Thursday, February 29, 2024

Where To Buy Ron Del Barrilito Rum

Fernando Fernandez With Mike Kunetka In 1990s

Rum Tour & Mixology Class | Ron del Barrilito in Puerto Rico!

MK: Then, several years ago, your father, who had recently retired from a long career at Bacardi, becomes interested in acquiring the company. How did that process start?

My father retired, he was still young, and retirement suited him well for about two weeks. Then he got bored. He was always passionate about the rum industry. He worked his whole life with Bacardi in many different areas. Now he wanted to do something new in the rum industry. He wanted to grab the reins of a new project himself. He had always been friends with the Fernandez family. He assessed the situation as it was and the reality was the two gentlemen, who were grandsons of the original founder Pedro, were at the time, 84 and 85 years old, and none of their children were involved in the business. I think we all know how that story goes if it plaid out another decade. It is unfortunate because it is a brand that was so coveted and that they did not have the necessary future in place to continue at all. My father addressed it with them. He told them that more important than us acquiring this brand is keeping this brand alive because there is a very grim reality that if they dont make a change in the next few months or years, this brand may disappear. It became even more of a reality when the older gentlemen, the 86-year old, informed my dad that the Barrilito formula was in his head. It had never been written down. Thats the style in which they ran this company.

Ridiculously Good For The Price9out Of 10

Postedover 4 years agobyChameleonSkinfromUnited Stateswith18 ratings

Every time I’ve gone to pick up a bottle of this , I’m absolutely floored by the fact that this is a sub-$40 bottle of rum. It’s smooth, and lush, with a wonderful balance of caramel, vanilla, and oak, while still having that clean, refined mouthfeel that you expect from a column-still rum. It’s fantastic on its own, and remains one of my favorite components of most tiki drinks as well. It absolutely shines in a mai tai with a good Jamaican pot-still as a funky counterpoint . It’s also essential to a good zombie or jet pilot.

If you’re drinking on its own, just be prepared for the fact that this has minimal or no added sugar it’s not going to be a Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva or a Zaya. It’s dry and clean like a Spanish sherry. It’s a much better palate cleanser than a digestif.

As a mixer, I have yet to find a drink in which this doesn’t shine. It has this magical ability to play nice with others while still not having its own unique flavors lost among others. I’ve used it in a Coronado Luaus special before which has somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 ingredients, and I can still pick out the unique notes of the Ron del Barrilito even in that setting.

A truly fantastic rum, and amazing at this price point.

Hacienda Santa Ana Puerto Rico

MK: Where does the name come from?

EB: Ron del Barrilito, in Spanish, translates to the rum from the little barrel. The Fernandez family had been making rum for years. When Pedro came back from France and started making his specific blend, he would keep it in a very small barrel that he kept hidden. When guests came over, they were aware of this rum and would refuse the regular rum and ask for the special rum from the little barrel. Of course, he was forced to bring that rum out and had to start making more and more of it and refined the formula even more. That formula is what we use today, which I think is pretty impressive and something of which we are very proud.

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Ron Del Barrilito Skip The Line: Rum Tasting Tour Ticket Provided By Ron Del Barrilito Visitor Center

  • Learn more
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  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Each of our tours includes a Welcome Drink that will be redeemed in our main bar.
  • Entry/Admission – Ron del Barrilito Visitor Center
  • Guaranteed to skip the lines
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Minors under 18 years of age are not allowed on this tour.
  • We require that every participant shows Covid 19 vaccination card or recent negative test results taken no more than 72 hours prior to day of visit.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
  • Each of our tours includes a Welcome Drink that will be redeemed in our main bar.
  • Entry/Admission – Ron del Barrilito Visitor Center
  • Guaranteed to skip the lines
  • Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Minors under 18 years of age are not allowed on this tour.
  • We require that every participant shows Covid 19 vaccination card or recent negative test results taken no more than 72 hours prior to day of visit.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Temperature checks for tour participants upon arrival

Ron Del Barrilito Visitor Center

Ron Del Barrilito 5 Star Reserva Suprema Primera Edicion ...

MK: In 2019 you opened a new $2M Visitor Center. Is that part of that education process?

