Bermuda-based producer Bacardí has kicked off a new premium range with the release of a Sherry cask-finished rum.The rum brand has unveiled Bacardí Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish as the first expression in a new annual collection. Bacardí will release a cask-finished expression every year until 2025. The new range is part of the brand’s plan to expand its premium offering. Lisa Pfenning, vice-president for Bacardi in North America, said: “This is our first innovation for the premium range since the portfolio first launched in 2018, and we are excited to introduce four more innovations over the course of the next four years.” Each expression in the new line will use Bacardí Reserva Ocho as its base. It will be finished for several months in a barrel that will change year to year. The first bottling in the new collection has been aged in American oak barrels for eight to 12 years and finished in an oloroso Sherry cask for just over two months. The Sherry cask was chosen as the inaugural expression due to its origins in Spain, which is where the brand’s founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, was born. The additional maturation in the Sherry casks gives the rum a ‘smooth velvety texture’, along with notes of caramel, vanilla, and orange, and hints of walnuts and almonds. The new expression is recommended served neat at room temperature. According to data from the Distilled Spirits Council cited by the brand, the rum category’s revenue rose by 5.9% in 2020, led by the high-end premium (8.7%), premium (7.5%) and super-premium (3.7%) segments. The brand is seeking to attract whisky drinkers with the new cask-finished collection. Bacardí said Nielsen figures showed that sales of rum cask-finished bottlings are growing by more than 190%. The new Bacardí Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish has an RRP of US$32.99 per 750ml bottle. It will be available online and in stores across the US from September. To celebrate the launch of the collection, the brand has teamed up with celebrity photographer Cam Kirk to create an original NFT (non-fungible token) inspired by the new bottling. The NFT will be sold online at bacardicasknft.com from 1 September for a two-week period. Proceeds from the sale will go to Bacardi’s Backing the Bar initiative to support Black-owned venues, alcohol stores and small businesses. Last month, Bacardí introduced a limited edition rum infused with tropical fruit flavours.