Bacardi 1873 Ron Solera Rum is an interesting change of pace from the makers of one of the most mass produced, highly available rums in the world.
This rum is made using the Solera system of aging, which is a method borrowed from the world of Sherry. Essentially, new batches of rum are mixed with older batches of rum each year, year after year. The longer the solera has been going on, the older the oldest alcohol in the mix will be. That being said, I do not know how long the solera has going on for this rum. I have heard many reports that it has been available for sale in the Caribbean for roughly the past decade, so I would guess the solera has been running for at least that long.
As soon as I unscrewed the top of the bottle, I could smell this rum. Strangely enough, the odor does not seem very typical for a rum, but rather more like a sherry. It is possible that this is due to the solera system, but that is just a guess on my part. The odor is somewhat overwhelmingly sweet, with a syrupy honey quality.
In the glass, the rum is a medium dark amber color, very similar to many of the heavier scotches. The flavor is just as sherry like as the nose, with a sort of sickly sweet burning quality. It also tingles, almost as if it were carbonated. Despite that, it is surprisingly smooth, more towards the smooth side of the scale than the harsh. There is a caramelized sugar note that lingers in the mouth.
I’m not entirely certain what I think of this rum; there are many other rums that are far better for sipping, not least of which is the Barbancourt 8 year I reviewed earlier. As a mixing rum, Bacardi 1873 Ron Solera would add some interesting qualities. However, I think it would be a bit less expensive to approximate the same taste by mixing a less expensive rum with a dash or two of sherry. The more I sip it, though, the more I find the taste growing on me.