The Bacardi MMXII Vintage
July 11, 2012 Rozanne Woodward 0 Comments
An unprecedented number of Maestros de Ron Bacardi (Master Blenders), eight in total and each a Bacardi family member, have combined their extraordinary talents and created a very special and rare limited edition Bacardi rum — Ron Bacardi®, de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII. A blend of the finest Bacardi rums laid to rest in oak barrels over the past 20 years and finished in 60-year-old Cognac barrels, this vintage blend is presented in a hand-blown crystal decanter… as you can see in this video:
The masterful art commemorated by the release of this exquisite vintage rum was perfected by Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso — the original Maestro de Ron — in Santiago de Cuba in 1862. “Don Facundo forever changed the spirits world by creating Bacardi Superior Rum, the most mixable of all Bacardi rums, introducing steps and setting the standards in rum-making,” said Manny Oliver, Global Master Blender. “This defined premium clear rum — what the world now knows as rum.”
“He used these same techniques in creating his dark rums, as well. These steps have been handed down through 15 generations of hand-selected Bacardi Master Blenders and used today to create the Bacardi portfolio of fine rums,” said Joe Gomez, Puerto Rico Master Blender.
“Our family honors the 150-year legacy of my great-great grandfather and Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso every day by continuing to create and blend our rums the same artful and masterful way he did in 1862,” said Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited and fifth generation Bacardi family member. “Bacardi rum is not only the world’s favorite and best-selling rum; it is also the world’s most awarded rum, winning more than 400 awards for taste, quality and innovation.”
Before 1862, the rum of the time was crude, harsh and unpalatable to the emerging Cuban middle-class who were used to drinking fine wines and Cognacs. Don Facundo set out to create a spirit more refined and comparable to the finest Cognacs of the time.
After years of experimentation, he pioneered and developed seven rum-making standards:
- Superior Ingredients: Only used high quality sugarcane molasses, which is vital to the Bacardi taste profile.
- Control Fermentation with Special Yeast: He isolated a special strain of yeast (known as the Bacardi Levadura) for controlled fermentation and flavor consistency every time. This same proprietary strain of yeast is still used today. During fermentation, yeast turns the sugar in the molasses into alcohol. Without the Bacardi yeast, the unique taste of Bacardi rums would be impossible to replicate.
- Parallel Distillation: He utilized a parallel process model to distill two different distillates — a heavy-bodied rum spirit that forms the robust taste and character of Bacardi rums and a light-bodied spirit that delivers the distinctive Bacardi smoothness.
- Charcoal Filtration: He charcoal filtered his rums multiple times to refine and purify the taste and provide greater consistency and quality in each bottle of Bacardi rum. The exact mix of natural wood charcoals and their application in the process are secrets of the Bacardi Master Blenders.
- Purposeful Mellowing: He mellowed his rums in hand-selected, toasted American white oak barrels to deliver a smooth taste and specific flavor.
- Second Filtration: He charcoal filtered many of the mellowed rums again for optimum consistency and smoothness.
- Blending: He took blending to an art form, blending his rums to match the unique and perfect taste of Bacardi rum.
Proud Family Expertise with Ron Bacardi, de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII:
“We have gathered the most experienced Master Blenders of Bacardi and made a unique rum for our 150th anniversary. We concentrated our efforts to make a Bacardi rum blend that has never been made before, from the best rum vintages from the last twenty years,” said Manuel Jorge Cutillas, Bacardi Family Master Blender, and great-great grandson of the founder. Mr. Cutillas also previously served as chairman of Bacardi.
“We had the privilege of working with some incredible stocks of aged rum. We were looking for woody notes and fruity notes. We were looking for the balance and equilibrium that makes a great rum. The depth of flavor and character that this rum has is incredibly unique,” added Guillermo Garcia Lay, Bacardi Family Master Blender.
“I had an idea of what this rum should be and so did the other Master Blenders, so we tried to come up with one single Bacardi rum that would be good for all of us. And I think that if it is good for us, I think it will be good for everybody,” stated Emilio Bacardi Bravo, Bacardi Family Master Blender.
“I’m very proud to have been a member of this family and I’m very proud of what I have done. It’s the only thing I know and I haven’t done anything else, just make rum, since I left Cuba. Being here for the 150th and making this rum, I feel proud of that. It’s an honor,” said Joaquin Bacardi Bolivar, Bacardi Family Master Blender.
“It’s incredible, the friendship, the union, the ability to laugh together, the camaraderie, it’s always been like that. These are my old friends, my family, my cousins; it was a beautiful opportunity,” added Jorge Del Rosal Covani, Bacardi Family Master Blender.
A Unique Taste
The Bacardi MMXII Vintage is a highly aromatic, full-bodied and generous rum with a mellow flavor. It has an expansive nose full of fresh tropical fruits and sweet floral aromas, balanced with soft vanilla and a smooth oaken character. Its inviting aromatic qualities are enriched with notes of sweet Caribbean honey and fragrant fruits leading to a long, pleasing finish with a smooth background of oak. The Bacardi MMXII Vintage is 43% ABV / 86 Proof.
“We created the taste profile that we wanted, something different from the very best vintages that we had in our barrels,” said Toten Comas Bacardi, Bacardi Family Master Blender.
“We have created a new rum that brings the very best of all our experiences into one Bacardi rum that will help us to remember and celebrate Don Facundo and the generations and generations of blenders that came before us, and to carry on their legacy,” added Facundo Bacardi Bravo, Bacardi Family Master Blender.
Seed of the Future
The hand-blown crystal decanter represents the coconut palm planted at the entrance of the first Bacardi distillery in Santiago de Cuba by Don Facundo’s son 150 years ago. Known as ‘El Coco,’ this coconut palm tree became a symbol of the Bacardi family’s heritage and Cuban roots. This decanter embodies a new seed for the spirit of the next 150 years.
Etched onto the crystal decanter, next to the hand-pressed red crystal bat device, are the coordinates of 20 01 48.69N 075 49 56.86W that mark the birth place of Bacardi rum in Santiago de Cuba. This is the location of the first Bacardi rum distillery, where the founder’s son planted the original ‘El Coco’ and where our story began 150 years ago. The decanter also features a map of the Caribbean pointing to the original home of ‘El Coco’ and the Bacardi family.
Each hand-blown 500ml crystal decanter, housed in a finely detailed leather case, retails for US$2,000. Truly limited, only about 200 decanters were available at select international airport duty-free stores and premium retail establishments around the world and have now made their way to collections around the world.
150 Years of Masterful Rum-Making
To get a behind-the-scenes look at the art of the Bacardi Maestros de Ron, watch National Geographic Channel’s “Megafactories” program which will take viewers around the world on a tour to see how Bacardi rums, including the rare vintage, are made. “What is it like to be one of the few people who know the secret formula? Well, I’m very proud of that. I feel so privileged,” said Mario Portuondo, Bacardi Family Master Blender, who participated in the program.
To learn more about Bacardi and its pioneering heritage, including why a signature graces every bottle of Bacardi rum or how Bacardi became Cuba’s first multinational company, visit the special 150th anniversary section at www.BacardiLimited.com/150 .