Not generally accessible
Santa Cruz del Norte,
The four distilleries run by Cuba Ron Corporation SA remain under state control, though since the end of 1993 Pernod Ricard has owned a 50% stake in the Havana Club brand. This partnership was formed at a time when the Cuban economy was in a poor state due to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc upon which Cuba had depended for foreign trade.
The Giraldilla statue from Havana’s Castillo Real de la Fuerza appears at the top of the label on every bottle of Havana Club.
The best-know expression of the leading Cuban rum brand, this light rum is aged for three years in ex-bourbon casks giving it rum a light straw yellow hue. Produced by a joint-venture between Pernod and state-owned Cuba Ron.
First there was Havana Club 5 Year Old, a great rum aged for the period proclaimed on the label. This was replaced with Añejo Reserva which despite a lack of age statement was said to be aged 3-5 years. Then in 2004 this in turn was replaced with Añejo Especial, “aged up to five years”.
Those who have travelled to Cuba and have known Havana Club since it first found its way out of Cuba will morn the loss of the unaged Silver Dry. This was replaced with Añejo Blanco in 2003 to compete head-to-head with Bacardi Superior. Añejo Blanco is aged for one year and then charcoal filtered.
Unfortunately, just prior to Pernod Ricard’s 1993 investment in the Havana Club brand, production of rum had practically ceased and a great deal of the aged stock had been sold, so until 2009 this expression remained very rare.
Launched in 2011, the liquid inside Selección de Maestros is believed to be the same as the former Cuban Barrel Proof. Exceptional casks of aged rum are re-casked in younger barrels and then blended to make this rum.
Máximo is an ultra-premium rum created by Don José Navarro, Primer Maestro Ronero, by blending a selection of rums from the ageing cellars of Havana Club. It is packaged in hand-blown individually numbered crystal decanters.
Havana Club Ritual Cubano is aimed at the Spanish market, where dark rum (as the brand says) tends to be served with Coke. Havana Club Ritual Cubano is presented in a tall, round-based bottle with square shoulders, and its label features Havana's Malecón, the city's seafront boulevard.