A Look At The Bacardi ‘Untameable Since 1862’ Campaign

Bacardi

‘Definition of untamable in English: not capable of being controlled.’

It’s hard to imagine going through life as free as a bird and living as easy as one, two, three. There will always be obstacles, there will always be hard times and there will always be surprises that can alter your path and set you off in a different direction. It doesn’t matter what, or indeed who, you are, a life of an object will go on until it ceases to exist. Within the drinks world, the many brands of wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks can be counted into the thousands. Many new names come into the fold, replacing ones that been forced to shut, dipping sales or indeed just run its course. Some though, go through times of hardship, and battle through to win. With this, I welcome to you Bacardi.

Bacardi are highlighting over the next twenty years that despite the obstacles they faced since their opening year back in 1862, they have grown, adapted and can now be counted as the  largest privately held, family owned spirits company in the world. Over the next few months, you’ll be seeing the result of a multimillion pound investment into the likes of TV commercials, a series of Bacardi Parties held in Manchester, Glasgow and London, as well as entwined events within your favourite bars and restaurants.

To kickstart the campaign, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the festivities in Manchester, and had the opportunity to speak to Lisa Jazwinski (UK Brand Director for Bacardi), Shervene Shahbazkhani (UK Brand Ambassador) and the now retired Master Blender of Bacardi José Sanchez Gavito.  It was with these three that I learned the passion that Bacardi have had to power through, the determination to succeed and the joy that they all receive when walking into a bar and catching the famous bat symbol on each bottle. For José Sanchez Gavito, it could be relaxing with friends and enjoying a splash of Bacardi Superior with plenty of water. Shervene on the other hand is a true believer in one of the most famous cocktails to be created, the Daiquiri. Invented by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was in Cuba at the time of the Spanish-American War back in 1889, it was said that he enjoyed one at 8am everyday to start off his shift. Today, Shervene has perfected his recipe to the following –

SherveneDaiquiri

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients – 

2 Heaped Tsp Caster Sugar
25 ml Fresh Lime
50 ml Bacardi Superior

Method – 

Shake all the ingredients over ice and double strain into a coupette glass. No garnish required.

To get to where Bacardi are today can be put down to the success of the portfolio that is produced. For 30 years, José Sanchez Gavito was the Master Blender, becoming the first non Cuban and first non family member to be appointed the role. To cap it off, he was head-hunted in the summer of 76 due to his work with the tequila arm of Bacardi at the time with the role of engineer. Not bad for a man who started out as applying for a job in Bacardi seen within a newspaper article.
It’s with this gentleman that Bacardi has been able to enjoy such highlights as amassing over 1.2 million cases of Bacardi Solera, despite having a target of just 40,000 in the 1st year. Another example would be the release of the Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII. Invited to be one of the eight family members to craft this expression, they brought together the best rums from the Bacardi cellar. The rum was then laid to rest in American oak barrels for 20 years and then swapped into 60-year-old Cognac barrels to age. Once the process was complete, the eight Maestros de Ron were left with 4 different rums to choose from. Over three days, they deliberated to find the perfect one that they could bottle within a glass decanter, ultimately giving it as a present to the Bacardi family. I myself have been very lucky to experience the blend, with my tastings notes below –

Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII
Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII

Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII – 43%

Slight dried fruits of raisin and fig on the nose, with plenty of dried woods coming through and balancing nicely. The palate enjoyed a strong flavour of wood, interacting with sharp cherry, then softening with honey notes that created a very long finish. Utterly superb.

It’s not all been highlights though, with plenty of heartache happening to the family since its inception. Earthquakes, fires, the verge of bankruptcy the Cuban revolution and exile from their home country have dealt major blows to Bacardi, but with the launch of the ‘Untameable Since 1862’ campaign, it shows to highlight that despite the obstacles thrown at them, they have managed to counter this with numerous award-winning expressions, and the belief that rum will carry on its popularity around the world.

China and India are two countries that they will be focusing on in the coming years, which according to Lisa, would attempt to capitalise on the growing trend within the two of acquiring rare expressions of rum alongside the already established whisky market. They may be interested to hear then that come April, four new expressions of the Bacardi range will be available to enjoy within your favourite bar as the likes of Bacardi Gold have upped their abv to 40% compared to 37.5% that you can purchase now, as well as Bacardi Black, the return of Bacardi 1909 and finally the Reserva Limitada.

Bacardi Party
Bacardi Party

With Bacardi throwing out all the stops over the coming years, and with the impressive performance I received in Manchester, I think a new-found love for the brand could be seen to consumers.
Just imagine, a hard, stressful day at work. You overcome your objections, the tasks set to you, and you win with a perfect Daiquiri, or Bacardi served in a cut glass tumbler.

Welcome to the way of the Bacardi family.

Check out the rest of the photos from the event via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Bacardí

Bacardí

Bacardí is one of the biggest brands in the world, yet I can not believe that I am yet to feature it in any way shape or form. So in response to this, lets take a look at how Bacardí is the name of rum, and why it is enjoyed in nearly every country *.

1814 heralded the birth of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder and mastermind behind the Bacardí rum. In the late 1800’s, Cuban’s were becoming tired of the usual pirate rum found on the island, which Don Facundo Bacardí Massó realised, and set out to pioneer a new distilling process. After experimenting with several techniques he hit upon filtering the rum through charcoal, which removed impurities. In addition to this, Don Facundo aged the rum in white oak barrels, which had the effect of “mellowing” the drink. The final product was the first clear, or “white” rum in the world.
He opened his first distillery and planted a coconut palm at its entrance. it survived earthquakes, wars and distillery fires, leading to the prophecy that the company would survive Cuba as long as ‘El Coco’ lived. Not surprising then that when the Bacardí family were exiled from Cuba, El Coco died. To this day, a coconut palm is planted at every Bacardí Company facility.

