The Whisky Exchange
Aged: No age statement
Product of: Cuba
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Bottled in July 2018, this rum is the brilliant result of a mistake and a bartender, Nick Strangeway, working with a Cuban Maestro del Ron Cabano, Asbel Morales.
Due to American blockades, even the ex-bourbon barrels use to age Havana Club come via the Midleton distillery in Ireland where they are used to age Jameson and other whiskeys. A mix up in shipments resulted in ex-Islay whisky casks being sent to Cuba instead of Irish whiskey barrels. The rum aged in these is the base of this rum.
Asbel Morales, Maestro del Ron Cabano married the dry whisky notes imparted by the Islay casks with his richest Cuban rums. Fortuitously, this was around the time that Nick Blacknell, Havana Club’s International Marketing Director, conceived Havana Club’s Professional Edition, a new range limited edition bottlings inspired by Havana Club Esencial de los Cantineros . Nick took acclaimed bartender, Nick Strangeway, to Cuba to work with Asbel on the final blend.
Details conveyed on Professional Edición B’s label:
Description: Extra aged Cuban rum partially aged in Islay whisky casks
Aged rum bases: Three aged rum bases of which one is aged in Islay casks for 12 months
Extra aged rum bases: Base centenario
Cask types: 180 litre ex-Islay whisky and 180 litre white oak cask, up to 70 years
Aging time: 7 years
Liquid profile: Aroma of dry smoke, vanilla and cacao. Rich and complex palate with tropical fruits and a smoky finish.
First bottling: July 2018
Number of cases bottled: 998
Maestro del Ron Cabano: Asbel Morales
Distillery: Ronera Central Santa Clara
Also see Havana Club Professional Edición A
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 18/10/2018
Clear, deep golden amber.
Cacao and coffee with brasil nuts, vanilla, faint smoked kipper and blackened fruitcake.
Medium to full-bodied. Lightly spiced, subtly smoked cacao with dry nuttiness, over-baked fruit cake, cigar leaf and oak tannins.
More of that cacao and spice with monkey nuts and a Frazzles Crispy Bacon Snacks smoky note.
The label proclaims this rum as being “rich & smoky dark”. Rich refers to this rum’s generous flavour rather than suggesting it’s sweet. Indeed, as rums go, Edition B is on the dry side. Cacao, coffee beans, brasil nuts, vanilla, smoke and blackened fruit cake characterise this generous and singular rum from nose to finish.