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Rum Detective


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I had an interesting visit to the Amadeus bar in Old San Juan last night. My wife and I had just finished dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. We walked over to Amadeus for some of their great flan (Puerto Rican cheesecake) and some rum. The rum selection at most bars in Puerto Rico is usually limited to local brands; Amadeus’ bar was no exception.

I hadn’t had Bacardi 8 in a couple months so I ordered some neat. After taking my first sip I knew there was something wrong. I held the glass up to the light and looked at the color, a light amber. I glanced over to the bottle and noticed that it’s contents were lighter in color than the Reserva right next to it. I took another sip. “No way is this Bacardi 8” I said to myself. I swirled the rum in the glass and watched in amazement as the ‘legs’ slid hastily down the side of the glass. I knew for sure that the rum had been diluted either with water or a white rum.

I called the restaurant manager over and told him that I had a concern about the bottle of Bacardi 8. I told him that it had been diluted somehow. I’m a young guy (23) who probably looked like some idiot tourist to him. I don’t think he took my accusation seriously and recommended I try the Barillito if the Bacardi was too light for my taste. I told him that Bacardi 8 was a rum I’ve enjoyed on many occasions and asked him to bring the Bacardi 8 and Reserva bottles to me. I pointed out the following:

I’m know how Bacardi 8 should taste.

The color of the 8 is significantly lighter than the Reserva.

The ‘legs’ don’t cling to the side of the glass indicating the rum has been diluted somehow.

I had the feeling that he wasn’t fully convinced that something was wrong so I suggested he find an unopened bottle of the 8 and compare the color. He went upstairs to get a new bottle and when he returned, the difference in color was amazing. He apologized and said he would talk to the day manager to see if he could find out what’s going on. I was poured a new glass.

As consumers we have no idea what kinds of things go on behind the bar. If you are educated about your drink of choice and think something doesn’t look or taste right, you might be dead on. Don’t be afraid to bring your concern to management. Save the average customer from being ripped off by diluted alcohols.

David

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He should have done abit more than just pour you a new glass. Anyways it's a good feeling when you're vindicated like that.

Does the "8" stand for years old and how is it different from the Reserva?

A island in a lake, on a island in a lake, is where my house would be if I won the lottery.

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The original Bacardi 8 was 8 years old with an age statement. But things change. Today Bacardi 8 is simply Ocho Anos, which translates to 8 years. But this is not an age statement.

According to the TTB, the new version of the ATF, age statements must be in the form of Aged _ years. And if you look at the back of the Bacardi 8 bottle, you'll see that that bottle of rum was produced in the Bahamas and not Puerto Rico as you might expect.

But before you think Bacardi is trying to pull the bat over your eyes, there are a number of rums that have labels that might be misread by consumers.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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The original Bacardi 8 was 8 years old with an age statement. But things change. Today Bacardi 8 is simply Ocho Anos, which translates to 8 years. But this is not an age statement.

Ed, what is the youngest rum in the blend?

David

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