Another well-known sign is the bat. In the early years of the Bacardí production, Doña Amalia Moreau, Don Facundo Bacardi’s wife, discovered a colony of fruit bats living in the rafters of their distillery. In both Spanish and local folklore, the bat had long since been associated with good health, fortune and family unity, which Doña Amalia Moreau convinced her husband to use the symbol on every bottle that was produced.

In 1876, Bacardí won itself its first international award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition for product quality and innovation. Its first of many as Bacardí is now recognised as the worlds most awarded rum. A year later, Emilio Bacardí took over as President as Don Facundo retired. The awards didn’t stop coming though, after being awarded a gold medal for product quality at the Barcelona Exhibition of 1888, the Queen Regent of Spain Maria Cristina named Bacardí as Purveyors of the Spanish Royal Household. Bacardí Rum became known as the ‘King of Rums and the Rum of Kings’.

1898 saw the beginning of a classic cocktail named the Daiquiri. Hailing from the mining town of Daiquirí, Cuba, an American mining engineer named Jennings Stockton Cox invented a cocktail using Bacardí, fresh lime, sugar and ice. After success with his friends, he named it ‘Ron BACARDÍ a la Daiquirí’. Another cocktail that Bacardí can be proud of is the Cuba Libra. Invented at the time of Cuba’s independence following the Spanish American War some time in the early 1900’s, a small Havana bar and a group of soldiers mixed Bacardí, cola and lime and toasted ‘por Cuba libre!’ or ‘to a free Cuba’.

When Prohibition was declared in the USA, 60,000 cases of Bacardí could not be sold or exported. Refusing to destroy the precious rum, Don Facundo’s son-in-law, Enrique Schueg, chose instead to give it away through an innovative share scheme. He issued 60,000 shares in Bacardi’s US Bottling Company and the very next day closed the company down, giving away one case of Bacardí as compensation for every share.

In the 1960’s, just prior to Bacardi’s 100th Anniversary, the Cuban administration confiscated all private businesses in Cuba without any compensation. Bacardí production was forced to stop and the Bacardí family lost its distilleries, breweries, offices, warehouses, ageing rum stocks and even their family homes. But thanks to Bacardí President Pepín Bosch, having transferred all company patents out of Cuba in 1958, and the company having established two distilleries in Puerto Rico and Mexico many years prior, Bacardí were able to rebuild itself in exile. In record time a new distillery opened in Brazil to support the existing distilleries and by 1979 Bacardí had become the world’s number one international spirit.

So a rather stella history, having built Bacardí effectively twice in there lifetime. Bacardí have a strong portfolio of rums, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience the odd one and write for you some tasting notes –

Bacardí Carta Fuego
Bacardí Carta Fuego

Bacardí Carta Blanca – 37.5%

What used to be named as ‘Superior’, this is a blend of rums aged separately within lightly charred ex-bourbon barrels for 12 to 24 months.
Whisps of tropical fruits and almonds on the nose followed by a little spice, but with vanilla dominating the palate. A rather smooth offering, but does develop into a dry finish with a hint of spice.

Bacardí Oakheart – 35%

Fermented in charred oak bourbon barrels. Rich oak aromas on the nose with a spice of cinnamon lingering. Hints of dried fruit on the palate mixed in with vanilla flavours and subtle smoke.

Bacardí Carta Fuego – 40%

Aged for at least on year with added spices. Rich, bold and smooth on the nose, with creamy vanilla, butter and caramel notes dominating. Smooth upon the palate, with the rich spices coming through giving of some heat. A warm finish combined with toffee and caramel creates a thin yet sharp experience.

Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII
Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII

I’ve also been very fortunate to experience an incredibly rare expression from Bacardí – Ron Bacardí de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII. For 30 years, José Sanchez Gavito was the Master Blender, becoming the first non Cuban and first non family member to be appointed the role. Upon his retirement, he was invited to be one of the eight family members to craft this expression, bringing together the best rums from the Bacardí cellar. The rum was then laid to rest in American oak barrels for 20 years and then swapped into 60-year-old Cognac barrels to age. Once the process was complete, the eight Maestros de Ron were left with 4 different rums to choose from. Over three days, they deliberated to find the perfect one that they could bottle within a glass decanter, ultimately giving it as a present to the Bacardí family.

Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII – 43%

Slight dried fruits of raisin and fig on the nose, with plenty of dried woods coming through and balancing nicely. The palate enjoyed a strong flavour of wood, interacting with sharp cherry, then softening with honey notes that created a very long finish. Utterly superb.

I mentioned previously that the Daiquiri and Cuba Libra first made its name in Cuba using Bacardí Superior, but it’s not the only cocktail you can have –

Sidecar
Sidecar

Bacardi Sidecar

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

25 ml Bacardí Carta Blanca
25 ml Triple Sec
25 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/5 part Sugar syrup (Optional)

Method – 

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Add the ice and shake. Add sugar if necessary. Double strain into a chilled glass.

or perhaps,

Bacardi Daiquiri
Bacardi Daiquiri

Daiquiri – created by Bacardí UK Brand Ambassador Shervene Shahbazkhani 

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients – 

2 Heaped Tsp Caster Sugar
25 ml Fresh Lime
50 ml Bacardí Carta Blanca

Method – 

Shake all the ingredients over ice and double strain into a coupette glass. No garnish required.

Simple, easy, enjoyable. Love or hate Bacardí, you can’t fault its legacy at all. Treat yourself.

*History taken from the Bacardí website. Subtle changes have been made for narrative purposes.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.