This one required a bit of digging to find.
I recently sampled the Bacardi 1909 Limited Edition Heritage Pack. This was a rum released a few years back to celebrate the fact that 2012 was Bacardi’s 150th year. Bacardi is known as Puerto Rican rum now, but they were originally founded in Cuba way back in the day. Leading up to the Cuban revolution, they began to offshore some of their operations, which turned out to be a prescient move since Cuban rum production was nationalized after Castro came to power. Bacardi’s ongoing intellectual property war against Cuba’s Havana Club and Bacardi’s economic interests are some of the reasons that the current frosty relationship between the US and Cuba is maintained.
Anyway, the whole point of Bacardi 1909 was to harken back to the old, Cuban-made Bacardi rum, which was presumably better. Per the cardboard sleeve, “…Master Blender Jose Sanchez Gavito crafted this limited edition rum as a tribute to Don Facundo’s original creation, BACARDI Superior.” In order to accomplish this, they blended some aged Bacardi distillates from their oldest operating facility (in Mexico). They also bottle it at 44.5% ABV, which is higher than the typical Bacardi rum – and that 4.5% additional ABV actually makes a positive difference. The white coloring is achieved by charcoal filtering after aging.
The nose of this rum is pretty similar to (my interpretation of) classic Bacardi, with notes of turpentine and lemon peels. On the palate, it’s pretty smooth (smoother than your regular Bacardi), and it’s pretty dry. The lemon peel carries through to the taste. This isn’t unpleasant, but it’s not something I’d buy to drink on its own. I did make a few mojitos with it after the initial tasting, and they turned out pretty good – light and refreshing, which is what I look for in a mojito. This rum does a good job mixing.
Overall, this is a good release in a very pretty bottle, but the fact that it’s limited edition is kind of a bummer. I’d probably recommend keeping this on hand as a Cuban-style rum for mixing if it were regularly distributed, but for some reason, it’s not. If you see it on the shelf, though, go for it since you probably won’t get the chance again.