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good white rum
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 18, 2010
Posts: 455
From: Miami
Posted: 2014-07-24 3:08 pm   Permalink


On 2014-07-23 19:25, AceExplorer wrote:
While we're on the subject of "Bacardi," they have an interesting history. From what I've read previously online I'm not quite sure how they were positioned in pre-Castro Cuba, but they may have been one of the top rums before nationalization. There is some interesting stuff about them smuggling yeasts out of Cuba ahead of the troops and destroying what they had to leave behind. This left today's Cuba with non-original strains of yeasts. Supposedly those yeasts survive today outside of Cuba. Also, Havana Club may have been part of the Bacardi family empire before nationalization. But my "BS meter" hasn't been able to confirm or deny those reports on the web. More research is needed. Thought I'd mention it in case someone else was interested.

There is some truth to the yeast story; members of the Bacardi family destroyed the cultures before the Communists arrived to confiscate their property. However, there was no need for smuggling, as those strains of yeast were at other Bacardi facilities (Puerto Rico, Mexico, etc.). Incidentally, most of the Bacardi rum in the US, even before the Communist revolution in Cuba, was from Puerto Rico - as US territory it didn't have the import duties, etc.

Havana Club (like Matusalem) was a competitor; unlike Bacardi its intellectual property was not registered outside Cuba which is why the Cuban regime was able to seize both the distillery and the name/trademark. After the fact, Bacardi bought the trademark from the (former) Havana Club owners who established new trademarks in the USA.

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