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Bacardi Anejo Cuatro

Review: Bacardi Anejo Cuatro    80/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted March 05, 2021

In 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 Anejo Cuatro Rum is produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging. The rum carries a four year age statement, and it appears to have replaced the former Bacardi Anejo in the Rum producer’s line-up. Apparently, the final rum is further ‘shaped’ by filtering the aged rum through a secret blend of charcoal. This charcoal filtration helps to blunt some of the harsh flavour characteristics of a young rum giving it a smoother taste profile and less astringency.

The final rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

A nice picture of the 750 ml Bacardi Anejo Cuatro Rum is shown to the left.  The bottle is a typical long-necked tall bottle which is a favourite of bartenders as this configuration holds true to the mantra of the bar.

‘Easy to open, easy to store, easy to grab and easy to pour.’

The label is simple and the presentation is perhaps a bit understated, Obviously Bacardi feels that their name alone (and perhaps their ‘bat’ logo is enough to sell the liquid inside the bottle.

The only real disappointment with the bottle is the flimsy screw cap which cheapens the overall presentation.

In the Glass 8/10

The rum has a burnished copper colour in the glass with initial notes of fine oak spice, vanilla and butterscotch rising into the air. Orange peel follows with notes of baking spice (cinnamon and clove) as well. Although the rum has been filtered to remove some of its youthful astringency, there is nevertheless more than a few telltale notes of alcohol sharpness. In fact, based upon my assumed age of the rum, the rum is sharper and rougher than I expected.

I gave the rum some time to breathe and began to notice light banana smells and a light almond note rising. I am torn between offering an 8 or an 8.5 in this category. It’s basically a coin toss; the coin landed on heads so a 8.0 it is.

In the Mouth 48.5/60

I was hoping that the rum’s lightly oaked character would shine through as I sipped however, an light alcohol sharpness and an impression of citrus zest seems to ambush the light oak spice. Vanilla comes though firmly with impressions of butterscotch and almond following along.  Hints of baking spice add a little complexity, however my impression to this point in the tasting is that the 4 year old rum seems to be hiding its age somewhat. Although a dab of ice quells the astringency, mixing cocktails seems to be the best course of action going forward.

I followed the same path as I had when I reviewed the non age stated Bacardi Anejo several years ago and tried a daiquiri style cocktail first. The rum reacted well and when I added a dab of Angostura bitters the bar drink was even better. Next I mixed a standard rum and cola which seemed slightly disappointing, so I followed this up with a rum and ginger-ale. As stated, the cola based drink was not really what I wanted, however, mixed with ginger-ale I thought the Bacardi Anejo was much more pleasing. Daiquiri style drinks and tall drinks mixed with ginger-ale appears to be the destiny of this particular bottle of rum. (See my recipe suggestions below.)

In the Throat 11.5/15

The exit is short and crisp and carries more burn than other anejo style rums I have sampled recently. My palate was heated with peppery spice zesty citrus peel. An impression of vanilla and almond linger, but alcohol heat and peppery spice dominate the exit.

The Afterburn 8/10

Bacardi Anejo Cuatro is a cocktail rum. And in that format it performs admirably. The recipes I have shared below are quite delicious. I was hoping that the 4 year age statement would show itself within the rum more forcefully but perhaps the spirit would have lost some of its ‘cocktail charm’ if the oak had been more forceful.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipes

The Spence Cocktail

2 oz Bacardi Anejo Cuatro Rum
1 orange slice
1 drop Angostura bitters
Ginger ale

Muddle 1 slice of orange with 1 drop of Angostura Bitters in a mixing glass
Strain into a chilled rocks glass
Add 2 oz Aged Rum
Top up with ginger ale and ice
Citrus Peel (optional)

And of course enjoy responsibly!


The Railcar

1 1/2 oz Bacardi Anejo Rum
1/2 oz Triple Sec
3/8 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup
dash  Campari
Citrus Peel (optional)

Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a coil of orange peel (optional)

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


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