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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Bacardi Is to Bring Havana Club Rum Back to the U.S.
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Bacardi Is to Bring Havana Club Rum Back to the U.S.
Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 325
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2010-06-07 08:26 am   Permalink

It seems Bacardi has been up to this sort of thing before. I stumbled across an interesting (well, maybe "interesting" isn't the word...) article on Bacardi's attempts to trademark their own faux-Cuban brand in Canada, Old Havana.
http://www.robic.ca/publications/Pdf/142.162-BGA.pdf
This was a bit before my time as a rum drinker, in the mid-90s. I get the impression this brand was available for a period of time, but I don't remember.


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aquaorama
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Joined: Jan 11, 2003
Posts: 620
From: Tropical Bixby Knolls LBC
Posted: 2011-05-02 11:26 am   Permalink

Just got back from 5 days in Grand Cayman and brought a 1 liter back (As well as a few other yummy rums)....I was a little worried that TSA might take it but they didn't care.... Definitely a good deal for $10 US.





[ This Message was edited by: aquaorama 2011-05-02 11:26 ]


 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 793
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-07-21 3:44 pm   Permalink

Bumping this old thread as I didn't see it when I posed the question about Puerto Rican Havana Club over here (Thanks Swiz):

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=51530&forum=10&3


Strange this thread began a decade ago when Castro was getting ill and everyone assumed the embargo would soon be lifted, yet here we are nearing the end of the Obama administration where restrictions have been lax and we're still having to go to Canada, Mexico and elsewhere to get Cuban rum. I'm curious, when Bacardi launched their Havana Club branding after obtaining the US trademark, did the product ever make it outside of Florida where they initially planned to market it? I just recently started seeing the Blanco and Classico Puerto Rican-made Havana Club in Texas. Is this the same product they were talking about back then? JenTiki shared this very recent review of the Anejo Classico, making me think it was just released:

http://www.drinkhacker.com/2016/07/10/review-havana-club-anejo-classico-puerto-rican-rum-bacardi/

So maybe they only launched the white rum before? Whatever the case, I'm assuming it wasn't a success being that it wasn't more widespread and is just now surfacing again, conveniently as Cuban travel is starting to open up.

The newspaper reports on this thread state that the Havana Club being produced in Cuba since 1960 hasn't followed the Arechabala's family recipe and Ramon Arechabala says that the Havana Club that is produced by the Cuban government and Pernod Ricard is awful as far as he's concerned and not drinkable. And that the recipe they sold to Bacardi in the 90s is the original and therefore better. Obviously he had a vested interest in encouraging the sale of Bacardi's new product, but his point doesn't take into consideration the fact that the soil producing sugar cane in Puerto Rico differs from that of Cuba and other climatory conditions which assuredly contribute to the final taste. Presumably we'll never be able to taste Havana Club as it was made before the Castro take over.

[ This Message was edited by: mikehooker 2016-07-21 15:45 ]


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AceExplorer
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2001
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2016-07-21 4:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-07-21 15:44, mikehooker wrote:
I just recently started seeing the Blanco and Classico Puerto Rican-made Havana Club in Texas.
<snip>
...the recipe they sold to Bacardi in the 90s is the original and therefore better.



Interesting, Mike. To have the original recipe is one thing, but I think in the case of Havana Club you must also have the original yeast strains, right?

The Puerto Rican product has appeared at my local Total Wine, and I snapped the photos below to share here. No word on when I'll "buy and try," but maybe someday. Maybe. Definitely if the reviews are really positive.

You're right, we may never again get to taste the "real" pre-revolution Havana Club. What a shame. I read online somewhere that the yeasts were sampled and taken by the family, and the remainder was destroyed just hours before the armed forces took over the distillery. I don't know the lineage of the yeasts being used today in Cuba.










 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1414
From: San Diego
Posted: 2016-07-21 4:18 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2016-07-21 16:02, AceExplorer wrote:

Interesting, Mike. To have the original recipe is one thing, but I think in the case of Havana Club you must also have the original yeast strains, right?




Excellent point. Also, Bacardi's version isn't made with Cuban molasses and Cuban water, and specific flavors come from all three ingredients. Therefore, it's different than the original. Plus, there's no way of knowing for sure that Havana Club from Cuba isn't using the "original recipe" as well. I would guess that most of the Havana Club workers stayed on after the Revolution and would have firsthand knowledge of the process the company used.
_________________
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 793
From: Austin
Posted: 2016-08-01 12:01 pm   Permalink

'Nother article, this one way more in depth...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/havana-club-v-havana-club-inside-the-rum-war-between-bacardi-and-cuba/2016/07/22/57c32a06-2cb4-11e6-9b37-42985f6a265c_story.html

From reading previous articles, I was under the impression that in the 70s when the trademark expired the US denied HC the opportunity to renew and eventually Bacardi, who was operating outside of Cuba, took it over. This clearly states that the family opted to not renew the trademark based on bad advice. Regardless, the product Bacardi is calling Havana Club and even the HC that's being made in Cuba these days is not the same as what was on the market before the revolution. Would be very interesting to know the difference between the taste then and now but good luck finding a 60 year old bottle to compare them.

