People have been distilling all sorts of specialty spirits lately intended for all sorts of specific functions. Not to be outdone, the good folks at Bacardi have come up with a super-premium mixing rum. Now, normally when you think about making a mixed drink, you would usually reach for a lower quality and less expensive spirit because it is going to get diluted with a handful of other ingredients, but Bacardi feels that no matter what you add to their rum, you should really, really enjoy the taste of their rum. To that end, they created Bacardi Gran Reserva Maestro de Ron.
Well, you gotta figure that after producing rum for over 150 years Bacardi might just have a really good idea here. After all, a premium spirit should theoretically produce a premium cocktail. They use a double-aging process, where rums that are aged for at least one year are blended together and returned to white oak barrels for an additional three months. What’s really interesting to me is that normally the aging process turns spirits, at the very least, a light shade of brown or a tan but this rum stays quite colorless, hopefully indicating that the oak flavor will be both subtle and light and possibly quite interesting.
OK. enough of the speculation; let’s get down to giving it a taste drive. Although this rum is almost totally transparent, it does sport a touch of a very pale yellow, straw like color. The nose is fairly floral with hints of pear and light oak and has absolutely no ethanol vapors. On the palate, the flavors follow the nose with pear and oak and some honey sweetness. The finish is smooth, sweet, nutty and medium in length leaving a slight tingle and warmth. It’s actually good enough to stand alone, but let’s try it with some ice and soda. Well, well, in a cocktail the oakiness steps up a bit and I still get the sweetness and floral notes, and those flavors blend together quite nicely and hold their own against the soda and ice. I do believe they got it right again when they stated this is a super-premium mixing rum.
Bacardi Gran Reserva Maestro de Ron is 40% ABV and sells for $24.99 for a 750ml bottle and is really worth the price.
By George Brozowski