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