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San Juan, Puerto Rico

The picturesque ferry ride across the harbor to Cataño and the Bacardi distillery gives an interesting perspective on historic Old San Juan and the sprawling development that defines the largest metropolis in the East Caribbean.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Don Facundo Bacardi Masó installed the first Coffey still in Cuba and began making rum that was lighter than that being made in the pot stills in use at that time. The lighter rum was quite successful and in 1958, Don Secuto Bacardi moved his family’s operation to its present site in response to the political instability in his homeland.

Today the Bacardi distillery in San Juan is the largest distillery in the world and a showplace of technology and efficiency. The four-column still is capable of distilling nearly two million proof gallons of alcohol per day. To generate the tremendous amount of steam required for such a sizable distilling operation, an innovative system has been incorporated to reduce the quantity of polluting effluent while providing the majority of the plant’s energy needs. After the alcohol has been stripped from the fermented wash, the resulting leeze is piped to a covered tank where anaerobic bacteria convert most of the organic waste into methane gas. The gas is stored in large tanks before being burned in high efficiency boilers.

The small amount of waste that isn’t converted to gas is used as fertilizer. Although an expensive investment for Bacardi, this has contributed significantly to the preservation of the water quality in the San Juan Bay and is part of a continuing program of ecological responsibility. Bacardi presently distills and bottles six different rums and a couple of rum-based liquors. Bacardi Superior White is a blend of one-year-old rums which has been filtered to remove the color attained from the oak aging barrels. Bacardi Superior Gold is a blend of two-year-old rums bottled as Light, with the color removed, and Dark, which has some added color.

Bacardi Black is a blend of rums up to four years old with added color. Bacardi Añejo is a smoother blend of rums that have been aged up to six years with a taste that reflects well on the additional aging. The premium rum, Bacardi Reserve, is also a blend of rums up to six years old with an emphasis on finer rums. Bacardi 1873, introduced in the early 1990s, is blended with three-year-old rums to remind the drinker of fine scotch. All of these rums are blended at 40% alcohol by volume.

Bacardi Limon is a blend of one-year-old rum with grapefruit, lemon, and lime flavoring for a mixable liquor bottled at 35% alcohol by volume. The clear glass bottle has received significant product recognition in the markets where it is being sold. More recently, Bacardi Spice made its debut. This unique blend of golden rums, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other Caribbean spices results in an extremely smooth and great tasting spiced rum—whether you mix it in your favorite cocktail or drink it on the rocks. Although Bacardi was not the first to introduce a bottled spiced rum, Bacardi Spice has been very well received though there are rumors that this has been discontinued from the Bacardi lineup of rums.

When you enter the 127-acre Bacardi complex, you will put the busy metropolis of San Juan behind you and immediately feel pampered in the spacious landscape of the park. Trains depart regularly from the large visitors center for guided tours of the distillery area.

It is impossible to see all of this large facility, so tours concentrate on areas of historical value and the distilling process. Back at the visitors center, you will be invited to taste the Bacardi products and have an opportunity to visit the Bacardi rum and gift shop. The tour requires only a little walking and is certainly a relaxing break from the fast pace of the largest city in the islands.
There are 18 products in our database distilled by Bacardi.
Bacardi 150th Anniversary Decanter
Bacardi 151 Dark
Bacardi 1873 Solera
Bacardi 1909
Bacardi 8
Bacardi Añejo
Bacardi Black
Bacardi Dragonberry
Bacardi Gold
Bacardi Limón
Bacardi O
Bacardi Oak Heart Spiced Rum
Bacardi Reserva Limitada
Bacardi Rock Coconut
Bacardi Select
Bacardi Spice
Bacardi Superior White / Carta Blanca
Rubi Rey

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Last updated February 1, 2012