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About a year ago, I saw a bottle of this at Hard Rock Cafe. Since Obama was still President, I figured some of the Cuban products were finally allowed into the USA. Wrong! So I did some research on it.
Way back in 1959 when Fidel nationalized Cuba, the owner of this secret recipe fled back to his native Spain. Meanwhile, the beginnings of the Bacardi rum family fled to neighboring Puerto Rico. Eventually, the man with the original Havana Club Rum recipe hooked up with the Bacardi family. This rum was born. And then the Cuban version of Havana Club sued them, which is why these USA bottles must label it as "Puerto Rican Rum". As far as I am concerned, since soil and climate conditions are similar on both islands, the one with the original recipe has every right to call it Havana Club. Meanwhile, back in Cuba, they are stockpiling Havana Club Rum with new labels called Havanista. They are waiting for the USA embargo to be lifted to export Havanista Rum to the mainland USA. Guess what? That won't happen in the near future. This whole story sounds like, "What came first? The chicken or the egg?". Who cares! I am just glad that this rum is available in the USA for only about $20.
I would describe the taste as being fruit forward with nothing offensive. It is okay on the rocks, but not as a neat sipper. I like to mix it with various tropical nectars such as guava, mango, guanabana, or tamarind. I also have bought quite a few bottles since I tried it, but most merchants in this area call it a slow seller because bourbon drinkers do not know what to do with it.
I'm not sure if this is sold outside the United States. Background is debatable to say the least. Grabbed a couple of miniatures, among many others, for the flight back from Miami. One of the worst tested that night.
I was surprised with this one. The color looks a little watered down and the nose is almost straight alcohol, but the flavor was a nice surprise. Notes of sweetness and some spice but a little rough on the finish. It’s not the best sipper but can be done in a pinch. However, this would make for a very good mixer. Either way, can’t go completely wrong either way.
I love the Cuban version when I had it in Mexico. Thought I'd try the Puerto Rican Havana Club. Does not taste similar. This is a good mixer. Nothing terrible, just not great.
Color - Light Golden
Aroma - Perfumy, alcohol
Flavor - Black licorice
Finish - Black pepper
Mouthfeel - Thin syrup
Balance - Slightly harsh
Nothing objectionable here, just a nice smooth mellow rum with no strong flavors. It may not be deep, rich or complex but it's good.
Was looking for a mixer for a party so didn't want to spend a lot. Saw this on sale so decided...why not? I was surprised that in spending just under $20, that it far outpaced all the "standards" like Bacardi and Myers. Would I drink it neat or on the rocks? Only if I had no mixers. Would I buy again? Yes.
Taste: A little citrussy, a little bitter, hints of tobacco, and oak, but nothing that jumps forward in the taste. Recommend to only use it with your favorite mixer for those used to buying Bacardi or Captain Morgan. I think you'll find it a great swap.
Smoothness: Not very, but smoother than many of the more "well known" rums.
6.50/10 decent priced mixing rum for cocktails, doesn't hold any weight against the real "Havana Club" though.
Sugar: 8 GPL. Harsh taste with a bit of caramel sweetness that seems artificial and a strong alcohol scent. Nothing special but it has that harsh burning aftertaste that only a fruit juice can mask. It's cheap and if you're mixing up a rum punch then this works just fine because that's what I did.
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