Almost anyone who’s ever walked into a bar has tasted Bacardí at some point in their lives – but up until now, the Bacardí family’s own private reserve of aged rum has remained a secret. This month that is set to change with the launch of the Facundo Rum Collection, a new quartet of high-end sipping rums blended from the Bacardí family “library”, which pay tribute to Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the man who first began making the company’s world-famous rum more than 150 years ago.
In a selection process that took more than two years, chairman Facundo L Bacardí and master of rum Manny Oliver surveyed more than 40 blends before arriving at the final four expressions, which come in 70cl bottles and range from a pale golden rum for sipping and luxe cocktails to a digestif with as much richness and complexity as a fine cognac.
The care invested in the liquid is also reflected in the art-deco-styled bottle designs, which draw inspiration from the artwork of the Edificio Bacardí, a building that housed one of the most exclusive bars – and hosted some of the best parties – in 1930s Cuba.
The youngest rum in the series is Neo (£48), a pale gold blend of rums aged eight years and under with a light body but a fulsome personality harmonising stone fruit and floral notes with more unctuous coconut oil and peppery chocolate characters – a good contender for a deluxe daiquiri.
The next step up is Eximo (£65), a rum that, unusually, is only matured in cask after blending, a gamble that produces a wonderfully moreish amber spirit full of café crème, bitter coffee, toffee and walnut notes, with a long, molasses-rich finish that’s intense but never overwhelms. For the price, this would be my pick from the range.
Next up the scale is Exquisito (£130), a blend of rums aged seven to 23 years, which is finished for one month in sherry casks, giving it a tannic, rather spicy character with lots of dried fruit and just a hint of smokiness. On the bottle, a riot of gilded musicians and dancers evokes the parties that Bacardí hosted in Havana for the glamorous escapees of Prohibition.
The culmination is Paraíso (£300), a blend that features the highest concentration of old rums in the range, averaging 23 years. Rested in French XO barrels for a month, it marries maturity with finesse – fine, dry spiciness (clove, cinnamon) with unctuous honey and marzipan. A delicious digestif that would be excellent with a cigar.
The Facundo Rum Collection is available in The Savoy from November. It is also available to purchase from Harrods.