Boulevards & Byways

Rum Tasting in Puerto Rico

A unique tour and tasting with Casa Bacardí.

Puerto Rico brims with delectable rum-based cocktails, gorgeous scenery, and captivating cultural experiences. If visiting Puerto Rico, one must-do activity is a rum tasting tour at Casa Bacardí. Check out their superlative rum scene, unwind with a few cocktails, and learn why Bacardí is the number one world-renowned producer of rum.

Rum Tour and Tasting at Casa Bacardí.

To bring more awareness to the finer aspects of rum, Casa Bacardí’s couples their rum tasting class with a fun and informative historical tour. If you’re not familiar with rum, spirit tastings, or you’re not a rum aficionado, this unique experience will give you an appreciation of the history of rum and the diversity of the spirit.

The waterfront pavilion.

Upon arrival, we were given a commemorative Bacardí cup and a premium “welcome” rum cocktail at the waterfront pavilion. We enjoyed the view of Fort El Morro as we savored our refreshing cocktail and waited for our historical tour and rum tasting to begin.

A taste of rum history.

When we think of rum and its history, pirates and the Navy are what springs to mind. In the 16th century, sugar production became the heartbeat of Puerto Rico’s economy, and the Caribbean was at the center of major trade and exploration routes. This attracted pirates who used rum not only for drinking but for currency too. It was the Royal Navy’s job to fight the pirates. The rum they confiscated from captured pirate ships became so popular with the seamen that the Navy decided to include it in their daily rations.

The larger population never developed a taste for rum, even during prohibition. It was Bacardí’s craftsmanship, however, and their high standards for creating a refined, smooth tasting rum, that eventually helped rum become the widely celebrated drink it is today!

Rum, how it’s made.

When sugarcane juice (guarapo) is extracted and boiled at a high temperature it yields molasses. When molasses is mixed with water and yeast and then fermented, the result is, you guessed it, rum! The rum is then aged in barrels for color and flavor – for a minimum of one year – or aged for longer periods of time for a darker, richer spirit.

Bacardi has the impressive title of being the largest rum producer in the world. They share their expertise of the process and the distinctions between rums, during their informative tasting and tour.

Bacardí rum tasting experience.

Rum is, without a doubt, an under-appreciated spirit. But rums are as fine today as any whiskey or cognac. Only by tasting can we begin to understand what it took to fill that glass and the role rum played in Puerto Rico’s history.

At Casa Bacardí rum tasting, there are 6 rums to try. We twirled the glass allowing the liquor to coat its sides, took a sip to clear the palate, and followed it up with a larger sip to coat the mouth. We were asked us to examine the color and report on what we smelled and tasted.

By the third or fourth sip the class became a bit lively and the question-and-answer session more energetic. It was a fun and informative time for all!

The six Bacardi rums.

The rums we tasted varied by smell, color, and taste.

Bacardí White Superior – Aged for one year, this smooth, clear spirit has notes of almond and vanilla and is perfect for mixing the perfect mojito or daiquiri.

Bacardí Anejo Cuatro – Aged for 4-6 years, this rum has a hint of toasted oak, clove, vanilla, and notes of honey. It’s an excellent rum for making a Cuba Libre.

Bacardí Reserva Ocho – Aged for 8-10 years, this smooth rum was one of my favorites for sipping. The flavors of apricot, vanilla, and butterscotch gave way to hints of nutmeg.

Bacardí Gran Reserve Diez – Aged 10-11-years, this filtered rum has a smooth finish. I tasted hints of vanilla, oak, caramel, ripe bananas, pear, and plum.

Bacardí Grand Reserve Limitada – Aged 12 years, this rum is a blend of mature rums and has a medley of flavors including vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, apple, and liquorish.

Bacardí Special Reserve – Double aged in a white oak barrel and then in a sherry barrel for 8-12 years, this rum has distinct flavors of maple syrup, coffee, brown sugar, and brandy notes. This is an exceptionally smooth sipping rum.

The Bacardí rum tasting was a lot of fun, and we all came away with a better understanding of how different rums age and how the barrels affect color and taste. Best of all, I learned my preferences for my favorite great tasting rum.

rum tasting was a lot of fun, and we all came away with a better understanding of how different rums age and how the barrels affect color and taste. Best of all, I learned my preferences for my favorite great tasting rum.

Bacardí’s Special Reserve Rum.

At the end I spent some time in Casa Bacardí’s gift shop and treated myself to a bottle of Bacardí’s Grand Reserve Limitada. The gift shop is where there’s also unique opportunity to fill a personalized bottle with Bacardí’s Special Reserve Rum. Decide what to engrave on the bottle, then fill and seal it with their signature red wax, personalize the label with your name, and record your name and bottle number in the Casa Bacardí registry. You will receive a special padded box to preserve the bottle along with a photo of you holding a bottle in front of the barrel it came from. It’s a great way to commemorate your visit to Bacardí and makes a superior gift for someone special!

Book Your Tour at Casa Bacardí Today!

Bacardí’s guided tours and tastings are opportunities to learn more about rum production and how to appreciate the finer qualities of various rums. When in Puerto Rico be adventuresome, and experience the history and culture of the island by tasting its great rums.

Casa Bacardí
Carretera 165 KM 6.2, Cataño, Puerto Rico

Monday – Closed.
Tuesday to Saturday – Doors open at 9:00 am and the last tour starts at 4:30 pm.

Sunday – Doors open at 10:00 am and the last tour starts at 4:30 pm.

(787) 275-5671

Boulevards and Byways received the rum tasting tour in exchange for this blog post, which did not influence the outcome of this article.

Read here: Bacardí Rum, Where to Try it – Mixology Tour

Sandy Ruyack is the owner and writer of the popular and award-winning adventure travel blog, Boulevards and Byways. Her stories and photographs reflect her love of travel to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean – providing travel guides, destination tips, and vacation inspiration. Through transformative travel experiences, she encourages readers to step out of their comfort zones and take the road less traveled. Boulevards and Byways provides content for an array of hotels, tour companies, and travel publications. A native New Yorker, she and her husband split their time between Brewster, NY and Luquillo, Puerto Rico

2 thoughts on “Rum Tasting in Puerto Rico

  1. Cameron Salt

    The best and most exclusive rum tasting experience in the Caribbean is Ron del Barrilito Rum Tasting Tour. A unique opportunity to sip and enjoy all of our rums, from the cult-classic Two Stars to the extremely limited-edition Five Stars.

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