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Bacardi Anejo Rum

Review: Bacardi Anejo   78/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted July 15, 2016

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 Rum is produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging. The rum carries no age statement, however based upon its placement in the Bacardi line-up between the Bacardi Gold and the Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Anos, we can reasonably guess that the rums within this Anejo blend are between 2 and 6 years old. According to the website information, 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.

Bacardi AnejoIn the Bottle 4/5

A nice picture of the 750 ml Bacardi Anejo 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 is enough to sell the liquid inside the bottle.

The only real disappointment with the bottle is the flimsy screw cap and the plastic diffuser in the top of the neck. (Diffusers annoy me as they seem to prevent me from getting the rum out of the bottle as fast as I would like when mixing cocktails for friends.)

In the Glass 8/10

The rum has a nice light copper colour in the glass with initial notes of butterscotch and sandal wood spice rising into the air. Sharp orange and banana peel follow with light notes of baking spice and vanilla. 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.

In the Mouth 47/60

I was hoping that the rum’s lightly oaked character would shine through as I sipped however, it is the sharpness of alcohol and citrus spice that leads ahead ambushing the lighter oak accents. Peppery spice, citrus peel, caramel and almond appear to be the dominant flavours and the rum is difficult to sip even with ice in the glass. There is also a healthy dab of caramel at the front of the delivery which seems unnatural to me. I am actually quite surprised. Both the healthy dab of caramel and the apparent astringency make the Anejo rum seem inferior to the younger Bacardi Gold which I reviewed earlier this year. Mixing seems to be the best course of action going forward.

I try a daiquiri style cocktail and the rum seems to be well suited to this cocktail form. When I add a dab of Angostura bitters the bar drink is even better. Next I mixed a standard rum and cola and then a rum and ginger-ale. The cola based drink was decent enough; but not really what I wanted. Mixed with ginger-ale I 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,

In the Throat 11.5/15

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

The Afterburn 7.5/10

I am quite flummoxed by m encounter with the Bacardi Anejo Rum. I was expecting the spirit to be a step up from the Bacardi Gold Rum with a score which would sit somewhere between that youngish rum and the more mature Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum. Instead I found a rum which had taken a step backwards. Not all was lost, the Bacardi Anejo does serve well in daiquiri style cocktails and served with ginger-ale.

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


Suggested Recipes

Bacardi Anejo SAM_2626Rum & Ginger on Ice

1 part Bacardi Anejo Rum
3 parts Ginger Ale
lime slice

Add ice to a tumbler or rocks glass
Add the rum and ginger-ale
Garnish with a slice of lime

And of course 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!


Three Degrees SAM_2685The Railcar

2 oz Bacardi Anejo Rum
3/4 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
1/8 oz Campari
Orange 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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