Bacardi 150

David Cid tells me that this rum is not the same as the exquisite ones that Facundo Bacardi had us taste at his HQ during last year’s Rum Renaissance… they were indeed very very good by any standards.




For 150 years, Bacardi Rum has been celebrating the good life. Bacardi Limited will celebrate unlike ever before in 2012 with promises of innovation, special celebratory affairs, launch promotions and a special, limited-edition decanter of rare Bacardi rum. Of course, it’s that $2,000 rum we’re here to talk about.

Bacardi Rum has been a family business since 1862, so when it came time to developing a one-of-a-kind Bacardi that combined the expertise of 150 years of talent, Bacardi turned to eight Maestros of the Ron Bacardi family to create Ron BACARDÍ de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII®.

The limited edition blend combines the craftsmanship of more than a century of hard work with the perfection developed in several fine rums laid in oak barrels for 20 years. The Ron BACARDÍ de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII® was finished in 60 year old cognac barrels and will be presented in a hand-blown, 500ml crystal decanter swathed in a leather case. Only 400 are produced and available at various international airports around the globe.

150 years doesn’t just merely get a private bottle, but also a host of activities. Celebrity Cruises will help Bacardi celebrate February 4 with a trip through San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Bacardi tradition of a Legacy Cocktail Competition will shake things up as more than 25 countries compete for the prize on February 20th in Puerto Rico; National Geographic Channel’s “Ultimate Factories” plans to showcase the Puerto Rico Bacardi rum factory on February 11.

Cap’n Morgan launches in USVI

So, after all the noise and fury, it happened. Since Obama was blamed for it, will he take credit?



USVI Governor Accepts First Case of St Croix-Produced Captain Morgan Rum


By the Caribbean Journal staff

US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh accepted the first case of locally-produced Captain Morgan Rum, following Diageo’s decision to build a distillery in St Croix which opened in 2010.

Captain Morgan had for some time been produced at a third-party distillery in Puerto Rico. The decision to move to St Croix did not escape controversy in Puerto Rico.

“More than three years ago, we overcame an unprecedented amount of opposition from elements within our territory, and those outside our shores, to succeed in creating this public partnership,” de Jongh said. “I am proud my administration and the leadership of Diageo stayed the course through the process, and now the landmark deal is beginning to bear fruit, or, more specifically, spiced rum.”

The Captain Morgan brand is the second-highest-selling rum in the world. It signed a 30-year commitment to St Croix in a deal negotiated by de Jongh.

“In this difficult economic time for the people of the Virgin Islands and St Croix, in particular, this first case of locally-produced Captain Morgan Rum represents some sorely-needed good news for this territory’s economy, and is a reassurance to all Virgin Islanders that even as we face the impact of the global economic downturn, we have laid the groundwork for our future prosperity,” de Jongh said.

David Gosnell, parent company Diageo’s president of Global Supply, told de Jongh that production was now in full swing at the distillery, and a million cases of Captain Morgan would be ready for distribution by the end of the month.

The distillery has a production capacity of 20 million proof gallons of rum each year — all the bulk rum used to make Captain Morgan-branded products in the US.

Angostura in Carnival Mode

Laronde-West: Take pride in locally-produced rum
Sunday, February 12, 2012
2011 Angostura Global Cocktail challenge winner Andy Griffiths in action.

As T&T gears up to celebrate its 50th year of Independence (August 31), Angostura’s manager–corporate communications Giselle Laronde-West feels T&T can take immense pride in its locally-produced rums. Interviewed recently at Angostura House, Laventille, Laronde-West, who also has the distinction of copping the prestigious Miss World 1986 title in London, England, said: “For Carnival, mixologists are converging on T&T for the Angostura Cocktail Challenge. The event spans a week, from February 15 to 23, at Trotters, Maraval Road. “As T&T approaches its 50th anniversary, it is doing well. We (Angostura) are a Trinidad company. We make every effort to help people understand it is a product which has been created in T&T; it is indigenous.” Laronde-West added: “It is made in Trinidad. These are our products. Over the years, it is an easily recognisable product that is made in T&T. Wherever we go, we market it. We want people to remember it is made in T&T. We want to enshrine pride and inculcate a sense of nationalism.” Seizing the opportunity, Laronde-West said the Angostura Global Cocktail challenge was a great opportunity to educate people on where these products (bitters and rum) originated. The rums are synonymous with T&T like icons Anya Ayoung-Chee, Brian Charles Lara and Tobago’s Dwight Yorke. She said: “The effort of the global cocktail challenge is to educate people on where they are made. It is made in my country. There is a sense of pride when you hear them comment on it.” Wherever Laronde-West marketed the products, she said there was a profound sense of pride and patriotism that surfaced. She said: “It makes makes me proud to hear people say how proud they are of the products made in my country. There is an overwhelming sense of pride when you get tremendous kudos for your rums.” It’s not surprising rum would figure prominently since it has been part of the Caribbean’s epicentre and has profoundly influenced the social, economic, political and religious development of the islands.

