Review: Havana Club Anejo Reserva Cuban Rum (2008)

Review: Havana Club Anejo Reserva Cuban Rum (2008)

The Havana Club name is one of some confusion. This venerable Cuban brand is also (arguably) owned by Bacardi, which released its own Havana Club rum (made in Puerto Rico) a couple of years ago.

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) /

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. erik_flannestad on December 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Nice writeup, but I kind of disagree about where the Havana Club Anejo as a sipping rum. The absolute best use I’ve found for it is in a “Cuban Manhattan”. Say about 3 or 4 to 1 with a decent sweet vermouth and a drop or 8 of angostura bitters. The “funk” in this rum really fights it out with the vermouth for an enjoyable cocktail. In fact, I think I need to go pour myself one now. Yum.

  2. Christopher Null on December 4, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Sounds good. I literally have one shot left in the bottle and may have to use it for this.

  3. Anonymous on August 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I have a bottle of the Havana Club Blanco that I received via Mexico.
    That has to be the best rum I have tried. The Blanco is a good sipping rum (at least in my opinion), hell it knocked out Whalers as my favorite rum. I wish the US would get untwisted about Cuba and allow import of their products to our shores.

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