Blog: Olly WehringLive Blog – Bacardi Triangle, Puerto Rico - Saturday

Olly Wehring | 1 November 2014

1637 EDT: I'm just back from a trip to Bacardi's distillery up to the north coast of Puerto Rico. The facility, which claims to be the largest rum distillery in the world, is certainly impressive, not only in size, but also in location – it's at the sea edge – and in organisation. The site tour is meticulously designed, featuring the requisite museum and gift shop as well as 'tourist train' and visit to the top floor of the distillery proper to take in the view of the sea and neighbouring San Juan.

Much is made of the family approach of the company, underlined further for us when we were lucky enough to meet the firm's president, Joaquin Bacardi – he represents the fifth generation of the family within the firm. After a quick talk he took a handful of questions: I couldn't resist asking him about the importance of Cuba for both the firm and for his family.

Just back at our hotel, we'll have time for a quick shower and change before we head over to Palomino Island for the highlight – and final night – of our trip. We're told to expect a musical extravaganza, culminating in Calvin Harris closing the inaugural 'Bacardi Triangle'.

I'm off, then, to don my dancing shoes, for one last night in the Caribbean.

0920 EDT: The storm that greeted us on Thursday evening came with connection 'issues' – apologies for the lack of updates, but normal service appears to have been resumed. Friday evening comprised a half-hour sit-down with Dmitry Ivanov and a Hallowe'en-themed pool party.

The former was poorly-timed, unfortunately: With most of the Bacardi global team here (hosting their guests and clients), Ivanov has been having wall-to-wall meetings. The result was Ivanov had had, how shall I put it, a long day. Despite that, he was a true professional: we'll run the interview on just-drinks next week.

After Ivanov, it was dressing-up time ahead of 'Black Magic', where a plethora of bars fringed a pool complex and a raft of DJs had their way with the revellers. One of my more enjoyable Hallowe'en evenings, which ended with what felt like an 'aqua-cise' lesson.

So, to this morning: In an hour, we're heading to Bacardi's distillery on Puerto Rico, by far the company's largest. It's further away than I thought; we're told to expect a 90-minute journey there. I'll look to get together enough to give you a feel for the place (like the Sipsmith distillery visit last week).

The sun's out – it's shorts time. On 1 November.


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