‘Trinidad is rum’
As the countdown to Carnival intensifies, Laronde-West said the visitors would get a first-hand experience of Trini multiculturalism—be it soca, pan, calypso and playing mas in Bliss. Among those visiting will be 2011 winner Australia’s Andy Griffiths. In the freestyle segment, he had created The Scarlet Ibis, after T&T’s national bird. She said: “It gives them that opportunity to experience the greatest show on earth. We are bringing people here to see what we’re about. They get to understand the culture…sample roti, doubles, bake and shark, and feel the excitement of T&T. They are getting everything. They are coming at a time when it is pulsating. They will even see masqueraders drinking strong rums.” Apart from enjoying the sites of the Magnificent Seven including Stollmeyer’s Castle, international guests would get a chance to tour Angostura’s facilities. “They get a chance to see where it is made; The fact Angostura has been around for almost 200 years. They get to speak to the people who make the rums. When they return to their respective countries, they would be able to understand our culture. When we sell our bitters and rum products, they would have a better understanding of where our products are coming from.” Laronde-West predicts uninhibited exposure to “babel, sun and Trini rums,” would augur well “for us in terms of selling the rum.” “And, of course, it would create some sales…and some profits.” But Laronde-West volunteered: “It’s great the people of T&T appreciate our rums. No matter what palate they have, we are able to provide a rum. That’s the pride we feel in our rums. “I think at the end of the day, Trinidad is rum. Rum is Trinidad.”

Distributors to share best practices
Buoyed by the interest, Laronde-West said there were distributors, distillers, rum enthusiasts and other stakeholders who were “even willing to pay their way.” She said: “We are happy to be able to bring them here. We have distributors who have heard about our products. They are paying their way. We have about 80 other people coming for the Distributors’ Conference. We have about 16 members of the media coming from different houses.” Among those who have expressed a keen interest in tete-a-tetes with master distiller John Georges are United States’ Tony Abu Ghanin and New Zealand’s Jacob Briars. She added: “It’s an opportunity for distributors to share their best practices in what they do… in promoting and selling Angostura. It is an opportunity to reach out… to network. They understand the culture and they appreciate where the products are made. It would give them a sense of connection and authenticity when they are speaking about it. We have bitters in Greece.” Rum appraisals are also on the itinerary. Rum has all the complexities of wine. Between swigs, they would determine whether the rum is robust, mellow, light and dark, new and aged, sweet and dry. They would determine if it has a trace of oak from its cask, the caramelisation and the hints of cherry and vanilla. During Angostura House tour, they would learn that the House of Angostura has been making fine spirits since 1824 and boasts almost 200 years experience of fermenting, distilling, ageing and blending. Rum paintings decorate its walls. A rum museum lures visitors. They might learn “rum” is possibly derived from a truncated version of rumbullion or rumbustion, British slang for tumult or uproar. Prior to the finalists being selected, Laronde-West said: “There is an interest for the Carnival and in our global cocktail challenge. In every region, they would have had competitions and they would have chosen a winner. “We have had hundreds competing. So think about the people who know about Angostura rums. Think how many people know it is ‘Made In T&T’.”

Alex Thomas comments: Senior manager–sales and marketing for the Americas Alex Thomas expressed similar sentiments—visitors would get a taste of local culture. He said: “People are coming to Trinidad. Many of them are not really sure where Trinidad and Tobago is. They are going to get a taste of Trinidad and Tobago culture. They will be coming for Carnival. They will be getting to take part in the competition as well. We have a local from Kapok.”