Bacardi, originally a Cuban company and after initially supporting Castro, fell out with the Che Guevera faction. Relocated to Bermuda, when their distillaries were confiscated in 1960,(From which we now get Havana Club, so not all bad then, just don’t mention the CIA).What with sueing and counter sueing it gets very complicated.
Bacardi now boast a portfolio of over 200 products, some that might surprise, and claims to be the largest privately and family owned distillery in the world.
Cronins have 2 Bacardi’s, the ‘Superior’ which is the classic white rum, most people would be familiar with, (with coke obviously) most white rums need a mixer.
There other is the 8 year old, a bit darker than your superior and almost a sipping rum, you only need a hint of mixer to make it very palatable.
Brugal Extra Viejo. From the Dominican republic, not a sipper, sometimes known as ‘Brutal’, a bit of an alcoholic burn to it, but a very good mixing rum, getting very popular in this part of the world since a major share holder is now a Scottish company.
Bundaberg. This one is from Australia, and of course only the Australians would put a polar bear on their label and call it a ‘Bundy’. Now Australia has a long history with rum going back to convict days, (more on that later) and ‘Bundy’ drinkers still have a bit of a reputation. It’s a bit harsh for my taste, definitely needs a mixer and it can be brought already mixed. And now seems to be aimed at a more youthful market. Diageo has its tentacles in this brand as well. But it’s an Australian icon never the less
Barbancourt 4 year old. From Haiti and as a ‘Rhum’ betrays its French heritage. Typical foreigners, none of them can spell ‘rum’. Described as the ‘cognac’ of rum if only for its method of distillation, produced directly from sugar cane juice rather than molasses, it is a lighter, and more delicate rum ideal for cocktails and mixers, Barbancourt rum production was disrupted by the earthquake and became fairly hard to get hold of.
British Navy Pussers rum. Now this is one I have been looking forward to,this is exceptional, strong and smooth and so full of flavour, (If you want a real treat try the 15 year old), the original navy ‘ tot’. Not to be mixed, but sipped with relish, alright you can have a bit of lime and a cube of ice, your cockles will never feel warmer. Blended from about 7 different light and dark rums distilled and aged in the wood (A hint there to its closest commercial equivalent Wood’s old navy’).
Back to Australia, as a penal colony conditions were harsh, food was scarce and there was little coinage, so cheap rum imported from India, much of it illegally, was used as wages, resulting in a high instance of drunkenness, though the employers and the importers got very rich, the authorities were not impressed. Probably due to the loss of taxes. In 1806 the governor, William Bligh outlawed the use of rum as a medium of exchange, the result of which the New South Wales corp marched on Government house and arrested Bligh and ran the colony for 4 years. Now one mutiny is unfortunate, but two is just careless.