EB: Yes. We wanted to do the right thing with this brand. That just doesnt end with repairing the warehouses, doing some landscaping, and continuing on as we are. It means lets do everything. Lets create an experience for a brand that deserves it. Thats where the Visitors Center Experiences came from. One of our aging warehouses took its final blow when Hurricane Maria damaged it in 2017. We repurposed it into what is the starting point of our three Visitor Center Tours. We have the Basic Heritage Tour, which is simply a walk around of the property, getting the history, seeing the facilities. There is the Tasting Tour, which includes the full Heritage Tour and then you sit down with a brand specialist and they walk you through the 2 Stars, the 3 Stars, the 4 Stars, and the 5 Stars in a sensorial experience. The Mixology Tour, also starts with the Heritage Tour, but then you get to create three classic cocktails with a Barrilito twist.

MK: I visited Barrilito in the early 90s and at that time you were really not set up for tours, but Fernando Fernandez was kind enough to take me through the entire facility.

MK: As part of the acquisition team, your father brought in another former Bacardi employee, Master Blender Luis Planas.

MK: What did Luis find when he first went into the aging facility?

MK: There are those that would call this a spiced rum.

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Rum Review: Ron Del Barrilito 2 And 3

I bought this pair of rums based on , decent prices, and my never having had a Puerto Rican rum. The bottle is of the plainest bar style with a plastic cap. There is no age statement on either bottle. The labeling is pretty much the same with the lighter called Calidad Extra and the darker Superior Especiale

I decided to review them together because having tasted them, now through about a third of each bottle, they are still very similar. Imagine two brothers, an older and a younger whose family resemblance is remarkable. Neither can be mistaken for the other for one has matured by some further years. Still that they began with the same stock seems indisputable. It is that way with these two rums.



Cigar pairing potential? I smoked three or four different cigars with each of these rums. I didnt notice anything outstanding, but then there werent any clashes either. Either is a good rum with lighter or darker cigars. Even the fruits of the 2-star went OK with the bitter coco and coffee of an Asylum Nyctophilia.

Would I buy these again? I think they are both good offerings at their price points. There are other rums I like better at those price points, but this would be purely a matter of taste. You might easily find these two better than the competitors I would select. In any case their price is not out of line with their quality. If you like Barbancourt 5-star you should at least try the 2-star and if you like English Harbour, give the 3-star a go.

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The Best Puerto Rican Rum10out Of 10

Postedover 4 years agobymdkfromPuerto Ricowith11 ratings

“Barrilito tres estrellas” is a classic still produced the same way as in the 19th century. Hard to find outside of PR — in PR, it’s the cheapest sipping rum — at $20-25 per bottle, it’s better than most rums twice that much. Perfect with a couple of rocks, or if you have to mix it, with a bit of dry cranberry and soda. Do not use it for cuba libres — it would be a waste!

Ron Del Barrilito 5 Star


Coming in at $750 a bottle, this hand-filled bottle is as much of an experience to make as it is to drink. You hand pour it from the barrel and get to seal it with wax.

Its a collectible edition aged up to 35 years and a great gift for aficionados.

You can only find this rum at the gift shop on the property.

If this seems a little out of your price range, never fear all tours come with a complimentary drink at the bar immediately adjacent to the gift shop.

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Exclusive Interview With Eduardo Bacardi By Mike Kunetka

MK: Growing up in the Bacardi family, do you think you were destined to be in the rum industry?

EB: I am a sixth-generation member of the Bacardi family. That makes Facundo Bacardi my great, great, great grandfather. My father and his father were both involved in the family business. My father worked for over 30 years in sales at Bacardi. My grandfather was a Master Blender at Bacardi. As far as I can remember, I was around it. So, I knew it was part of my destiny that I would be working with rum. But I am very fortunate to be working with a different rum, Ron del Barrilito.

MK: Both Bacardi and Ron del Barrilito have long histories. Which is older?

EB: Bacardi was started in Cuba in 1862 and later moved to Puerto Rico. Ron del Barrilito started in 1880 at the Hacienda Santa Ana and has remained at the same site ever since. They have never moved, they never had to change locations, they have not changed the process. This is all that makes our story so interesting.

MK: When and where does the Barrilito story begin?

Hacienda Santa Ana Tour

The Hacienda recently opened for tours and events. Currently, you can tour the warehouses and visit the main reception building with the gift shop and tasting rooms.

