Bacardi Oakheart

Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum is reviewed by Matt Cottom.



Bacardi Oakheart
Bacardi, Diageo
ABV 35%

What with this being Rum and Reviews Magazine, I thought I’d go all out and review some rum. I know, who would have thought it! Well I thought it, that’s who. Then, I went out and bought a bottle o’ the grog for sampling. Obviously it had to be something I hadn’t tried before and it also had to be something I knew my colleagues wouldn’t have sampled either. So naturally I went for a Bacardi Oakheart. No disrespect to what is obviously a massively successful brand owner and developer of brands, but Bacardi rum is just a bit, well, old hat really. So Bacardi it is and more specifically their spiced rum Oakheart. 

Or so I thought… yeah, sure, it looks like rum. Its colour is a nice warm hotchpotch of gold, okra and freshly smelted brass. That’s pretty much where the similarities end sadly. It smells like alcohol made in someone’s basement a couple of years ago. A kind of raw, ethanol-esque aroma overrides all else. There is a slight hint of caramel at the top and maybe, maybe a hint of something which resembles honeycomb. Overall though, there is no real depth to the nose on this. Not really. 

Slightly disappointed by this, I ploughed on into the tasting. No ice, no mixer, I took it at face value. Oakheart is very smooth with a little bit of heat on the back of the throat. Very drinkable, borderline quaffable almost… In fact it’s almost as if it’s not proper rum at all. There is a vague sweetness elbowed in, kind of like adding a sachet of ‘generic rum spice flavourings’ to raw booze as an afterthought. Again, not really any depth to speak of. At this point I was getting a bit suspicious of this product. I took a closer look at the label and sighed. 

That explains everything: ‘Smooth and Spiced Spirit Drink’. It says there’s rum in there so we have to take their word for it. It also says that the drink was oak aged for ‘smokiness’. I’m not in a position to disagree with them, however if I was then I definitely would. Does that make sense? No, much like the Bacardi Oakheart itself. At no point does this pretend to be kosher rum which is just fine because it is nothing like kosher rum.   

If you do happen across any of this product, my advice is simple: Drown it with something bold like ginger beer and fresh lime, or a load of cola. The mixer will provide taste and the Oakheart will get you tiddled. On some simple level, I guess you can’t really ask for more than that. As a base spirit this is probably a good option as it is cheap, strong and neutral. Mixologist? Go grab a bottle. Rum aficionado? Steer well clear.

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One Comment to “Bacardi Oakheart”

  1. Bacardi Oakheart is not a rum – it does not reach the abv level required of 37.5% to qualify as a rum, therefore technichally it is a flavoured spirit – ie it does not qualify either as a ‘flavoured rum’ due to its strength. To be fair this is recognised in the Bacardi packaging where it is described as a flavoured spirit drink – the snag comes at the retail level where a lack of knowledge or a desire to ignore the fact kicks in and most bars and retailers will still describe the product as a rum. To my mind this deceives the consumer and highlights the problems in the rum category where basic understanding and respect for the true rum category are flaunted on a regular basis.

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