Bacardi Carta Fuego

Bacardi Carta Fuego rum review by the fat rum pirateBacardi Carta Fuego – Red Spiced Rum to give it it’s full moniker.  In 2011 Bacardi moved away from creating weird and wonderful Flavoured Rums and introduced their competitor in the Spiced Rum market – Bacardi Oakheart.

If things had went to plan then we would all be at least familiar with, if not drinking an Oak And Coke.  As many of you will be puzzled by this, its safe to say that things didn’t go quite as planned for Bacardi as Oakheart failed to make a major dent in Captain Morgan’s Musket and The Kraken seem to have the Dark end of the Spiced rum market all sewn up.  That’s not to mention Sailor Jerry and the numerous copy-cats which have sprung up in the wake of the success of the now deceased Tattoo Artist at the tail end of the “noughties” (00’s).

So here we are in 2015 and Bacardi have obviously decided to try and chip into another market.  Online discussion has revealed that a Cinnamon Flavoured whisky liqueur called Fireball is particularly popular in the US.  Is this Bacardi’s attempt at getting a slice of that market?  It has been noted, again online that this has a distinictive Cinnamon like flavour.

Carta Fuego has been brought to market at the same time as the global re-branding of nearly all of Bacardi’s lines.  As a result the slightly squared bar room style bottle has the new Bacardi logo.  A 70cl bottle at 40% ABV (Oakheart is 35%)) and will se you back around £18-20 in the UK.

Bacardi’s marketing angle is that this is a Red Spiced Rum, made with rum which is aged for one year. Mixed with a blend of secrets flavours and natural spices.  It is “bold and smooth capturing tropical flavours”. It is to be enjoyed either as a shot with 3 drops of Tabasco sauce(?) or mixed with cola.

Bacardi Carta Fuego rum review by the fat rum pirateI appreciate that Bacardi are trying the Spiced Rum route again but coming in at a different angle.  Legally in the UK this rum can be sold as a Spiced Rum however I note Bacardi also add Spirit Drink to the front label.  Different territories have different rules on what can constitute rum.  In the UK all rum must be over 37.5% ABV to be legally classed as rum.

I’ve yet to read a serious review of the Carta Fuego.  All I have really seen is press releases.  Obviously there is little criticism of the drink to be seen in such articles.

I recently ran the Carta Fuego through the Hydrometer Test and the result of 92 g/L caused a bit of a stir amongst the Rum Community.  A 330ml can of Regular Coke contains 109 g/L.  So we are talking some serious sugar.  Still it is a Spiced Rum and very few Spiced Rums out there come up 100% “clean” on the Hydrometer Tests.  Again being fair I do not expect them to.

The Carta Fuego is quite a bright reddish brown.  It is definitely not ridiculously artificial looking red like soda for example.  Nosed, the spirit is very sweet.  It smells like Candy Floss (Cotton Candy).  It’s not hugely pungent but you do get a lot of sweet sickly toffee and sugar notes on the nose.  I’m not really noticing the Cinnamon though so perhaps I have been misinformed.  What I am noticing in the nose which is disappointing me is the familiar slightly oily faux oakiness of the Oakheart.  It reminds me again of Bacardi Black. Not a good thing.

When poured and re-sealed you really begin to appreciate just how sweet and sticky this rum is.  It’s almost liqueur territory.  The metal screw cap and the top of the bottle quite quickly becomes clogged and sticky.  This is not something I’m looking for!

I’m trying to keep an open mind but Bacardi have offered me little as to what flavour this rum is supposed to be taking on.  This leaves me less than enthused.  For those not familiar with my writing, please read my other Bacardi reviews – a Bacardi Basher I am not and when credit is due they receive it.  With such wonderfully named flavoured rums I’m surprised they can’t at least put on the bottle what “flavours” are contained in this rum.

We’ll start tasting the Fuego with a shot as advised on the rear of the bottle.  However, we’ll give the Tabasco a miss.  When poured into a shooter glass the rum takes on a more subdued almost dull brownish colour.  I’ve seen bars advertising shots of this already – so lets see how it goes.

Bacardi Carta Fuego rum review by the fat rum pirateAs a shot it does what its meant to do.  It gives a sweet yet slightly boozy kick.  The finish isn’t particularly long and the spirit tingles on the lips just long enough to satisfy an 18-21 year old that they are getting something which will get them drunk.  To be fair if they get “shots” of this straight out of the bottle then I will say they will at least be getting a drink likely to do that.  Most “shots” which are usually sold by attractive young ladies to groups of drunken young men are about as alcoholic as a Foster’s Radler.

When sipped you don’t really get much more than the sweetness.  There is a perhaps a hint of Cinnamon or spice but nothing to get too excited about.  The “smokiness” spoke of on the bottle to me is just the same nasty base rum which is used in the Oakheart.  I really don’t like the aftertaste left by this young rum.  It’s rough and grainy and really not very nice at all..

Mixing this with Cola gives you a very sweet drink.  Even with Diet Cola.  It really just reminds me of the Oakheart only with the Vanilla and oak notes removed and replaced with vast amounts of sugar.  It’s far too sweet to enjoy.

This is really nasty stuff and to try and pick out individual notes and attribute them to this rum really would be a bit of an insult to the other rums I have reviewed.  It’s much like a cup of tea or coffee when you slip with the sugar and end up with a gloopy mess in the bottom and a drink which tastes solely off sugar.

This is best avoided.  If you want a Spiced Rum then try Bristol, Foursquare or Pussers Spiced.  If you are seeking out Bacardi products buy the Bacardi 8, the Reserva or even the White Superior.

0.5 stars




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One comment on “Bacardi Carta Fuego

  1. […] All I know is that until this year (2015) Captain Morgan White Rum was not available in the UK. Coming at the same time as huge global re-branding by Bacardi. Not to mention another new Spiced Bacardi product (Carta Fuego). […]

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