Rum is about the spirit in the people not so much the spirit in the bottle.
One of the best things I love about rum is the unpretentious relaxed vibe it eludes. Rum people are fun, live and let live types. Rum is comfortable, approachable and accepting. These are all observations I believe we can all agree upon. As such, can somebody please tell me why so many people shit on Bacardi and the other mass market brands?
If, as a group of rum lovers, we identify ourselves as the peoples drink then how can we be so quick to outcast? Bacardi, really the entire Cuban rum movement of the late 1800’s, is simply responding to demand. It has evolved to be sure, but the company gained a great following because it made rum people wanted. Evidently people still want it because they sell over 200 million bottles per year.
Am I telling you that I love, stock, drink, order Bacardi myself? The question is irrelevant. What I choose to pour and what I respect are two different matters entirely. Are you a rum snob? Damn, I hope not. Those two words really have no place side by side in my island universe. Do you typically enjoy drinking more complex rums that have been aged and crafted to a higher degree? Bacardi has those. Bacardi Oakheart is a nice addition to the spice rum universe. The Bacardi 8 is a wonderful aged rum over rocks. Do you want to add a special rum to your collection? Try Bacardi Reserva Limitada. It’s hard to get in the U.S. but amongst the finest rums you can buy.
Maybe you are an Occupy Wall St. type and regardless of the quality and craftsmanship in the bottle you reject it because it comes from the biggest (roll the drums please) CORPORATION making rum today. If so, you can go back to drinking the harsh firewater style rum produced in the 1700’s before companies formed and invested in quality spirits to respond to the the market (read supply and demand).
Maybe you know more about rum than 99% of the rest of us. (No reference to the preceding paragraph intended). If so, that makes you a rum snob. You may be the worst offender because you turn people away from rum. Go back to the beginning and re-read my introduction to why rum is such a great spirit.
Maybe you just don’t like Bacardi. Fair enough. I have no bone to pick with you, but I’m shocked that you don’t like one of Bacardi’s many styles and offerings. Really? You really don’t like anything they offer? Seriously? Maybe you should try one more time.
Personally, I tip my hat to Bacardi and the many fine rums they produce. Bacardi has never tried to be a high flying, super premium rum company. They have always distilled for the masses. They give us what we want. Say that with me one more time. They give us what we want. If our tastes change, they will change with us. I guarantee it.
At the end of the day, none of this is about Bacardi, it’s about calling out and maybe culling out those amongst us who just are not real rum lovers. Being part of the rum culture, for me, isn’t as much about the spirit in the bottle, but the spirit in the heart of the people I drink rum with. These people are my friends, these people are true rum lovers.