ORIGIN: PUERTO RICO
The Bat Symbol
Well before the Caped Crusader started sporting a bat on his chest, Bacardí emblazoned the winged mammal on every bottle. After developing his rum recipe, technique, and equipment mastery over the course of 10 years, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó started a small rum distilling operation in Santiago de Cuba in 1862. He had figured out a way to consistently produce a light rum using a specific local yeast strain for fermentation and perfected the use of American oak barrels for aging. The technical innovations developed by Don Facundo are the stuff of legend, but it was his wife Doña Amalia who, after seeing an abundance of fruit bats in the rafters of the distillery, suggested that the company employ the bat as the logo. In the Bacardís’ native Spain, the bat was a symbol of good health, fortune, and family unity. The idea of establishing a memorable visual device to represent a brand was ahead of its time and incredibly effective as everyone in Cuba, regardless of education level, could just ask for the rum with the bat. To this day, there’s a bat on every bottle of Bacardí.
Problem Solving 101
More than a rum producing family, the Bacardí family has been most adept at solving difficult problems. From the company’s inception, when Don Facundo solved the puzzle of making rum lighter and more refined, to Emilio Bacardí Moreau using his status as a businessman during Cuba’s War of Independence to covertly liaise between the independence movement headquarters in New York and the field commanders in the hills outside of Santiago de Cuba, the family has never been afraid to push the envelope and solve problems that others could not. One of the more interesting solutions came on October 28, 1919, when the U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act, otherwise known as Prohibition. Famously, the act made it illegal to make,
transport, import, export, or sell alcohol in the United States. Most liquor companies destroyed their inventory but not Bacardí. Enrique Schueg, Don Facundo’s son-in-law and at the time the head of the company, announced the sale of 60,000 shares of the Bacardí US Bottling Company. Immediately after the sale, he closed down the company and gave each shareholder a case of rum per share as compensation. Not a drop of Bacardí was wasted.
A boozy, floral nose complemented by more subtle notes of oak and fruit. This rum is medium bodied and brings plenty of brown sugar, cinnamon, alcohol, and dried apricot on the palate, finishing with a long, oaky finish with more of the floral characteristic from the nose.
Cigar Piring: Diamond Crown
You can apply this rule of thumb when pairing just about any alcoholic beverage and a cigar; if the spirit has an abundance of floral notes it will almost certainly enjoy the company of a Connecticut shade cigar. Beyond that, it;s a matter of finding which Connecticut shade works best with the booze. So we laid out a selection of a milder Connecticut shade smokes and set about smoking and drinking. The Diamond Crown’s almond, spice, toast, and rich vanilla cream emerged as the ideal match for the Bacardí Gran Reserva Limitada. Amazingly, the smoking almost entirely eliminates the rum’s alcohol from the palate and transform’s the brown sugar notes to a richer caramel. In turn, the cigar’s toast and almond are elevated to a starring role while the vanilla and spice are rendered almost undetectable.
Plus One: Bacardí Añejo Cuatro Aged 4 Years
Bacardi’s recently retooled set of brands, which includes the Gran Reserva Limitada on the high end, received a new product on the introductory end, the new Añejo Cuatro (4 years old). Depending on your taste and budget, the rum sits somewhere in between sipping rum and mixing rum, easily acceptable in both.