In November of last year, Bacardi made waves by introducing Facundo, a lineup of sipping rums. Bacardi already produces a handful of higher-end rums (the solid 1873 Solera comes to mind), but they’ve primarily been a mass market brand that dominated the category through low prices and flavor innovations. Facundo is something else entirely: a collection of four aged rums ranging in price from $45 to $250. The lineup begins with Facundo Neo, so that’s where we’ll start, too.
Bacardi Facundo Neo is crafted by blending light-to medium-bodied rums that have been aged in oak barrels for between one and eight years. The young rums impart brightness, while the older rums bring a smooth, richness to the blend for a well-rounded character. After ageing, the rums are filtered to remove color before bottling.
On the nose, Facundo Neo is fruity, floral and slightly woody. It’s hotter than we expected. The palate is soft and gentle, with lots of sweet banana and coconut notes for a decidedly tropical drinking experience. Toward the finish, oranges and spices start to show themselves, and things take a dry turn at the very end.
This stuff is interesting. It’s more tropical and less oaky than we’d have guessed, and while Bacardi is billing Facuno Neo as a sipping rum–that’s still a very viable option–we’re looking forward to mixing this one into cocktails.
– 40% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★