Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bacardi Enters the Spiced Rum Category

The folks at Bacardi have developed one of the most well-known brands in the world and their classic, Cuban styled rums are as easily recognized and widely-distributed as their flavored rums. With today’s official launch of Bacardi Oakheart, they’ve added some spice to the mix! Now, normally I am not a spiced rum guy. However, good rum is good rum and thanks to Oakheart, I may have to make an exception from time to time

According to Bacardi, they’ve blended the mixability of their white rum with the smooth finish of their gold rum. These rums, aged between 1 to 3 years, would otherwise be used to blend Bacardi Superior and Bacardi Gold. Then, after infusing this mix of their two award-winning rums with their blend of spices, they filter the rum and bottle it at 35% ABV. What does this mean to you? Well instead of using an inferior rum and a bunch of flavors (a practice more common than you might think), Bacardi has released "the longest aged, and one of the mellowest, spiced rum in the US!" And their competitors better watch out because they’ve priced it to compete at less than $15 for a 750 ml bottle at my local “supply store!” By the way, the 1.75 liter bottle was almost $10 less than its closest (and well-known) competitors in the spiced rum category, so I expect to see this rum more often at parties now (and trust me, that’s a good thing!)

Swirling this straw-colored spiced rum  quickly forms short legs that race down the sides of your glass. The nose on this one comes in with strong scents of vanilla and honey with a slightly sweet, peppery note. Hidden in the aroma is the subtle scent of charred wood from the oak barrels from which it takes its name. It is slightly drier on the palate than you would expect based on the aroma, but one thing I didn’t initially pick up in the nose that is now apparent to me as I taste this rum is how much it reminds me of a good maple syrup. I applaud Bacardi for showing an appropriate amount of restraint in not over-sweetening Oakheart and I think that is what sets sets this rum apart from other spiced rums.

Now if you enjoy sipping spiced rums neat or just adding a couple of ice cubes to them, this rum works perfectly well in that capacity. However, I chose to take Bacardi’s advice and, after my initial tasting, I am trying this rum in their recommended fashion… an Oak & Coke. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to make this one and the proportions are probably best left to your own individual preferences. All you need to do is go out and buy yourself some Coke (go figure) and some limes to pair with Bacardi’s Oakheart and you’ve got all the fixin’s for a great drink that’s simple to make!

Now if only I could figure out why Coke tastes so much better in the classic glass bottles…