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Old 03-25-2007, 02:53 PM   #1
Grouchowan
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Default Havana Club

Recently I was in Mexico and came across Havana Club rum, purportedly from Cuba. The packaging was in Spanish, and the bottle had both a Mexican government importation and a Cuban government seal stating "Cuban Government's warranty for Cuban rum." I enjoyed the rum very much, but have heard Mexico is especially notorious for passing off 'fake' Cuban products (particularly cigars and rum).
It got me to wondering if the Havana Club I consumed on the Costa Maya - in a vain attempt to undermine the Castro regime by drinking it dry - was the 'real deal' or not.
I would appreciate any help or opinions the list members care to share with me.

Thanks!

By the way, I thought the stuff was very good and I will miss being able to consume more of it here in the Great White North!
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:57 PM   #2
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It sounds like that bottle of Havana Club is authentic as you can hope to find. The real bottles have a seal from Cuba, not to say that that can't be copied. Cuba and Mexico are trading partners and you may find Havana Club rums in Mexico, especially in the resort areas. In Cuba the labels are Spanish so that doesn't tell you much. Counterfeiting rum isn't a big problem, but even in places like the US, read the whole label and look for a country of origin and not just an importer name, or some other country-style designation. I have seen fake Cuban stamps on some rums in the US, but the country of origin was the giveaway.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
Martin Doudoroff
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Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread, but I have some questions about some of Havana Club's products that your rum database isn't clearly answering at this time.

1) Is the "Havana Club Plata" in the database the same thing as "Havana Club Aсejo Blanco" product?
2) What is the difference between "Aсejo Blanco" and "Aсejo 3 Aсos"?
3) Is "Aсejo Especial" (perhaps not in the database?) the same thing as the "Aсejo Blanco" plus caramel coloring?
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Doudoroff View Post

1) Is the "Havana Club Plata" in the database the same thing as "Havana Club Aсejo Blanco" product?
2) What is the difference between "Aсejo Blanco" and "Aсejo 3 Aсos"?
3) Is "Aсejo Especial" (perhaps not in the database?) the same thing as the "Aсejo Blanco" plus caramel coloring?
I'll try answering these by number, but it is important to appreciate that like a lot of spirits suppliers, sometimes the same product is labeled differently for different markets, or the names change with time. Bacardi Black became Bacardi Select but it looks like they are reintroducing the Black label.

1) I don't believe "Havana Club Plata" and "Havana Club Aсejo Blanco" are the same. I believe Plata is not aged as long before it is carbon-filtered.

2) I'm not sure what the difference between "Aсejo Blanco" and "Aсejo 3 Aсos" is if you are referring to the 3 year old White or Blanco Rum. I have also seen a dark Aсejo rum which tastes like it could be about 3 years old. But in the dark rums the more popular ages are the 7 and 12 year old, though I prefer the Havana Club Aсejo Reserva, which is a little smoother than the 7 year old.

3) "Aсejo Especial" is definitely not the same as "Aсejo Blanco" with caramel. I believe "Aсejo Especial" is aged a little longer and it isn't carbon-filtered which removes at least a little of the flavor.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:20 AM   #5
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I guess there's some disparity in what Havana Club is offering in different markets. Their web site lists the following products, most of which are common in Europe:

- Añejo Blanco
- Añejo 3 Años (straw colored, not really plata--my favorite Daiquiri rum)
- Añejo Especial (a gold-colored rum)
- Añejo Reserva (our perennial favorite)
- Añejo 7 Años
- Cuban Barrel Proof (not sure what this stuff is, other than slightly higher proof)
- Máximo (this is totally new to me)

They aren't currently listing the 5 yr in your database or anything specifically listed as "plata". No 12 year, either, unless that's what the stuff in the silly/fancy bottle is.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:25 AM   #6
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I'll have to do some more research. I've always tried not to rely on producers/distillers website but rather personal experience.
No doubt that as Pernod continues to market Havana Club outside Cuba that the lineup will change. I'll see if I can get some better information.
As for my own database, there is always a lot of work to do.

The Barrel Proof is a good example. Obviously, "Barrel Proof," is simply a trade name like "Bacardi 8" which isn't aged 8 years at all. I am certain that the rum in the "Barrel Proof" doesn't come out of the barrel at less than 50% abv. Though it could be diluted, put in another barrel, and then drained at barrel proof, but then who's watching?

Máximo sounds like a marketing name to me.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:54 PM   #7
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My dad is a retired commercial pilot. For a while he was flying to more southern climes. He picked up quite a bit of 12 year old Havana Club somewhere along the way.

I enjoyed it but I'm not sure if it was the rum itself or the idea that it was so hard to get. Kind of like drinking Coors beer when I was in high school in Florida. The beer wasn't good at all but we always wanted it because it was so hard to get!
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:08 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, I bought my two Havana Club bottles while in Cozumel. I spoke with a few of the locals and found a place that had some. Both of mine also have the Cuba labels on the bottom of the bottles, and both make for some pretty good drinks. It can be found I suppose, you just have to know where to look and who to ask.

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Old 04-02-2007, 12:23 AM   #9
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I have the light, the silver dry, the 3 yr and the anejo especial (7yr). The two lights are exceptional neutral mixers, but I was a bit disappointed in the aged. There are a quite a few rums readily available in the states that i would purchase before making a special trip to get the Havana Club. Though, i have heard that the higher aged Havana's are definitely worth the effort.

Things will definitely start to get a bit confusing when Bacardi puts out their Havana Club label out in the U.S.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:31 AM   #10
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Interesting indeed. By no means is HC my favorite, but if you're looking for something a bit diff. and you're in a place that sells it, why not? I to perfer a few over HC, but there's nothing wrong with adding to the collection.

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