Bacardi Oakheart was launched in 2011. It is a flavored rum-like drink from Puerto Rican, one of the world’s largest rum producers. The release was preceded by a two-year canvass on the product name; eventually Oakheart was selected from 2,700 name proposals. Oakheart is a blend of rum distillates aged for 1-2 years. After maturing, the distillate is filtered and seasoned at least with maple, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. Oakheart has now been taken out of production and replaced with a similar one named Bacardi Spiced. A 50cl bottle costs about 9.50 € in Estonia.
The aroma is light and smooth, there is vanilla, cinnamon and ripe fruit. In the background, there comes the typical rum aroma of molasses and dark sugar. Even though the drink is only 35% strong, it still has a surprisingly strong stench of ethanol. The taste is very sweet, the mouthfeel is almost liqueur-like. Due to its rich sweetness, the drink is smooth in the beginning, but even the added sugar cannot completely cover the sharp burn of ethanol. The rum distillates used in the drink are clearly very young.
The taste is surprisingly flavourless, there is only vanilla and a little cinnamon and clove. The vanilla aroma is not natural, but clearly synthetic, essence-like. However, it is not as pungent and distinctive as in Captain Morgan’s spiced rum. The aftertaste brings out an oak-like wooden aroma, which also includes the shades of overripe fruits.
While drinking neat, Oakheart is not so pleasurable, it’s certainly too sweet, but still pungently sharp and there’s really nothing special about the taste. As the manufacturer recommends, Oakheart is purely meant for mixed drinks. I myself almost never drink lemonades, nor do I use them for mixed drinks. Thus, I also did not test Oakheart & Coke, i.e. the traditional rum cola, which Bacardi has been keen to highlight with this product. Continued with soda water, the spiciness is a little more on display, but it is still quite faint, with synthetic vanilla and cinnamon in the lead. In a Hot Todd, Oakheart works as well aa all the other dark rums do. The taste of the rum remains lean, but the light spiciness suits nicely to the drink.
Oakheart is a drink for the masses. Very mediocre, gently seasoned, fairly sweet, familiar and safe. There is nothing special about it, though there is hardly any major reproach. The pungett taste of ethanol is not a problem in it, because no one buys the product to drink it neat, but to mix it with various sugar drinks.