Limpd: Before we get started, I gotta ask, are you gonna write this up as a conversation where you say that I said a bunch of ridiculous things that I never really said?
G-LO: Maybe. We’ll see how it goes. What’s it to you?
Limpd: Just curious is all. So what are we tasting this afternoon?
G-LO: Two new rums from Bacardi. Apparently, this is rum that Bacardi usually keeps for themselves (kinda like that Yamazaki Plum Wine cask that we heard about last year that only goes to Suntory employees). It’s a new line of aged rums that they are releasing under the Facundo label. We’ve got two of them (there are four expressions in total): a white rum called Neo, and a dark rum called Exquisito.
G-LO: I didn’t mind Keanu in the first Matrix movie, though to tell you the truth, I think his best role was in Point Break. Enough movie talk. Can we talk about the rum now?
Limpd: Oh I see how it is. You can go off the rails, but I can’t. Fine. Do that cut/paste thing and tell our dwindling readership a bit about this Neo rum.
G-LO: Good idea! Here’s what Bacardi has to say about their Facundo Neo:
NEO means “new.”
The reinvention of light rum. NEO is crafted
by blending aged reserves making this one
of the oldest light rums available. After
ageing, the rums are carefully filtered to
remove color but not complexity.
Limpd: Hang on. They take the color out of the rum? That’s kinda weird right?
G-LO: Definitely weird, but then again, I don’t know all that much about rum or rum production, so maybe this is standard practice. As long as it tastes good right?
Limpd: True. We’re all about the drinking. Err. I mean the tasting. We’re responsible drinkers!
G-LO: Something like that. I wonder how dark this rum was before they filtered it, cause let me tell ya, this is some crystal clear looking stuff right now.
Limpd: Yes it is. And look at those legs! Long and lean. Like Charlize Theron in a glass. Was that wrong?
G-LO: There is absolutely nothing wrong with a Charlize Theron reference! She had me at Two Days in the Valley. Charlize is a a fine actor, and apparently, she’s a Craft Beer drinker too. She’s ok in my book!
Limpd: Careful G-LO. The Benevolents might be reading this. Then again, it’s not like Charlize is pining away for you, so I think we’re safe. Whatcha get when you stick your nose in the glass?
G-LO: Once I work past a witch hazel like scent, I get some lime zest, powdered sugar, and maybe a hint of vanilla too. And you?
Limpd: I’m finding it to be a wee bit astringent and medicinal at first, thought not medicinal like an Islay whisky. It’s more like the witch hazel reference that you threw out there. After that, I’m getting some simple syrup and banana notes.
G-LO: Sounds like we’re having a similar experience with the Neo. I’m going in for a taste.
Limpd: Speed it up Slow Poke Rodriguez, I’m one step ahead of you. I think I’m liking this. The flavors are very crisp and clean. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet with a nice bit of spiciness that reminds me of wintergreen.
G-LO: Interesting take. Permission to go all Alistair Cooke with the tasting notes, Your Honor?
Limpd: Permission granted.
G-LO: Thank you, Your Honor. For me, the Neo starts off lightly sweet with some of that powdered sugar flavor. It then gets mildly citrusy as you approach the middle with some light chili pepper like spice kicking in. I’m really liking the finish on this rum. It’s sweet and lightly spiced with the slightest hint of vanilla.
Limpd: What? No poblano or chipotle chili references? I was expecting so much more from you. You didn’t deliver the full Alistair. Thankfully, the rum definitely delivered. Tasty stuff! Any final thoughts on the Neo? The rum, not the Keanu role.
G-LO: Like you had to ask? I thought this stuff was deliciously easy drinking and I definitely enjoyed it as-is. I wonder how it would hold up in a cocktail. I’m thinking it would get lost in a Mojito or a Daiquiri. Perhaps a variation on a Martini? I bet Sarah has some ideas!
Limpd: I concur and I’m sure Über Sarah will have plenty of cocktail ideas for us. Let’s move on. Tell us a bit about the Exquisito.
G-LO: Certainly! Here’s what Bacardi has to say about the Facundo Exquisito:
Exquisito means “exquisite.”
Exquisito is crafted from a handpicked, premier
blend of rums, ranging in age from seven to 23
years old. What sets it apart is the final step –
Exquisito is allowed to rest in sherry casks, lending
the rum an incomparably mellow profile.
Limpd: “Ranging in age from seven to 23 years old” they say. That’s one hell of an age range. I’m intrigued.
G-LO: When the age range is that wide, I can’t help but think that it’s mostly young rum with just a drop or two of the 23 year old stuff. Thoughts?
Limpd: You may be onto something, but let’s face it, would we really be able to tell the difference? Let’s move this along. My in-laws are coming over for dinner. As if I’m not in enough trouble for tasting rum at 3PM on a Sunday afternoon.
G-LO: Fair enough. Mrs. G-LO is giving me the hairy eyeball too. Saying that the Exquisito is MUCH darker than the Neo would be a ridiculous thing to say since the label says it all, but what the hell, I’ll say it anyway. The Exquisito is MUCH darker than the Neo. I’m gonna say it’s bronze colored.
Limp: I’m gonna go with Burnt Sienna.
G-LO: A fine choice of color. That was always my favorite Crayola crayon because it reminds me of the Southwest. So this stuff is way more intense on the nose. I’m getting clove, dark brown sugar, allspice, and some dried fruit.
Limpd: To me it’s much less medicinal when compared to the Neo, with lots more spice going on. Also earthy and woody with a slight sweetness. I’m thinking butterscotch.
G-LO: I’m sorry. Did you say something? I was already tasting.
Limpd: You’re a fine host. Way to jump ahead. I know I told you to speed it up, but that’s no reason to be rude. I guess I’m going in too. Tell us what you’re getting when you taste this Burnt Sienna hued elixir.
G-LO: Definitely getting that dark brown sugar and dried fruit thing in the beginning. After that, I’m getting some clove along with a building cinnamon heat. The sweetness and spiciness merge at the finish and I also get a bit of tobacco as well. And what are you getting with this one?
Limpd: This has a lighter mouthfeel when compared to the Neo, i.e. it feels thinner to me. I’m not getting much in the way of spice from the Exquisito. I’m finding that it’s just mostly sweet from start to finish without much variation of flavor. I like it, but think that the Neo is a bit more interesting. Which one did you prefer?
G-LO: I thought for sure that you would prefer for the dark rum. To be honest, I kind of prefer the Neo too. It’s just so different. Almost Tequila like. FYI, this is the second time that we’re picking a light rum over a dark rum. I bet the Exquisito would make a tasty cocktail.
Limpd: I know you like your Old Fashioneds, but I’m thinking the Exquisito would be really good in a Manhattan. If we ever do go that route, I’ll have to find some really good preserved cherries. While I like the candied sweetness of the store bought Maraschino Cherries, I’m sure there’s a higher quality product out there that’ll take our cocktail making to the next level. It’s all in the name of science!
G-LO: And I bet you can find some that come in a really pretty and shiny package!
Limpd: Thanks for the cheap shot.
G-LO: You’re very welcome!
Many thanks to Harrison & Shriftman PR for sending us these very generous samples!