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Bacardi Gold Rum

Review: Bacardi Gold Rum   79/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
(Revised May 2019)

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 Gold Rum is  produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging (for one to two years). The final rum is further ‘shaped’ by filtering the aged rum through a secret blend of charcoal. This charcoal filtration will help to blunt some of the harsh flavour characteristics of a young rum. Along with Bacardi Superior White Rum, this spirit forms the backbone of Bacardi’s portfolio of brands which includes more than 200 different labels.

In the Bottle 4/5

A nice picture of the 750 ml Bacardi Gold Rum is shown to the left. My actual 375 ml sample bottle is shown along with my suggested cocktail at he bottom of my review.

The bottle for the Gold Rum is of the standard long necked cylinder variety. This style of bottle is designed to be easy to grab, easy to pour and of course easy to store on the bar shelf. The Black bat logo on the label brings attention to the Bacardi brand and makes it immediately recognizable on the store shelf. I wish the closure was a plastic cap instead of the pressed on metallic screw cap, but that is a quibble for an economy brand.

In the Glass 8/10

When poured into my glencairn glass, the rum demonstrates a light amber colour, and when I tilt that glass and twirl it I see I a thin film of liquid with many small droplets forming at the top of the crest. These droplets slowly drop small skinny legs down the inside of the glass. Because the rum is filtered through charcoal, I speculate that the amber hue I see is a reflection of caramel colouring added to achieve a consistent colour profile for the rum. The sluggishness of the legs is perhaps a reflection of the addition of a small amount of sugar which would impart a mild sweetness and additionally help to blunt any astringency in the rum’s flavour profile.

When I bring the rum to my nose I sense light butterscotch aromas mingling with banana peel and citrus (lemon and orange) zest. Hints of sandalwood and ginger arise as do faint impressions of warm toast, vanilla and almond. The youth of the rum is obvious as we notice a light astingency of alcohol in the air above the glass, however it is also true that considering this is a rum aged between one and two years the light astringency does not cause me any undo concern.

In the Mouth 47.5/60

The rum translates well from nose to palate. Leading out is a soft butterscotch flavour melded with banana and orange peel with a smattering of oak, cardamom and ginger spices following. Almond and vanilla ride along with hints of brown sugar spice and cinnamon. All of this sounds quite pleasant, however it would be disingenuous to consider the Bacardi Gold rum a sipper of any caliber as there is a buildup of both heat and astringency as we sip. This is a mixing rum, and to be fair, that is exactly how Bacardi presents the spirit to its customer base.

On that mixing front, the Bacardi Gold seems to want to tug me in two directions. I have an urge to grab my cocktail shaker and mix daiquiri style bar drinks, but I also know that the Bacardi Gold Rum is the quintessential Cuba Libre’ mixer. I decided to mix both styles and was rather pleased with each result.

In the Throat 11.5/15

The exit is crisp, albeit with a light burn which you can feel in the throat.  The palate is left heated with peppery bits of cinnamon spice and zesty orange peel. However bits of soothing menthol and lightly sweet butterscotch linger as well. The spicy heat within the finish bodes well for cocktails.

The Afterburn 8/10

Bacardi Gold is a well crafted amber rum. It has a pleasant flavour profile which appears to be designed to appeal to a wide variety of palate preferences. I found the rum worked well in both daiquiri style cocktails and in the Cuba Libre’ for the which the rum is famous. I decided to feature a new winter daiquiri as my suggested serving for the Bacardi Gold (see below).

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


Suggested Recipes

Dog StarI designed my recommended cocktail during the cold days of January when the bright star Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky) was prominent in the southern night sky. It is the brilliant Dog Star which is the inspiration for my delicious winter daiquiri creation.

Dog Star Daiquiri

2 1/2  oz Bacardi Gold Rum
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz fresh squeezed Grapefruit Juice
2/3 oz sugar syrup
dash Maraschino liqueur
3 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
Lime slice

Add the Bacardi Rum, and the rest of the ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add a Lime Slice for garnish

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!


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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