Spirit

Facundo Profundo

facundobacardiThe sugar spirit supremos amongst you will have already caught this news, but a few in the lucky country may have missed that Bacardi chose to memorialise the transition of two of their ambassadorial sons, Jeremy Shipley and Martin Newell, with a spectacularly distilled and designed set of rums.

The fame and following of these two special individuals notwithstanding, the line was commissioned for the Cataln progeny of bricklayers, one Don Facundo Bacardi Massó. Escaping from Stiges to Cuba, Facundo established and grew the Bacardi brand from obscurity to lay the foundations of one of the most recognisable alcoholic products on earth. It’s a nice piece of symmetry too, that the current controller of the company also bears the name Facundo Bacardi.

What they’ve bought to market are a suite of four rums, set to elevate the category and help brand loyalists ladder up into the lofty heights now on offer.

Details are a touch thin, as they’re not on offer yet in Australia and I won’t speak to taste until I’ve had lips on the product myself, prices are RRP in US dollars, expect to pay more if they come to Australia.

Here’s what I’ve been able to glean. Neo ($45) is an up-to-eight year old white rum, more oak and complexity than the Bacardi you’re used to. Next is Eximo ($60) an American Oak finished rum with an up to 10 years age claim. Exquisito ($90 steps things up again with 7-23 year old rums blended and finished in sherry casks. At the top of the mountain is Paraiso ($250) 23 yr old rums from the family reserve, blended and finished in ex-Cognac barrels.

They do sound delicious. I hope we get some downunder soon.

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Spirit

Bundaberg 125th Anniversary Release

b125Far to say this is an iconic release from an iconic Australian brand.

It appears that around 1978, some rum was made and somehow was held onto for long enough for it to become part of this fine mix of Queensland’s national drink. It’s no mean feat aging a spirit for 35 years, especially in a climate like the one that hangs like steamy velvet around the distillery in Bundaberg.

Old rum is often pretty ripe, and the liquid here doesn’t fall into that trap. Fans of the brand will still find the signature flavour profile, even as the age has shaved the edges off. Caramel, on the edge of being burnt, skirts the edges of the longest finishing Bundaberg I’ve ever put to my lips.

1,888 700 ml bottles have been produced. Each is numbered and comes in the fine walnut box pictured above. The copper rectangle beneath the liquid is an ingot from the melted down remains of one of the old Bundaberg stills, one that would have made some of the rums present in the bottle. You also get two engraved crystal tumblers, just to remind you that the liquid was made to be shared.

Quality finishes don’t come cheap. $1250 would buy a lot of O.P.

If that seems like a stretch your can get your hands on 125mls for $125, but you’ll have to front the bondhouse in Bundaberg to get it. Best slide behind the wheel of your HJ and get up there, as there are only 3000 available. (#1309 is already in my cabinet)

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