Tag Archives: Havana

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.

Sláinte

Havana Club 7, 40%, Cuba

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.

Havana 7 c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Guaranteed Cuban c/othewhiskey

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.

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

A characterful rum.

Havana Club 7 is readily available in Ireland.

Sláinte

Sources;

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

Rabbie Burns & Rum, Havana Club Anejo 3, 40%

Burns Night is usually associated with whisky – but in Rabbie’s day the spirits of choice were Irish Whiskey or Rum!

Modern Rabbie c/oSundayPost

This was before Aeneas Coffey invented his patent still allowing the art of blending to fuel the rise of Scotch Whisky.

Rabbie at one point contemplated heading to Jamaica – but his growing poetry fame held him at home.

Cuban rum c/othewhiskeynut

Havana Club 3 is a Cuban Rum. It’s unlikely Rabbie tasted any as the island was under Spanish control at the time.

Despite being aged for 3 years – Havana filter the rum in charcoal to leave the colour a pale straw hue – & possibly reduce the pungency too!

Nonetheless there’s a fresh & fruity grassiness to the nose.

Very mild & mellow on the palate – yet a pleasing black peppery spice enlivens up the finish leaving a prickly tingling on the tongue.

Label info c/othewhiskeynut

Entertaining neat – but more commonly used as a base for mixing.

I wonder if Rabbie would have approved?

Sláinte