Authentic: Havana Club Selección de Maestros

CUBA. Havana Club International S.A. is embracing its strong Cuban heritage with the launch of Havana Club Selección de Maestros. This latest addition to the range will be available in key markets from October 2010 and is set to drive the emerging ultra-premium rum category, according to Pernod Ricard Travel Retail.

Highlighting the collective involvement of six experienced Maestros Roneros, led by the talented Don Jose Navarro, the finest quality, hand-picked rums are blended and aged in specially selected barrels that are chosen for the aromatic potential of their wood. The aged rum is then bottled straight from the barrel at 45%abv.

Test-launched in some markets as Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof, the newly named Selección de Maestros has already been recognised as an ultra-premium rum, having been awarded a Gold medal by three spirits competitions: the San Francisco World Spirits Award, the Beverage Testing Institute’s International Review of Spirits and the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Havana Club International S.A.Managing Director Marc Beuve-Méry said: “As the number one authentic Cuban rum, we place huge importance on the heritage of Havana Club, and we believe this quality, award-winning rum perfectly reflects that. We are confident that Havana Club Selección de Maestros will invigorate the ultra-premium rum category by appealing to discerning rum connoisseurs around the world, and will eventually mirror the success of Havana Club 7 Year Old in the super-premium category.”

Authentic packaging

The packaging of Selección de Maestros has been designed to reflect is quality, status and authenticity, the company said. The bottle shape has elements reminiscent of the prestige Havana Club expression Máximo Extra Añejo, creating a clear differentiation from the core range, which includes the two flagship rums Havana Club 7 Year Old and Havana Club 3 Year Old.

The bottle also incorporates a thick base, debossed and embossed luxury labelling and an authentic cork. A neck tag label further highlights its rich Cuban roots, while the wood-effect outer box references authentic Cuban cigars, tradition and craftsmanship.

Selección de Maestros tasting notes

Havana Club Selección de Maestros distinguishes itself by a warm amber hue, with a deep, red glow. A light nose of toasted pecan and spice aromas that reveals more robust origins with tobacco aromas and the presence of wood character. On the palate, a round entry leads to a complex, flavourful, full-bodied palate of cocoa, coffee, sweet tobacco and brown spices. A smokey oak and spice finish is blended with candied fruits.

Havana Club Selección de Maestros is best enjoyed as a slow-sipping rum, neat or on the rocks. It has a recommended retail price of €45.

About Havana Club International S.A.

The Havana Club International S.A. joint venture was established in 1993 by the Cuban company Cuba Ron S.A., responsible for rum production, and France’s Pernod Ricard Group, with the goal of developing the Havana Club brand internationally via Pernod Ricard’s strong international distribution network.

Since 2003, Havana Club International S.A. has also been in charge of the domestic distribution of the Havana Club brand in Cuba, along with key international brands from the Pernod Ricard portfolio. In 2007, Havana Club International S.A. inaugurated its new rum distillery in San José to meet the increasing demand for aged rums.

Havana Club is one of the company’s top 15 key brands. In 2009, Havana Club ranked 23rd in the Impact Top 100. Havana Club is the number-two international rum brand in the world outside the US, with sales reaching 3.5 million nine-litre cases on fiscal year ending June 2010. The company is based in Havana and exports to 125 countries.