Business

The Bacardi Investment

It’s been close to a year now, but the word is just now reaching the masses. Barcardi 151, the high proof rum often used in sweet drinks and tiki bar flame shows, is no longer.

Bacardi 151 was a high proof alcohol (75.5% by volume) established in 1981 that some proclaimed to be either too strong or a tasty classic, depending on who you talk to. The speculation of its discontinuation has ranged from Barcardi’s fear of future lawsuits to dwindling sales of the flaming spirit. It’s tough to say why the 35-year market stalwart suddenly disappeared. Actually, it’s quite puzzling. The only sure thing is that the red cap bottles of golden rum are scarce.

There are other 151 rums on the market. Don Q and Cruzan, just to name a few. Beverage store sales clerks will quickly point out these alternative brands should you ask for Bacardi. However, the Bacardi brand is synonymous with great rum.  That’s no knock against the others, but Bacardi 151 is the 151 of choice for a reason. Which brings us to our next question, “Is Bacardi 151 a good investment?”

Walk into any liquor store, and if you’re lucky, you can find a bottle or two of Bacardi 151 still sitting on the shelf. Take a scroll on eBay and you’ll likely find empty bottles selling for upwards of $25, while a normally priced $14 pint that’s still in-tact sells for anywhere north of $45. We’ve actually spotted 750ml bottles topping $100. Keep in mind that this 151 rum has only been discontinued for less than a full year.

What makes the investment question an interesting one is that liquor has an extremely long lifespan, so an investor’s only worry (if even that) would be where to safely store the potentially flammable spirit. For now, to the disappointment of many consumers, Bacardi’s made the first move. It’ll be interesting to see how would-be investors approach the discontinued classic and what the future market bears when there’s a renewed thirst for the red capped bottles.