Tag Archives: Havana Club

Bacardi, The Hidden War, Hernando Calvo Ospina.

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.

Bacardi the book c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Bacardi the rum c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Havana Club rum c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Cuban rum authenticity c/othewhiskeynut

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.



Blind Tasting Rums – 37.5% to 46%

Presented with 6 sample bottles of rum.

No labels – no information – no back story.

Do you panic?

Or rub your hands in glee eager to experience the hidden delights within?

I chose the latter.

Arbitrarily split into ‘whites’ & ‘darks’ the notes in italics are my thoughts before the reveal.


Whites c/o@bogstandarddram

A – Trois Rivieres De L’Ocean Cuvée, 42%, Martinique

Clear & colourless. Straight into funk! Rich & pungent. Guessing agricole.

This delicious rum displays fully the raw materials & distilling techniques of agricole style rhum to produce stunning spirits.

B – Glen’s White Rum, 37.5%, Scotland

Clear & colourless. Soft mild & sweet. Touch of spice. Pleasant. Decent.

Perhaps unfair to sample a fairly standard entry rum after an agricole – but Scotland’s growing rum category is certainly finding it’s stride.

C – The Hanson, Batch 1, Blended Grain, 46%, Ireland.

Pale yellow. Sweet & mild. Quite a sweet tooth resurrected by a lovely turn of spice. Enjoyable.

A wild card! Wasn’t expecting this summery light whiskey from JJ Corry here. Did enjoy that spicy finish!


Darks c/o@bogstandarddram

D – Havana Anejo Especial, 40%, Cuba

Golden brown. Sugary sweet. Doesn’t really excite. OK. Spanish style. Demerara?

Well it wasn’t demerara – but it is Spanish style – and one of the biggest sellers too! Just lacked character.

E – Mount Gay XO Triple Cask, 43%, Barbados

Golden brown. Sweet & funky. Opens up on the rear with a touch of tannic spice & hints of funk. Aged. Easily drinkable.

A lovely sipping rum. Hats off to Mount Gay – founded 1703 & still going strong!

F – Appleton Estate, 12 Year Old Rare Blend, 43%, Jamaica

Golden brown. Full on funk, rubbery kind. Dark rum. Very easy palate with slight spice & soft funk on rear. Hints of Jamaica.

Well it wasn’t hints – this is full on Jamaica! Appleton continue to deliver the goods!


A thoroughly enjoyable tasting – with an unexpected whiskey that performed well – even if undetected – in the mix!

Before the reveal my palate preferences were;

A for tops.

E & F vied for joint second.

C came next.

Followed by B.

With D trailing behind.

Based on my findings – it’s pretty clear agricole is what I’ll be hunting down!


Many thanks to @bogstandarddram for the samples