The tours are at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The tour only takes place if there are at least 10 people. The day we went the 11:00A tour was canceled. We were told this happens often to the 11:00A tour but rarely to the 2:00P tour. We returned for the 2:00P tour.
The tour starts at the visitor welcome pavilion. Here you're offered a sample from a variety of Bacardi products, including the $200-a-bottle Bacardi Casa 20-year-old rum. I tried the Nassau Royale Rum Liqueur, which is available only on the island.
The tour is a short walking tour and has a few interesting points, but is not that great. You see the distillation tower from a distance but do go into the aging shed. The aging shed contains hundreds of oak barrels with 191 proof rum base being aged for anywhere from 2 to 20 years. The base is diluted to become the rum that we can buy. As soon as you enter the shed, you can smell the alcohol fumes. We were told that if you stayed in the shed long enough, you would become intoxicated just from the fumes. We only stayed for a minute or two, which disappointed a few of the people on the tour. We also visited the bottling line.
At the end of the tour, you can get another sample or two! And then visit the gift shop. If you like rum, this is the place to buy it. The prices are a fraction of the cost in the US. We bought T-shirts, they each came with a choice 750 ml bottles of Bacardi products. We chose the Nassau Royale and the Nassau Royal Banana rum.
While the tour and samples are free, the tour guide is not shy about asking for a tip. She has a Barcardi Straw Sun Hat and demonstrates how it converts to a tote bag! Then uses the tote bag to collect tips. She also reminds you not to forget to "show your appreciation" to the bartender.
Derry, New Hampshire
August 26, 2004
From journal Nassau, No Problem, Mahn