This series of Rumaniacs reviews (R-149 to R-154) is a set of Bacardis from the 1970s to the 1990s that were all part of a small collection I picked up, spanning three decades and made in Mexico and Puerto Rico – they display something of what rums from that bygone era was like, and the final review will have a series of notes summing up what few conclusions we may be able to draw.
Bacardi’s Gold rum (in all its iterations) is one of the oldest continuously made rums in existence, dating back to the 1890s or before – in fact it may have been one of the original rums made by Facundo Bacadi in the 1860s. By 1892 it was so well regarded that Spain’s King Alfonse XIII allowed the use of the royal coat of arms by Bacardi as a tribute to it — and it’s adorned Bacardi labels ever since, even if the name of the rum has seen some evolution.
The age is indeterminate – I’ll suggest 1-2 years, which is consistent with today’s Golds. A mixing agent, not anything even remotely premium. It’s meant for cocktails and is a column still blend.
A coarse dating of production starts at 1959-2000 based on the logo design; the use of both metric and imperial units narrows this down to the late 1970s or early 1980s (the USA made metric mandatory for spirits labels in the mid 1970s, and there was an extended period when both units were used). An Anejo version of the Reserve was released in 1981, which of course means this one existed already by that time.
Strength – 40%
Colour – Gold
Label Notes – Puerto Rican Rum
Nose – Honey, caramel, toffee, light citrus, the vaguest sense of saline. All the usual suspects are in the lineup, feeling washed up and past their prime. Light and easy, the rum actually smells weaker than its advertised strength: thin, watery and alcoholic.
Palate – Dry, warm, slightly spicy, lacks the courage to bite you. Most of what little was in the nose repeats here in a more watery form. Honey, nougat, toffee, vanilla, coconut shavings. Some leather and smoke, maybe, it’s gone too fast to tell.
Finish – Here now, gone a second later. Dry, a bit woody, hardly any taste at all.
Thoughts – This rum is about as expected. Light, sweetish Caribbean Spanish-style rum of little distinction, and could be the entry level low-aged candidate starter kit from just about anywhere in latin or South America (except maybe Brazil, Guyana or Suriname). Sorry, but it’s quite anonymous and forgettable – even today’s edition has somewhat more character. Nothing to report here, then.