Matusalem was originally founded in 1872 in Santiago de Cuba. Unfortunately, the death of one of the founders, Don Claudio Álvarez LeFebre, and his son, Claudio Álvarez Soriano, was the start of problems for Matusalem. Shortly after this came the nationalisation of the distillery under Castro. Members of the family fled Cuba, but rather than set about distilling their rum in a new home, they argued among themselves as to who owned the brand.
Twenty years of litigation later, in 1995 Claudio Álvarez Salazar, great-grandson of the founder, won an out of out-of-court settlement after litigating for control of the company and became its president. Matusalem Rum was re-launched in 2002 with rum produced in the Dominican Republic by (we believe by J. Armando Bermúdez & Co.).
In 2016, the company opened its own aging facility and bottling plant, ALZA, in the Dominican Republic.