The bottle: Bacardi Facundo rum collection: NEO ($45), Eximo ($60), Exquisito ($90), Paraiso ($250)
The back story: Sure, we all know Bacardi, the world’s best-selling brand of rum . But we often know Bacardi for its base-level rums, the kind that are good for pouring into a blender when you want a frozen daiquiri or for mixing with Coca-Cola when you’re in a Cuba Libre mood. These days, however, rum aficionados are increasingly embracing sipping rums, the kind that are meant to stand on their own, just like a fine Scotch or bourbon. In fact, sales of super-premium rums (that is, the most expensive kind) increased by 5.4% (based on volume) in 2013, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States; by contrast, sales of value-priced rums declined by 2.8% during that same year-over-year period.
Enter the recently unveiled Facundo collection. This grouping of four sipping rums takes its name from Bacardi’s very founder, Facundo Bacardi, who started his distillery some 151 years ago. And in keeping with the naming, the rums in the collection come from the Bacardi family’s secret stash, so to speak. “This is the first time we’ve tapped into the private Bacardi reserves. These are rums that have never been seen outside the Bacardi family,” says Bacardi brand master David Cid.
So what do these Bacardis like to sip? The Facundo rums, which are sourced from the Bahamas, each have their own characteristics — meaning there are variations in how they’re each blended and aged. The idea is to show a range and provide “different experiences” for the rum drinker, says Cid — much in the same way single-malt Scotch producers offer a range of expressions.