It's hard to believe that Bacardi became a giant on the basis of what's in this particular bottle. Otherwise I can only attribute the historical success of the brand to mass delusion.
That said, I did have an interesting moment while drinking this neat. I became amazed at my ability to actually consume and process rack-grade Bacardi without ejecting it from my mouth in a cartoon-like spit take. I thought, "Boy, I've really crossed the veil here. I might be able to drink anything." I basked in the glow of that strange realization for a longer period of time than I or anyone else could have expected. If that's the most positive thing I can say about this, we're in for a bumpy ride.
We start off with the aroma, which is equal parts sugar cane and grapefruit before the pencil lead and bleach begin to creep in. Acetone I can deal with, but bleach is a new experience for me. And the weirdness grows with the tasting experience! On the palate, there's a metallic kind of pissy taste before it settles down into a marshmallow sweetness, but then that same sweetness dons an aspartame kind of edge and makes itself almost instantly unwelcome. The taste of cleaning solvent darts in and out for an extra level of bad and weird.
And it just gets stranger in the finish. At the very end, Bacardi Superior leaves you with that same puzzling metallic taste from before. I couldn't help but think I'd be left with the same aftertaste if I made a habit of snacking on burnt computer chips. Then, as soon as the thought crept into my head, a lingering acidity and sharpness made me hope the liquid wasn't actually burning through my tongue.
While I was drinking this, I couldn't help but thinking about how the T-1000 dies at the end of Terminator 2 (spoiler), where it just keeps shrieking and turning into all kinds of different shapes and faces before it finally goes under the molten metal once and for all. Nothing about the Bacardi Superior will make you gag, but god almighty does it go through an entire spectrum of disappointing aromas, flavors, and finishes before it finally gives up the ghost.
Perhaps more than anything I've reviewed as of yet, I feel like the Bacardi Superior went out of its way to earn a zero star and is perfectly happy wearing it as a frightening badge of honor. Part of me wants to applaud it, but I'm certainly not going to be drinking any more.