The land used to be a sugar plantation and served as home to the Fernandez family for generations. The windmill has been converted into office space for the employees.

It is a small but scenic stop and worthwhile if youre interested in learning about the islands history. Theres even a barrel of rum reserved to be drank only when Puerto Rico receives its independence.

Titled the freedom barrel, it has been marinating since 1942. Its only meant to be opened under one circumstance , at which time the rum therein is meant to be given to the local people of Bayamon for free to celebrate.

Tours are available daily from 9am-4pm. I recommend you make reservations online ahead of time to ensure availability.

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Ron Del Barrilito 3 Star

Puerto Rico|Aged|40.0% ABV

Ron del Barrilito 3 Star rum is produced in Bayamón Puerto Rico by the Fernández family, which has been producing rum in the area since 1804, making it the oldest rum manufacturer in Puerto Rico. The rum is first blended and then aged for a minimum of 6 years.

A single barrel of Ron del Barrilito rum was set aside in 1942 called the ‘Freedom Barrel.’ When Puerto Rico gains its independence the Freedom Barrel will be opened in the Bayamón town square for all to share.

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Ron del Barrilito: Puerto Ricos Oldest, Most Beloved Rum ...

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  • Ron del Barrilito 3 Star Puerto Rican Rum

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Ron Del Barrilito Distilling Process

Pedro Fernandez is the main founder of this brand of rum. He studied in France and wanted his product to mimic cognac or sherry. He would store his creations in oak barrels.

Most rum distilleries purchase their barrels from Bourbon makers in Kentucky. Ron del Barillito purchases white oak barrels directly from Spain. These are sherry wine barrels with more of a brandy flavor.

The main ingredient? Molasses. This is why hot weather accelerates the distillation process.

Most rums age for 6-10 years. There is the 3-star rum that is the original and ages for 6-10 years, and 2-star rum that is better for mixing and ages for 3-5 years.

Where To Buy Ron Del Barrilito Rum

The distillery produces 18,000 bottles per year and is distributed in 30 states. Nevertheless, its hard to find and always a treat to stumble across outside the island.

There are 6 aging warehouses on the premises and only one headquarters Hacienda Santa Anna. This is the original location where the rum was first produced, in Bayamon.

There are several different rum variations you can buy on the property, including one that is strictly available on sight and is the most exclusive product they offer.

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It’s All In The Details

The nosing finds mature smells of molasses, honey, milk chocolate and nougat. The palate entry is a touch smoky and very sweet the honey and molasses tastes come to the fore at the midpalate. Finish is warm, comfortable and mature.

Medium body with a natural dark reddish color. Aromas of almonds, vanilla, raisins, and bananas with a strong woody backbone. Very smooth and fruity sweetness with a lingering smoky finish.

An impeccable blend of rums aged between 6 and 10 years in vintage american white oak sherry barrels. Its a wonderful sipping rum best enjoyed neat. Maybe just a splash of water or on the rocks, but you already know that great spirits need little enhancement.

‘s Rum Sipping And San Juan Shore Excursion

Webber Restaurant Group Visits The Birthplace of Ron del Barrilito
  • Stephanie T. San Juan, Puerto Rico, United States

    Hello everyone!My name is Stephanie. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I love living in this,…more

Day Trip / Out of Town, Local Experience, Shore Excursion


Spanish , English

Enjoy our oldest rum “Ron del Barrilito” and a half day tour around our beautiful city of old San Juan!

Puerto Rico is considered to be the Rum Capital of the World. In this tour you’ll get to enjoy a visit through Ron Del Barrilito Distillery where you will learn its History and have a refreshing drink made by their mixologist. This Rum is the Oldest Puerto Rican Rum dated back to the year 1880. It has always been made in very small batches and It’s aged to perfection in vintage American white Oak Sherry Barrels.Old San Juan is the second oldest city in the Americas founded in the year 1521. Sit back and enjoy the view. We’ll be going by the Capital Building, Castles, Forts, Beaches, Cobblestone Streets, Art Galleries , Governor’s Mansion and more. Old SanJuan also has the Restaurant that created the Piña Colada in the year 1963. You can buy if you want.Join me on this adventure!

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Member Reviews & Questions


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