Bacardi Oakheart

image In 2011 after numerous “flavoured” expressions and a couple of rum “liqueurs” Bacardi finally released a Spiced rum to the market.  Except at only 35% they aren’t legally allowed to market it as a Spiced rum so it becomes a Smooth and Spiced Spirit Drink.

Oakheart takes its name from the charred white oak barrels that the rum, sorry spirit drink is housed in.  The rums contained within the blend are aged between 1-3 years.  Bacardi were hoping upon its release that the tagline “Oak and Coke” would be heard in bars all over the world.  I don’t think that has quite worked.

It was the Original UK recipe Sailor Jerry which really began the Spiced Rum “craze” (I don’t think it really got that far) in the UK in the late noughties.  Spiced Rums such as The Kraken and Morgans Spiced (Gold) appeased many fans following the adoption of the American style Sailor Jerry.  The Kraken proved particularly popular and even led to Captain Morgan hitting back with their own Spiced Black rum.  In the UK a enterprising bunch have now set up a rum called “Old J” which seeks to re-create the old style Sailor Jerry.

It really should have been a no-brainer that Bacardi would produce a Spiced Rum that would take over the world.  Unfortunately it hasn’t quite worked out that way for this “spirit drink”.

First off the presentation is pretty good for what is an entry level drink.  Bacardi were Bacardi Oakheart Rum Review by the fat rum pirateseeking for a “rugged and masculine” brand and they have achieved that.  The bottle is a step above most entry level rums with detailing on the well made screw top and dimbling on the bottle which is a nice extra touch.  The product screams Bacardi with the Bat Logo very prominent and it does promise to be a dark and mysterious offering.

In the UK the rum retails at around £22 for 1 litre bottle and around £17 for a 70cl bottle.  The ABV is 35%.  Still plenty strong enough if it is as addictive as many spiced rums to give you a thick head come the morning!

I’ve reviewed a good few spiced rums and only really Foursquare’s and Pusser’s have impressed me.  Most are simply too sweet and overpowering.  Vanilla is usually the worst offender in a spiced rum.  Synthetic vanilla and over enthusiastic use of Cinnamon have led to some pretty grim discoveries in the Spiced department.

Now Bacardi suggest this rum is “Smooth and Spiced” and can be sipped neat, over ice or as they suggest in a signature “Oak and coke”.  The Oakheart also works with Ginger Beer but as with most Spiced rums Lemonade or lighter mixers really don’t make for a pleasant drink.

Bacardi Oakheart Rum Review by the fat rum pirateI take a sip of the Oakheart and yes it is smooth but it is also very sweet.  There is a still a slight burn of alcohol and the spicing is maybe just a bit too much for you to really enjoy the spirit neat.  There is also a slightly jarring aftertaste.  It’s a bit smoky and oily and is reminding me very strongly of one of my least favourite Bacardi’s – Bacardi Black.  The aftertaste is very unwelcome and definitely rules the Oakheart out as a sipper for me.

So on with the mixing and I’ll try and “Oak and Coke”.  Initially the drink is pretty pleasant.  It’s very smooth.  However, the is attributable to the amount of spicing and sugar that is clearly in this drink.  It certainly isn’t ageing.  Bacardi claim to use “Amber rums” in the blend.  This is another unwelcome addition as it would suggest Bacardi Gold (Oro) or a similar blend of rum.  Bacardi Gold is another rum which I found to be pretty awful.  Despite this claim I am still getting that nasty aftertaste which still reminds me of Bacardi Black.

On with another drink this time with Ginger Beer.  This is probably the best way to drink the Oakheart.  Sadly its because the Ginger Beer masks the cloying sweetness of the spirit drink and also tempers the horrible smokey aftertaste which I so hate.  If it wasn’t for the lingering aftertaste and the mouthfeel it leaves behind I probably wouldn’t mind this drink so much.  Unfortunately as it stands I’m really not enjoying this drink at all.

To be honest the Oakheart just doesn’t work on so many levels.  The rum base being used is one which I really dislike.  The flavours whilst not as synthetic as Morgan’s Spiced Gold are still ramped up a notch or three too far.  The drink becomes cloying very quickly.  It is smooth but you can tell that this is more the amount of added sugar and flavourings than any decent time in “Oak”.

I feel Bacardi have tried to pull the wool a little with this one.  It isn’t smooth due to time in small white oak barrels its because its been heavily sugared.  This is really pretty poor stuff and best avoided.


1 stars

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