We knew Bacardi launched the Bacardi Reserva Cask Finish Series in August 2021 but had yet to see one on the shelves of our local stores. Looking for a smoother rum this month, we were surprised to see Bacardi Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish, the first in the series. Terry enjoys a fine sherry now and then, so she couldn’t wait to taste this rum.
Bacardi Limited is one of the world’s largest privately held, family-owned spirits companies. With the recent increase in popularity of sipping rums, Bacardi saw the opportunity to add to its recently created premium portfolio. While cask finish is most common within the whiskey segment, Bacardi believes that this cask series will appeal to both rum and whiskey enthusiasts alike.
The concept for the new cask series is to feature a new cask annually until 2025. Each series will begin with a base of Bacardi Reserva Ocho, a rum inspired by the family recipe from 1862, which is aged for 8-12 years in American oak barrels. Once blended, the rum is finished for several months in the unique casks for that year. Bacardi Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish is finished in Oloroso sherry casks from southern Spain, paying homage to Bacardi’s founder, Facundo Bacardí Massó.
We have only reviewed one rum in Barcardi’s premium category; Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez. The rum was good; however, we felt it had too much going on to truly enjoy. We were curious how the sherry casks influenced the Bacardi Reserva Ocho.
It took a long time for this rum to open up. Once it sat for five minutes, the notes began to express themselves. The nose has toasted coconut, vanilla, and some oak tannins, with a deeper background sherry. The front of the palate lacks any flavor, but once the liquid hits the back of the palate, the same notes from the nose carry through, finishing with a kick of spice. I initially thought this spice was ground ginger that Terry uses in baking, but it could also be nutmeg. I find the rum enjoyable but lacks the complexity I typically seek.
For an eight-year-old, the mahogany color rum hugs the glass nicely with slow, thick lacing. Once it breathes, the initial alcohol burn gives way to nuts, nutmeg, and cooking sherry notes. There is also a harsher spice in the background that I can’t quite identify. The heavy liquid immediately burns my tongue, then gives way to raisins, nuts, and a subtle sherry note. However, the finish gives me a short jab of ginger and nutmeg before dissipating. I have the same experience with each additional sip.
We have mixed feelings about Bacardi Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish. On the one hand, the rum has some character but is missing the smoothness sherry typically brings to whiskey. We were expecting more for the price point of $35/bottle.
3.5 out of 5
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.