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Old 01-03-2010, 05:32 AM   #1
Arctic Wolf
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Default Review: Havana Club Rums

Havana Club Barrel Proof

Here is a teaser for this review:

"The rum has a lighter color than I was expecting and a mild reddish tinge. As I poured the rum into my glencairn glass my nose was immediately swatted with a sweet toffee updraft. Hints of cinnamon spice compliment the aroma, and I am very pleased with the complete lack of any charred or burnt notes. This is intense, sweet and clean..."

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Last edited by Arctic Wolf; 05-26-2010 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:38 PM   #2
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I've been eyeballing this one up for quite some time now, but for some reason it just never seems to make it to the cashier with me. In light of your glowing review I may have to double my efforts to make this purchase happen. Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #3
Arctic Wolf
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I know what you mean Jason. I passed this one over many times. When I finally bought the barrel proof and opened it I was shocked at how good it was. My previous experiences with other HC offerings had not prepared me for the treat I was in store for.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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The last time I tasted the Havana Barrel Proof, I wasn't overly impressed. I guess I had a hard time believing that that rum spent more than a few days in a barrel at 45% alcohol, but I'm pretty cynical about these things.

Actually, I was expecting a lot more balanced flavor in that rum, but maybe the hype made it impossible for that rum to meet my expectations, thought I've enjoyed my share of Havana Club rum in the islands.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:13 PM   #5
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The only spirit I can compare HC Barrel Proof's method of aging to is a Canadian whisky from Corbys. The Wiser's Red Letter, which spent 150 days in New Oak after its original aging in old oak.

With this whisky the new oak gave a very distinct enrichment to the blend. I taste a very similar enrichment in the HC Barrel proof which claims to have a similar style of aging in younger oak after original aging in older oak.

I do agree with you Ed that the time spent in the new oak seems to have had less than of an impact for the HC Barrel Proof than I noted for the Red Letter Canadian Whisky that I tasted. However, the difference I believe can be attributed to a couple of factors.

First is the the HC does not claim to use virgin oak in its refinishing, just 'younger' oak which could mean almost anything. Second I believe the HC is chill filtered, (although I am not positive about this).


But all that babble is not really important, what is important is that to me this rum tastes fabulous, and I scored it accordingly.



Just as a side note, I was recently sent a lab sample of Corby's newest whisky, Wiser's Legacy, which has an even more pronounced new oak finish. This appears to be a new style of finishing spirits which is catching on.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:47 PM   #6
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I can say with confidence that Havana Club is aged in barrels that haven't been used for more than 10 years before being used to age the rum.

And I wholeheartedly agree the most important thing is the flavor in your glass and not in the marketing brochures.
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