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Rum Review: Bacardi 8

Bacardi 8 Rum Review

Bacardi 8 Rum

Despite their long-standing rank among the most successful rum producers of all time, Bacardi is a bit of a punching bag among rum nerds. Now, whether that’s a function of its success or its taste is something to be debated–personally I think it’s a bit of both. I myself am not a Bacardi hater–their ubiquitous white rum is a solid 7/10,  and their coconut rum is the best of the mass-produced variety, but they aren’t known for making sipping rums.

In fact, prior to the release of their “Facundo” line this year, the only “premium” rums available from Bacardi here were the Reserva Limitada ($99) and the Eight-year ($25). The eight pops up fairly often in craft cocktail bars, and folks tend to think it’s a solid product for the money so I thought I’d take a closer look.

The Bacardi 8 bottle is noticeably different than its upright brethren. It’s more squat and understated, with the “8” and the bat symbol taking center stage on the label. The plastic stopper top (also bat-emblazoned) hides a somewhat awkward synthetic cork closure.

In the glass, the rum is gold to copper, and a swirl of the snifter produces an evenly distributed set of legs that descend quickly from whence they came.

On nosing, there is a goodly amount of astringency. After a few minutes, the astringency is diminished, and we can get down to business. The initial aromas are of fresh fruit: Granny Smith apple, kiwi, banana and sour cherry. Just beneath the fruit is a bit of oak, caramel and vanilla. After that is a hint of black pepper and allspice.

The first sip provides a spicy, bright entry that is consistent with a young rum profile. Conversely, there is a good amount of oak present. There is a fair bit of sweetness here along with a thin mouthfeel. The fruit comes through on the front end: sour apple and kiwi, followed by a bit of cherry, and then some pepper. Just as I get the slightest hint of caramel, the oak takes over and dominates the entire experience. And then just as quickly as the oak arrives, it’s gone, leaving a watery finish that lacks complexity.

At $25, Bacardi 8 might be a solid choice for cocktails, but it’s not suitable for sipping. In this price range, I would probably opt for Plantation 5 instead (which is even cheaper).

On to the scores:

  • Appearance 1/1
  • Aroma 1.75/2
  • Mouth feel .75/1
  • Taste 2.5/4
  • Aftertaste 1.5/2
  •  Total 7.5/10

Buy Bacardi 8 online

Have you tried Bacardi 8? What are your thoughts? Please share them below.

Cheers,
Josh

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2014 11:47 am

    It’s always interesting to see a review on this rum. Like you we gave this a very average score, and would heartilly agree with your findings. A real 8 year should have been much better. Is there a reason why this one is not?

    Consider some late breaking news about both Barcardi 8 and Plantation 5. According to tests done by Alko of Finland (who tests all rums sold there), and recently reported by Count Silvio: unlike Bacardi Superior which has no added sugar (after all its meant for a mixer), the 8 year is promoted for sipping. This may explain why Finland’s testing revealed that this 8 year carries a boatload of unlabeled, added sugar, 20 grams per liter.

    The reason is typical. Table sugar is commonly slipped into lesser rums to make them smoother and more palatable – but little else.. And when a distiller alters a rum with sugar, it’s fair to say that who know what else is in there. All in the name of making a lesser rum seem more than it is.

    The real surprise is Plantation, promoted for its alleged quality and “finishing” in sherry barrels. The two Plantations tested by Alko revealed added sugar in the 17g/liter range, almost as much as Bacardi. When a rum requires this much sugar, you can be sure that a marketing dunk in sherry wood is not the real flavor enhancer.

    The last point here has to be age. The term young and old have become rather squishy. It’s probably fair to call a rum “young” that’s four or less years old. Rums that are truly older than say 12 years are very rare, despite claims to the contrary. No rums are bonded; age statements are not really defined and we are forced to believe that every drop in there is say 15 years old, and why? Because the marketing department says so.

    The real sweet spot (pun intended) for rum is probably 7 to 10 years, particularly in view of the consensus that a year in the tropics is worth twice or three times that in the US or Scotland. Thus a ten year old Barbadian rum can be considered the equivalent of a 20 year + single malt at least in terms of age.

    Thus, Bacardi 8 – had it been made and aged properly – should actually be a barnburner: complex, harmonious, balanced and lingering. It’s none of those – you simply can’t achieve that by dumping in sugar…

  2. December 22, 2014 1:42 am

    I found the Bacardi Reserva (not Reserva Limitada) despite being a younger rum to be slightly better than the Bacardi 8.

    The Reserva is the best Bacardi rum I have tried and is a great mixer. It has a slightly dry oaky profile. Similar in many respects to Chairmans Reserve and other St Lucia Distillers rum’s.

    The Bacardi 8 isn’t a bad rum and to be fair very fairly priced.

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  1. New Rum Review: Bacardi 8 | Inu a Kena

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