But the Havana Club we’re talking about here is the original — a joint venture between Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government — imported from Cuba, illegal in the U.S. (my bottle was a gift from my brother’s trip to Tahiti), and highly sought-after. This Anejo Reserva (one of eight expressions offered by the company)
This 80 proof rum (no age statement is included) isn’t as dark as you might expect, but it’s got a sweet kick and a definite smoothness that makes sipping a pleasure. Add a cube of ice — there’s a lot of alcoholic heat here, and it’s tempered well with a little chill and a touch of meltwater. There’s a bit of funk in the nose, but it doesn’t translate to the body of the rum itself, which has the character of fresh sugar cane — less “processed” than many rums. Works well in cocktails but it’s designed for sipping straight.
Certainly not the best rum on the market, but definitely worth picking up should you find yourself in a foreign liquor store… and are reasonably confident you aren’t getting a counterfeit bottle.
A- / $25 (varies widely) / havana-club.com
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