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Puerto Rican Rum and Revenue Flowing Again at Bacardi Distillery

  • Spirit tax generates 3 percent of island’s total tax revenue
  • Devastation didn’t touch barrels or distillation equipment

After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s physical destruction multiplied its financial crisis. But at least one revenue generator is up and running: rum.

On the western edge of San Juan Bay in a small town called Catano, a Bacardi Ltd. distillery produces some of world’s most famous rum. The spirit made at Bacardi and competitors like Destileria Serralles and Edmundo B. Fernandez Inc. provides fully 3 percent of Puerto Rico’s tax receipts.