Bacardi Tangerine. White rum mixed with tangerine. Now, I don’t know about you but this is news to me. Since when did Bacardi get into the white rum business? Call me ignorant but every time I stroll through the liquor section and I see rum, I normally see Bacardi and then a handful of lesser known brands. Usually, the color of rum is something like apple juice except it’s not. White rum isn’t a new thing to me but Bacardi entering the white rum business is. Nevertheless, out of the entire selection of four or five flavors, I decided to go with this one. Why? Because the other flavors were at $9.99 a bottle while the tangerine flavored one was the only bottle at $7.97. Fancy that. Apparently, no one likes the taste of tangerine.
On to the taste test. Upon cracking open the bottle, you’re gonna get a strong whiff of tangerines. Yes, tangerines with an “S” because that is exactly what this rum smells like. I don’t know many Americans enjoying the taste of tangerines, or for that matter, eating tangerines on the regular but as a Chinese guy in Los Angeles, having grown up eating this fruit as a child as opposed to the more common navel orange that Americans like so much, this tangerine smell is no stranger to me. When you pour into a shot glass (or in my case, a double shot glass), it pours out pretty clear. You can’t even tell if there’s even any artificial tangerine flavor in there. When you sip it at room temperature, you’re going to smell and taste the flavor of a ripe tangerine in your nostrils and palate at the same time.
Surprisingly, it’s rather pleasant up until it goes down the gullet and as you try to clear your throat while taking note of any weird flavors, that’s when it hits you. There’s this strange chemical aftertaste. I can’t quite put my finger on it other than there’s this odd chemical aftertaste. The tangerine taste certainly masks it really well up until that point though. This rum is actually rather on the sweet end, which is strange because I don’t normally associate the word “sweet” with rum. Normally, when I drink rum, it’s usually spicy. This is not one of those type of rums. It’s not Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum or Kraken’s Spiced Rum. It’s not spiced. Period. I’ve had vague memories of white rum but never anything that really stuck to me. So to me, this tangerine rum really strikes an impression. It really does feel like eating a piece of ripe tangerine except in liquid form and then it has this strange chemical aftertaste. Otherwise, it doesn’t burn, which was exactly what I was expecting for such a cheap bottle of flavored white rum.
One key thing you should note though, I drank this neat and at room temperature. Once you add ice to your cup or shot glass though, wow, the flavor takes on a whole different character. All of its harsh characteristics really jump out at you when you add ice. In fact, the sweetness of this rum triples, the tangerine taste unusually becomes masked by its harsher characteristics, and that chemical aftertaste that you would have tasted as an aftertaste now becomes the primary thing that you’ll taste as you sip on this. There’s these other flavors that I, unfortunately, do not have vocabulary to describe. It just doesn’t taste right with ice is about as best as I can put it.
Last thing, don’t add carbonated water to this rum. The carbonation heightenss the flavors that you were not meant to taste with this. Flavored carbonated water is also a no-no. Just avoid doing that at all costs, whether with ice or without. This is definitely the type of rum that you want to sip at room temperature and never mix it with ice or carbonation. The good news though is that with ice or without, there’s still no burning sensation. It’s actually still quite smooth despite its harsher characteristics coming to the fore and becoming pretty much the only thing you’ll taste so as long as it remains chilled or carbonated.
All in all, if you don’t mind sipping this rum at room temperature, it’s actually pretty alright minus the chemical aftertaste. Otherwise, it might be a better idea to mix this rum with something else to curb the chemical aftertaste.