Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
Eight of the Bacardí family’s senior master blenders gathered to chose the blend that goes into the 1,000 50cl decanters of Bacardí MMXII, 600 of which go to family members.
The 43% abv blend comprises aged rums, the oldest being 19 years, which were finished in 60-year-old cognac barrels from the family’s private cellars.
The rum comes in a hand blown decanter from Mexico which has been inspired by a coconut palm planted at the entrance of the first Bacardí distillery in Santiago de Cuba. The decanter comes in a detailed leather case.
Bacardí MMXII is expected to retail for £1,200 (circa: €1,530, US$1,800). Last Friday (July 13) a bottle was presented to the famous American Bar in The Savoy Hotel, London. Manager Francesco Erriu told Drinks International that the rum will cost £275 a shot in the bar.
The still family owned company claims to have revolutionised the spirits industry in 1862 when Don Facundo Bacardí Massó made the light, smooth rum. Up until that time, rum was more crude, harsh and unpalatable to the emerging Cuban middle class who had become used to fine wines and cognacs.
He is said to have pioneered and developed seven rum-making standards using: the best ingredients, high quality molasses; controlling fermentation with a special yeast strain; parallel distillation –two distillates one for flavour and a lighter-bodied one for smoothness; charcoal filtration; “purposeful mellowing”, using toasted American oak barrlels; second fermentation for consistency and smoothness and blending.