As a side note, I found it suspect that during the blind taste test in which they threw in a couple extra variables, they immediately dismissed Cana Brava. I think that's a quality white rum superior to Flor de Cana and other whites readily available to us. The true taste test of these rums would be in a Daiquiri, me thinks.


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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 4258
Posted: 2017-01-01 10:10 am   Permalink

Well it's here in Ohio.

I had a guy bringing me lots of the real Havana Club out of Canada
But he has not got any for months now.
I still have some, I fear that his boss and or friends saw what he was getting and said
"hey get me some of that" so I got cut out of the loop.


BUT this version at least when I got the first version from Bacardi was not good, I only tried the white.
AND the first bottle was cool I want to make a light out of one.

Now the Bacardi Select tastes a lot like Lemon Hart I say, in fact we did a blind taste test and one guy guessed that the Bacardi was the lemon Hart.
AND he was the guy who had CASES of Lemon Hart in his basement as he horded every bottle that came to Columbus.
Even think I was the idiot that told him who was selling Lemon Hart in town.


The First version of Bacardi white.


The new stuff.


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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 4258
Posted: 2017-01-03 4:35 pm   Permalink

This was on 60 minutes the day after I posted the above post,1/1/2017.


The rumbling trademark feud over the rights to Havana Club rum in the US hit prime time TV last weekend when CBS News’s 60 Minutes programme flew to Cuba to investigate.

Who makes the real Havana Club rum? And who owns the rights to sell the liquor under that famous brand name? Sharyn Alfonsi reports from Cuba

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-havana-club-rum-cuba-revolution/


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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 793
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-01-03 8:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-01-03 16:35, tikiskip wrote:
This was on 60 minutes the day after I posted the above post,1/1/2017.


The rumbling trademark feud over the rights to Havana Club rum in the US hit prime time TV last weekend when CBS News’s 60 Minutes programme flew to Cuba to investigate.

Who makes the real Havana Club rum? And who owns the rights to sell the liquor under that famous brand name? Sharyn Alfonsi reports from Cuba

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-havana-club-rum-cuba-revolution/





Thanks for sharing. Great piece. I still haven't tried the Bacardi version and don't really care to. Even if they have the original recipe they're producing it from different soil. I will be in Cuba in April and look forward to trying all the different rums produced there.


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2001
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2017-01-04 08:04 am   Permalink

Re: Bacardi and Cuba -- the former Bacardi factory in Cuba is producing rums under the "Santiago de Cuba" label. Locals told me unanimously that this is the rum they prefer to drink - not Havana Club. Their 11-year rum was described as being a particularly good spirit and was priced around $40 a bottle in Cuba. Their silver rum was about $3.60 a bottle.

These prices do not include the 10% tax you are forced to pay on US dollars at the currency exchanges when you convert your USDs to CUCs. Avoid this tax by bringing Canadian dollars or Euros.

At this time there is no limit to how much rum or cigars you personally hand-carry into the US. Bring extra clothes to pack your bottles. Also consider bringing larger (or extra) suit cases.


 
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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 4258
Posted: 2017-01-04 7:27 pm   Permalink

So wait did you run right out and try the "Santiago de Cuba"
I would have tried it for sure.

Trying now to see if my rum runner can get some.


 
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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1160
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2017-01-05 05:31 am   Permalink

We tried most of the Santiago de Cuba range in Havana & had extra suitcase space to bring some home. However, we found that most of their rums were aged in scotch barrels & the older ones definitely had a peaty note like many scotches do. Scotches are one of the few spirits we have not acquired a taste for, so we passed on bringing home that brand and saved the suitcase space for others that we found that were more to our taste. Everyone has a different palette, so I'm sure many will love the Santiago de Cuba Rums

 
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rbeyer68
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 17, 2015
Posts: 38
From: Plano, TX
Posted: 2017-01-05 06:54 am   Permalink

Very interesting information. In the 60 minutes piece they mention that one of the key arguments that Bacardi makes is that Pernod Ricard is partnering with the Cuban government, who confiscated the assets of the Arechabala family (mainly the distillery as they say the recipe was still in the Arechabala family). Pernod Ricard say that they use a distillery that was built in 2007. Per the info above, Santiago de Cuba is using the confiscated distillery. Lots of semantics there as both try to take the high moral ground.

I really need to plan a trip to Cuba while I still can. Who knows what will happen with the US - Cuba relations over the next few years.


Rick


 
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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 4258
Posted: 2017-01-05 08:35 am   Permalink

I kinda got a feeling the Santiago de Cuba rum may be most popular because it was cheap.
That would also make it the well rum maybe.

So what others Cuban rums did you like best Caroline.
Was there one you liked better than Havana club?


 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 793
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-01-05 09:58 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-01-05 08:35, tikiskip wrote:

So what others Cuban rums did you like best Caroline.




I'm curious as well. I assume there are more options out there than the well known ones. What should I be keeping an eye out for when I visit in a few months?


 
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