Every brand has to have a good story – but I’m not sure the one told in the pages of this compelling book will feature on the back of Bacardi labels.
Essentially it’s a well documented exposé of the Bacardi family’s consistent attempts – ever since the Cuban revolution of 1959 – to undermine, weaken & generally destabilise the Cuban regime.
A lot of it can be put down to big multinationals protecting their profits over and above any rules individual states may have.
Some could be political ideology.
But it doesn’t particularly paint a pretty picture.
Events took a turn in 1993 when Pernod Ricard entered a joint venture with Cuban company Havana Rum & Liquors to produce & market the Havana Club range of Cuban rums – to great success.
Bacardi have consistently challenged the right of Pernod Ricard to do so.
Bacardi often drape their advertising in Cuban imagery – despite the rums not being made in the country – & there have been claims to say this is misleading & manipulative.
In these times when ‘transparency’ & ‘honesty’ are attributes to be exalted in the spirits world – I’d suggest pouring your preferred tipple & sitting down to read this riveting book.
It may not change the flavour of that tipple – but it might colour the experience.
I couldn’t review Bacardi’s 8 without looking at Havana’s 7.
Cuban rum products aren’t readily available in America – ever since the 1959 revolution.
Bacardí assets were nationalized & they set up business abroad while Pernod Ricard latterly took a stake in Cuba & released Havana Club.
Despite no longer producing in the country Bacardí claim Cuban heritage & there is a long running dispute between the 2 companies over labelling & trademark.
Cuban rum meanwhile has a set of rules – one of which is only rums produced there can display the ‘Republica De Garantia’ logo – as shown on Havana 7.
Golden brown in the Tuath Glass exhibiting thick legs.
Sweet dark caramels, toffee & hints of woody oak on the nose.
Easy enveloping mouthfeel develops a tingling spiciness which grows towards the finish.
Gentler, sweet dark fruitiness fades away softly.
A characterful rum.
Havana Club 7 is readily available in Ireland.
Cuban Rum Embargo – https://globalcompliancenews.com/us-government-further-tightens-cuban-sanctions-targeting-cuban-travel-hotels-cigars-and-rum-05102020/
Havana Rum Wars – https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/01/08/the-rum-war-rages-bacardi-insists-its-havana-club-forever-cuban-despite-criticism
Cuban Rum Rules – https://www.cubaron.com/en/our-company/dop-cuba-menu-en/505-la-denominacion-de-origen-cuba-para-el-ron