Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rare Gold Rum Aged 8 Years

Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rare Gold Rum Aged 8 YearsBacardi Reserva Ocho Rare Gold Rum Aged 8 Years. As far as I am aware and there is nothing on their own website to disprove this, this rum is a re-packaged version of the existing Bacardi 8 Year Old rum. It is not a “new” rum as such.

I reviewed a bottle of their 8 Year Old rum back in 2014. Even since that bottling, Bacardi had changed the presentation of the rum once already. Such is the size of Bacardi’s operation, you will still readily find bottles presented in the style I reviewed. I do not expect bottles of the more recent variant, with the new typeface to disappear any time soon either.

Bacardi are a curious beast and quite stubborn. This “new” bottling highlights this. This is the second time they have re-branded this rum in around 3-4 years. Other than variation from batch to batch, it is essentially the same rum, made to the same profile with no alteration to the ABV. Nor it would seem a change to the amount of additives/sugar. Once again we see 12g/L of additives.

Now, there is no point debating over the marketability of Bacardi. They are one of the top sellers of rum by volume and the brand is universally recognised. If not always immediately identified by all consumers as actually being rum. Bacardi and Coke drinkers do not always realise it is rum and not just Bacardi. That is how powerful the Bacardi marketing is. That we cannot dispute nor would I ever try to.

Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rare Gold Rum Aged 8 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateHowever, one area where Bacardi don’t really make much head way is the small, perhaps 1% of the market where the “Rum Geeks” lurk. An 8 Year Old column distilled rum bottled at 40% ABV, with some additives is not what this kind of anorak is seeking. Even for £30. Which is how much this rum is retailing at. It simply has no appeal.

Bacardi have decided to use supermarket chain ASDA (part of Walmart let us not forget) to help launch this expression on the UK market. It is easily and readily available, in most large and medium sized ASDA supermarkets. As is the 4 Year Cuatro Anejo which I reviewed earlier this year. Once again Bacardi are trying to “Premiumise” the market.

Presentation wise, Bacardi have upped the game with this one. The rounded stubby sized bottle has the Bacardi bat logo embossed on the bottle and the synthetic cork stopper is substantial. A nice wooden topped stopper which has the Bacardi bat printed on it. The bottle also has the “Bacardi y Cia” embossed into the glass along with “Reserva”. This is reminiscent of the Bacardi Superior Heritage bottling, which was released a few years ago, in an attempt to recreate the early 1900’s style of Bacardi.

To the none “Rum Geek” this bottle screams expensive, “Premium” rum. Casual or less committed ASDA shoppers, willing to pay £30 for a bottle of rum will definitely be swayed by the presentation. Amongst more casual consumers it will still create a buzz when brought out at a party. So much of the UK market sees Bacardi Superior as a “Premium” rum and the likes of Jack Daniels No7. and Absolut Vodka are still viewed as top drawer products. Anything above Supermarket own brand is premium to many in the UK.

Now as much as I have bemoaned the fact Bacardi haven’t actually changed the rum in this blend, it is still the “Family Reserve”, they have actually included a bit more information on the new bottling. Information which “Rum Geeks” should at least see as a step forward. The age statement has been firmed up to state it is a blend of rums at least 8 years old. The youngest rum in this blend is from 2009 (do the maths) and they have provided a batch number for this as well. Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rare Gold Rum Aged 8 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

So how will I find this rum 4 years and probably about another 300 rums on in the review process?

Let’s find out. Last time I gave Bacardi 8 Anos 3 stars which means it was a good solid example at the price point.

In the glass the rum is a dark to golden brown. A good “Premium” rum colour.

The nose is familiar – sweetness married with a touch of tobacco and fusel oil, in typical Bacardi Style. It’s light, slightly floral. It’s quite a fresh nose with a lot of vanilla and light milk chocolate.

We are getting some stoned fruits – apriciots and peaches and a little mango and passion fruit. For my sensibility its probably a bit too sweet, and far too light. It’s quite cloying and the tobacco and smokiness of the rum is a little off for me. I’m reminded of Havana Club 7 there’s just something I don’t quite like with this rum’s nose.

Sipped, fortunately it isn’t as sweet as the nose. It’s quite nicely balanced with a good weight of oak and spiciness on the delivery. There is a real sweetness but its more of a young alcohol hit, rather than as a result of excessive dosage. Tobacco, shoe leather and some fiery marmalade are also making an appearance on the mid palate.

There is a honeyed sweetness with this rum which does become a little cloying at times. That combines with a slightly bitter finish which becomes a touch over oaked. I don’t think this rum is as well-balanced as it perhaps should be.

In all fairness I pick out faults in Bacardi Reserva Ocho but at 40% ABV many of the “competitors” in the Premium Rum category will totally mask their rums rough edges with all manner of additives. Bacardi have added 12 g/L of sugar/additives to the Bacardi Reserva Ocho. As it is a latin style I am pleased to still report that the rum does have a bit of an edge to it. It’s quite spicy and a bit fiery even at this ABV.

Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rare Gold Rum Aged 8 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThe finish isn’t all too much to write home about either, it’s just a kind of mellow fade. We start with some oak spicing and it just descends into sweet honey before disappearing with a hint of ginger.

This is okay as a sipper in small doses but it actually works best as a mixer. Though you have any amount of cheaper Bacardi offerings that can do that for you.

This is an average rum in a pretty bottle. It will appeal to a Bacardi drinker as it does give a “better” (read smoother) experience. That said it’s not stellar and it’s not really that “premium”.

Bacardi don’t make dreadful rum as some might have you believe but they aren’t quite as wonderful as they might want to have us believe.






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