minimal data points, a pretty decent rum was constructed so let’s go and find out what it samples like.
Strength – 40%
Colour – White
Label Notes – “Silver Label”, Made in Puerto Rico
Nose – Weak and thin, mostly just alcohol fumes, sweet light and reeking faintly of bananas, Some slight saltiness, acetones, bitter black tea and a few ripe cherries. There’s a clean sort of lightness to it, like laundry powder.
Palate – Interesting: briny and with olives right at the start; also some very delicate and yet distinct aromas of flowers. Some fanta, 7-up and tart yoghurt, the vague sourness of gooseberries and unripe soursop, papaya and green mangoes.
Finish – Again, interesting, i that it lasts a fair bit. Nothing new really – some light fruits, pears and watermelons, a dusting of acetones and brine. Overall, it’s thin gruel and slim pickings.
Thoughts – Although most of these early Bacardi’s (especially the blancas) don’t usually do much for me, I have to admit being surprised with the overall worth of this older one. There are some characterful notes which if left untamed could be unpleasant: here the easy sweetness carries it past any serious problems and it comes out as quite a decent rum in its own right. Original and groundbreaking it’s not, and certainly not a standout – but it is nice.