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Rum Review: Facundo Exquisito

Facundo Exquisito Rum Review

Facundo Exquisito Rum

Another entry in Bacardi’s super-premium Facundo rum line, Exquisito is the second highest expression. A blend of aged rums between seven and twenty-three years, Exquisito is bottled at 40% ABV and retails for $100. Whereas the Eximo bottle features a small label and loads of sultry raised glass features, the Exquisito goes in a decidedly different direction, using gold leaf to imply an early 1900’s Cuban party scene. As I pull the synthetic cork for the first time, I’m pleased to discover it does not separate from the cap as in the case of my Eximo bottle.

In the glass, the Equisito is darker than the Eximo, displaying a deep mahogany color that borders on dark brown. A swirl produces a set of legs that move liberally back to the bottom. On nosing there is a bit of astringency, but not nearly as much as with the Eximo. The initial aromas are of tropical fruit and melon combined with oak. Beyond the wood is vanilla, citrus zest and black pepper. There is still a hint of airplane glue-like esters as was the case with the Eximo.

As the rum enters, I again find myself far happier with the flavors than the aromas. The oaken base is topped with cane syrup and molasses, then topped again by ripe plum and figs. Finally, the spice layer arrives, bearing pepper, nutmeg and cardamom before the oak tannins regain control. The finish is quite long, and is dominated by the oak and cane syrup mixed with a hint of molasses and smoke.

While the Exquisito is a bit of a step up from the Eximo, I again struggle to justify the price tag of $100. In the end, I simply cannot.

On to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 1/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3/4
  • Aftertaste: 2/2
  • Total Score: 8/10

Buy Facundo Exquisito Online

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2014 2:05 pm

    Again bravo, Josh! For what? Simple, yet again for having the Cubanesque cajones to tell it like it is in the face of the Bacardi Marketing Machine. This machine is oh so powerful and well-oiled (or perhaps sugar syruped)! Not a trick to missed, and they’ve been spreading the word for so long that the usual victims automatically fall into line. For example, listen to what the folks at uncrate.com had to say:

    “When it comes to rum, there isn’t a brand as well known as Bacardi, so when they decided to release a special line of aged sipping rums, it rose to the top of our want list.”

    How impressive! Until 10 minutes later I saw this blurb from yet another well trained monkey at luxury-insider.com:

    “When it comes to rum, there isn’t a brand as well known as Bacardi, so when they decided to release a special line of aged sipping rums, it rose to the top of our want list.”

    Yup, word for word. With Bacardi you don’t even have to think. They’ll write your “independent” copy for you, no doubt accompanied by a $100 freebie. Such is life. A review of reviews, including yours exhibit the eerily similar descriptors insofar as this offering being ” initially sweet”, “brown sugar notes leading” or in your case “topped with cane syrup”. I hope your readers realize that pure and unadulterated rum or whisky – of any age – isn’t sweet to anywhere remotely near deserving such descriptions. When any rum strikes you as “sweet”, “smooth” and “full bodied” you can bet your mother-in-law that there’s a Domino truck in the parking lot.

    Another big, big problem is this. No spirit – rum included – that pretends to be super-duper-premium has any business whatever being sold at a puny 40%. I’d expect something in 45 to 47% range. And that color? It’s dark mahogany fer gawdssakes, with not a hint of the redness that any real aging in sherry would accomplish.

    Last, the marketers love to claim age ranges, as then no one will ever know whether there’s more than a teaspoon of 23 year in that 7-to-23 pronouncement. Now if you’d like to know what a real rum in this claimed range is, try MGXO at $30 and see how much you’ll find in common. Answer: not much. Or Mount Gay’s 1703 at $100 and find real, sugar-free heaven.

    The problem with power is that at a point, one begins to believe your own hype. Fortunately for us, a few brave independent reviewers like you are willing to look past bottle design and syrupy slick marketing.

  2. John Monroe Rum connoisseur permalink
    August 27, 2014 6:33 pm

    As a sherry cask lover I came across this rum and had to have it. I personally would compare the aroma of this rum to Botran 1893, which further, I would dare say that I would have a hard time differentiating the two from … here we go … Captain Morgan Sherry cask finish rum. That’s right a 100.00 bottle has a aroma similar to that of a 15.00 out the door bottle. Some may not like this, but its all preference I personally enjoy this aroma profile. Not sure if you tried the limited edition morgan, I did because I enjoy sherry and it is a limited edition at a close out price right now.

    I personally enjoy this rum highly. But the 15.00 bottle I Can toss back in a night or two this one, I would feel rather guilty given the cost so I must agree to that point. At the end of the day this bottle is clearly superior and I personally would rate it higher given my preferences.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      August 27, 2014 7:56 pm

      Thanks for your comments, John. If sherry is your thing, have you tried the Dos Maderas 5+5? Way too much sherry for me, but I know plenty of folks who adore it. Sounds like you might be one of them! Cheers

      • John Monroe Rum connoisseur permalink
        August 28, 2014 6:53 pm

        I have been sitting on a bottle of that for a while now. So many rums so little time to taste. It is high on my list in my collection but I enjoy many spirits with rum being the main one but I often get side tracked with other new rums that seem to not stop being released. I have more bottles in my collection I have never opened nor tried that actually tasted or finished. I also work 60-70 hours a week in finance so its not always easy to get to more than a few a week sadly.

        I have been considering a rum called “Navazos Palazzi Cask Strength Rum”. Ever heard or tried it? I’m thinking about ordering a bottle with a few other treats of course.

      • Josh Miller permalink*
        August 29, 2014 8:52 am

        The Navazos Palazzi is a bit spendy, but probably right up your alley. It is *very* Sherry forward with tons of Oloroso flavor. It’s currently on my “to be reviewed” shelf.

      • John Monroe Rum connoisseur permalink
        August 30, 2014 5:58 pm

        I also got info today that the Navazos Palazzi aged for the first 5 years in the bottling is from the Dominican Republic. The rum was traded for sherry casks. I got to thinking about the time frame of this transaction and the rums on market from DR using a sherry cask aging. I came up with Brugal possibly as a thought for its 1888 rum. So this would hit many facets for me personally.

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