We wouldn’t recommend Bacardí Gold for sipping, as it has a slightly harsh astringency. But it doesn’t rely on added sugar like other rums in its price range, and it makes a reliable and affordable party rum you can put to work in mixed drinks like a Cuba Libre or Daiquiri.
Classification aged Puerto Rican rum
Distillery Bacardí (Puerto Rico)
Cask toasted oak, with charcoal filtration
Still Type column
Proof 80 (40% ABV)
Aged 1-2 years
Awards Bronze, 2021 International Wine & Spirits Competition; Silver, 2020 New York International Spirits Competition; 90 points, 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge
It’s affordable and easy to find—always a great combination.
A functional mixer for simple rum cocktails like the Cuba Libre
Unlike many rums, including more expensive premium brands (as well as Bacardí’s own high-end rums), Bacardí Gold does not contain sugar added after distillation.
It’s a young, slightly harsh, and somewhat unbalanced rum that we wouldn’t recommend for sipping.
Color: Light golden amber. Given that the rum is quite young and charcoal filtered, the color might result from caramel coloring added to provide a consistent hue.
Nose: Light and pleasant notes of pineapple, toffee, and hints of oak, along with a fair amount of alcohol
Palate: Mild, with vanilla and light tropical fruit notes (pineapple, banana, coconut), along with a slightly harsh astringency, which could come from the charcoal used in filtration or from insufficient aging—Bacardí Gold is less than two years old.
Finish: The oak and char linger in the back of the throat long after the sweeter flavors have faded.
Bacardí Gold drinks light: There’s a bit of oak in there, along with a harshness that likely results from the charcoal used for filtration. Its mouthfeel is thin, and its tropical fruit flavor mild. That’s why it’s intended for mixing, not sipping, and as such it’s quite functional. It makes an excellent Cuba Libre and a very passable Daiquiri or Mojito. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it does the job.
That said, there are better rums in the $20-and-under range, most notably Mount Gay’s Eclipse. But most of the budget brands out there are either spiced rums or contain sugar and other artificial flavors added after distillation. Like Mount Gay, Bacardí Gold doesn’t rely on added sugar, which is a big plus, along with its virtually universal availability. Need a party rum in a pinch? Bacardí’s got your back.
Bacardí is such a ubiquitous presence in bars, liquor stores, and homes worldwide that it seems inconceivable that it’s not the best-selling rum brand in the world. But that honor in fact goes to the Philippines’ Tanduay, which outsold Bacardí by more than six million cases worldwide in 2020.
The Bottom Line
Bacardí Gold is harsh and unbalanced for a sipping rum, but it was put on this earth to mix, and it does that reasonably well without the abundance of added sugar used by many rums in its price range. It’s a “party rum”—a solid mixer for cocktails that you won’t think about too much while you’re drinking them—and as such it fills a need quite well.