Bacardi is introducing the Facundo Rum Collection, a limited release of four luxury blends, into the travel retail market. Sourced exclusively from the finest and rarest rums in the Bacardí family’s private rum reserve, the collection will be available exclusively at DFS airport stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco and JFK until August 31.
The Facundo Rum Collection is core to the Bacardi strategy to develop a premium take on the rum category. “We believe rum is the biggest long-term opportunity in global travel retail spirits. This is a premium environment and the rum category is yet to maximise that potential,” says Mike Birch, MD, Bacardi Global Travel Retail. “There is massive headroom to grow and as the rum category leader, we have the ability, insights and full range to drive transformational change.”
While celebrating the 150th anniversary of Bacardi, the family sampled some of the choicest sipping rums from their private rum library. Inspired by their rich, complex flavours and the family tradition of sipping rums, passed from generation to generation, they committed to launching a collection of exceptional sipping rums as a tribute to the artistry and vision of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, founder of Bacardi, in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba.
Bacardi Limited chairman Facundo L Bacardi explains: “There was a consensus that now was the time to share the art of rum making and launch a never before released collection.”
In creating the collection, Bacardi Maestro de Ron Manny Oliver crafted more than 40 blends from over 200 rums and presented them to Facundo L Bacardi, a sampling of past Bacardí family master blenders and a panel of world-renowned experts before selecting the final four that truly embody 150 years of rum-making.
“We were given carte blanche with the collection,” comments Manny Oliver, who has dedicated 40 years to the craft of rum blending. “We poured our passion, our knowledge and our creativity into each of the Facundo rums – making each blend distinct from its brethren.”
Each rum in the collection was traditionally aged in the Bahamas, where the sun, sea and charred oak barrels all act in unison to impart a unique character to the liquids. While tropical ageing can accelerate the creation of remarkable spirits in the barrels, it also accelerates their evaporation to a point where just five percent of the liquid may remain after 23 years. This combination of blending complexity and the exceptional rarity of the liquids limits the availability of the Facundo Rum Collection with fewer than 10,000 bottles to be released.
Each of the four expressions of the Facundo Rum Collection offers its own distinct flavour and style:
Neo, is crafted from medium younger to heavy-bodied older rums aged up to 8 years in oak barrels and then carefully blended and precision-filtered using specially selected charcoal to create a complex flavour profile with an exceptionally smooth, delicate finish and a pale blonde hue. Neo (new) accomplishes the unexpected – an aged, light sipping rum – one of the oldest white rums available on the market today. Crisp and vibrant with a beautifully clean, balanced finish Neo can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in a new twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail.
Eximo, is the only rum in the collection that is fully blended before ageing. The extraordinary craftsmanship of this blend relies on the Maestro De Ron expertly tailoring the flavour and aroma balance of the blend before it is matured in fine oak barrels for over a decade. This unique rum is exceedingly smooth with deep notes of vanilla, cocoa, caramel and a hint of smoke, a round full bodied texture and a long, rich finish. Eximo is best savoured neat or with a block of ice. It can also be served as an elevated classic cocktail such as an Eximo Old Fashioned.
Exquisito, (exquisite) is the most elegant blend – a perfectly balanced marriage of 7 to 23-year-old rums aged in oak barrels. Finished in sherry casks for a minimum of one month, the rum delivers a rich, mellow character with robust notes of raisins, apricots and baking spices, with a hint over butterscotch on a warm lingering finish. Exquisito is best savoured neat or over a sphere of ice.
Paraíso, is a carefully crafted blend of the finest and most distinguished rums in the private Bacardí family reserves, with the highest concentration of the oldest reserve rums in the collection. It is finished in French XO casks, some of which are more than 60 years old, to create an exceptionally rich and rewarding sipping rum. Paraíso imparts sweet fruit, honey and marzipan notes with a luxuriously silky finish. Paraíso is meant to be savoured neat, to bring out the exceptionally full flavour.
All of the collection is hand bottled and sealed. Each bottle features one-off art deco motifs inspired by Cuba’s Golden Era when the magnificent Art Deco Edificio Bacardí in Havana (1929) housed one of the most exclusive and sought after bars of the time.
The Facundo Rum Collection (each at 40% abv) was first launched in the US in November 2013 and is available in limited release in selected hotels, restaurants and exclusive retailers.
25 May 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor