Friday, May 24, 2013


The “Cathedral of Rum”

Originating in Cuba, Bacardi Rum expanded to Puerto Rico in 1936 building a distillery in San Juan.  Later the distillery was relocated to its present site in Catano, Puerto Rico, outside of San Juan, and facilities in Cuba were nationalized by the Castro regime.

Visitors’ Center and Tasting Pavilion

We visited the home of “the king of rums” with our friends Chris and Michele who were guests on Motivator while we were in Puerto Rico.

On the Bacardi tour, Michele was wearing a T-shirt that is a testament to my docking abilities.

As close as we got to actual production facilities

From its humble beginnings in Cuba in 1862 with fruit bats in the rafters (hence the bat for their logo), the Bacardi family has owned the company for the past seven generations.  It now employees 6,000 people with sales in more than 150 countries.  Company sales in the US for 2007 were $5.5 billion.  

Rivers Rum Distillery in Grenada

So now, I think it is safe to say we have visited the distillery with the largest (Bacardi) and the one with the smallest production (Rivers Rum).  I think the cases in the foreground are Rivers Rum’s production for the week or maybe for the month.

Photographs only in foyer and outside

But unlike Rivers Rum that let us see the down and dirty of rum making (see: posting November 19, 2012), Bacardi was very protective of proprietary information and would not allow photographs of even their crude mockups of production facilities.

Inscription: “Thank You 2013”

Bacardi did however, have a very nice gift shop with reasonably priced souvenirs, bar supplies, and product.  Before returning the US, our guests presented us with this limited production of blended rums that have been aged an average of 12 years or more.  We are saving it for a special occasion and hope that the inscription means that they will visit us again in 2014.

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