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Review: Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 24, 2016

Bacardi 8 Anos SAM_2679In 1862, Facundo Bacardi and his brother José bought the Santiago de Cuba Distillery and began to distill what would become the most popular commercial rum in the world. Using a method of charcoal filtering, and oak barrel aging  along with a still of copper and cast iron, Facundo Bacardi created a smoother more refined version of the locally made rum. His smoother version of the spirit became local favourite, and over time, an international sensation.

Of course, Bacardi Rum is not made in Cuba anymore, the Ron Bacardi Company left Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s plans to nationalize all private property and privately held bank accounts on the Island. The Bacardi family moved important trademarks out of Cuba, and using a Bacardi owned plant built in Puerto Rico, were able to continue to build their company. Bacardi is now the largest family owned spirits company in the world.

The Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum is  produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging. This rum has been aged for a full 8 years in ‘hand selected’ oak barrels. According to various sources, at least part of the rum was aged or perhaps finished in sherry oak barrels.

Here is a link to my new Review:

Review: Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum

“… The aroma is gentle, inviting, and very well-balanced. As I poured the bottle into the glass, I was enticed by soft fragrances of dried plums, soft caramel, bits of vanilla, and a wonderful fine oak spiciness. Hints of baking spice drift in the air, some cinnamon and a few indications of nutmeg and allspice …”

Please enjoy my review,



6 Responses to “Review: Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum”

  1. Trevor said

    Had picked up this rum based on the original review of 4/25/2010, where a local supermart sold it to make inventory space for other rums, which I got the new bottle design.

    The first night of opening it, had nosed and tasted this rum, everything described in the review seems to match, though I need to taste spices to identify and memorize to the mind. Only had a few rums before, both being the Bacardi silver and gold before tackling an aged rum like this, so still learning the profile of rum.
    But I have to say, this is a solid aged spirit- wouldn’t mind receiving this rum as a gift. The scoring of nose, taste, and finish seem right for the score, but not a bad hit in quality from the older version.

    Aware with the changes of making spirits to “cut corners” to mass producing, I think this one will still be of good quality. Puzzles me still that the rum is made in the Bahamas- is it aged there, but distilled at the facility like the silver and gold? If it moves to Puerto Rico, rather keep the aged as it says & at the minimum.

    • When I tested the two rums side by side, the general character and overall flavour of the two rums was consistent. However the newer rum seems to lack some of the depth and flair of the older bottling. To be fair to the Bacardi Brand, this is a trend I have noticed throughout the spirits industry. My suspicion is that a shortage of oak barrels is affecting all of our aged spirits. Although these spirits may still be aged for the same length of time as before, the oak shortage is causing some producers to stretch their oak barrels much further than before. A barrel which might have been cast aside a decade ago because its useful life as an aging vessel was almost at an end, may now be kept in use for several more years. Because of this, a general decline in quality of aged spirits is an industry wide trend.

  2. neandrewthal said

    I’m a bit sad that the score went down since the last review and I wanted to find out why. Since the review doesn’t specifically mention how it compares to the old version I decided to compare the reviews side by side.

    It turns out the old one is gone, or more accurately it has been “revised”. I would find it more useful if the old one was preserved for posterity, much like with the old and new flor de cana presentations, especially since i still have a bottle of the old style and sometimes I like to compare my tasting notes with what I see online. The new one even has a new name of “gran reserva” to differentiate it.

    I just noticed that the review of the old Flor De Cana 12 year old is gone too but there is still a link to it that works in the review of the new “slow 12 aged”

    • Many people have found it confusing when I keep the reviews listed of rums (and whiskies) which have been discontinued. After a lot of hard thinking I have decided that going forward I will be removing the reviews of discontinued versions of brands that are replaced with new bottlings. They will not disappear immediately, but when I feel the older bottling is no longer represented in the marketplace and that my review has become redundant, then that review will be replaced with a revised review or removed all together.

      • Lance R. said

        Hi Chip.

        I have no trouble keeping your old and revisited reviews straight, since the date of the review right there, so I know what’s new and what dates back several years.

        I wouldn’t want your original reviews to go away though, just because of the history they represent (they will never truly be redundant)….this is the way the rum tasted then, this is the way it tastes now – both reviews are pertinent.

        So might I suggest an alternative – keep both old and new review, with a note on each whether it’s the new one or the discontinued one.

        All the best, Lance

        • Hi Lance,

          Most of the rum geeks (like you and me) have no trouble keeping them separate and find value in understanding how spirits brands change over time. However I have come to understand that most people who use my website are not like us. Most of my readers are folks looking for quick information, and when they search for that information, the search engines (like google) are much more likely to direct them to my old review if I keep it listed than the new one. People, being what they are, usually skip over my introductions and the information regarding the date of the review. Instead they skim for the information they believe is important to them. (My average reader spends less than a minute reading my reviews, many just look at the score and then move on.)

          An unfortunate consequence is that my website is less relavent to my readers if the information they gather is dated; and worse yet, my website may actually be misleading to my readers if they do not realize a newer review is available. I did a lot of soul searching over this, and in the end I decided that having my website current and relavant to a greater number of people was more important to me than having my old reviews displayed for posterity.

          Fortunately my website does keep track of all revisions I make, so if I really need the old information, it isn’t really lost.

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