Review: 1981 Bacardi Gold Reserve (Anejo)

Updated: Jan 22


Bacardi Gold Reserve (Anejo) - 1981 – 40%


Context: As confirmed by this advertisement, our bottle was released pretty close to the product's launch in 1980. The Bacardi Gold Reserve ad campaign focused on words like "smooth," "mellow," "rich," "luxurious," and "sipping rum" - a naked play to position Bacardi in the premium rum category. At that historical moment, the competing luxury categories were blended scotch and blended Canadian whiskey. My, how things have changed.


This is low proof, column still, sugared rum. This bottle was destined for an uphill battle with my palate.


Nose: Sawdust, cardboard, and caramel. Light and straight forward.


Flavor: Soft and hard caramels from entry through to the finish. A little vegetable molasses midpalate. No finish.


Palate Structure: Flat. Thin. Short.


Alcohol Integration: Overly sugared.


You’d Dig This If You Like:

Bourbon: 4 yr. (80 proof)

Tequila: anejo with sweetening agents

Cognac: entry level, VS


Score: 3 (Wish I Was Drinking Something Else) There's just nothing to dig into here. Rum's equivalent of a thin, slightly stale Werther’s candy.


Archived Scores


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Wish I Was Drinking Something Else

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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