August 16th is National Rum Day, which means we're one week away from celebrating the sweet, sweet nectar of the tropics. Rum has a tremendous history, particularly in the Caribbean where pirates would go H.A.M. on an unrefined version called "kill-devil," which likely got it's name from the feeling that Satan himself was pissing liquid fire down the old gullet as you drank it. Luckily, it's since been crafted and refined in many ways and over the next several days, we'll feature different rums for you to have on your radar.
First up is Bacardi 8, which is an 80 Proof aged Puerto Rican rum from none other than Bacardi. While it says 8 on the bottle, it's actually a blend of 8, 9 and 10 year old rums that have been aged in carefully selected oak barrels. There's a strong heritage of aging at the Bacardi Distillery as Don Facundo Bacardi Massó, the founder of Bacardi, was originally a cognac expert, which helped him pioneer rum aging techniques and barrel selection.
In the glass, it has a tremendous dark amber color and as you swirl it in the glass, its legs are more than apparent. On the nose, it has hints of molasses, dried fruits, nutmeg, and oak. There's a nice balance and subtlety to the spirit, very similar to a whiskey. On the palate, you get more dried fruits and even some pepper that leads to a lasting warm finish. As a rum to drink neat or on the rocks, this one passes with flying colors. While Bacardi is best known for its Superior, Bacardi 8 has made the brand an option for those who like their booze straight up.
As a quick endnote, if you’ve ever wondered about the bat, which has been Bacardi’s trademark and undergone nine different iterations since 1862, we have the story for you. The brand was inspired by Don Facundo’s wife, Amalia, who constantly saw fruit bats hanging around the rafters of the distillery. There born was the Bacardi bat. Anticlimactic, maybe, but at least you now have a token of knowledge to pull out when picking up chicks at a bar.