Friday, 20 February 2015

Review 30 - Havana Club Selección de Maestros

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
A beautiful Cuban rum with a twist or two. 
Not many brand names spell rum as Havana Club.

There is a lot of history behind the name and I am not going to re-tell it. So many others have already done so very nicely.

See wikipedia for run down. Link supplied.
Havana Club supplies a lot of different rums from whites, over slightly aged, to old and insanely expensive rums.
The SdM is at the buttom end of the premium spectrum, taking its place between the best entry level rum; The 7 year old, and the midrange premium and way more expensive 15 year old.

All are surpassed by the Maximo which is so premium, that it will never find its way into this proletarians shelves. Rumor has it that Havana Club has a new premium rum on the way, which places it self between the 15 year old and the Maximo.

Anyway, back to the SdM on review.

Faux wood protective cylinder with golden metal lids.

Blue/red/gold label with brand and origin, which accompanies the faux wood beautifully. Says a lot of things in spanish that I can’t make out. Except ”Ron Puro Cubano” – Pure Cuban Rum. It is a rum very proud of its heritage and as you will see later on, it does showcase Cuban rums quite effectively.

Smaller label with name of the rum and a couple of awards.

Wide shouldered bar room bottle, heavy and thick glass bottom, ”La Habana Cuba” embossed on the widest part of the bottle. 

A nice natural cork with plastic stopper.
Blue/red/gold coloured label along the waist of the bottle which copies the one on the cylinder. The same goes for the smaller label beneath it, showing name of the rum as well as ABV and a few awards. On the back we have a see through sticker with bar code and other uninteresting information.

Around the neck is has got a name tag which unfolds to tell a very nice little story about the rum in several languages – also in english. The most interesting thing I noticed was the fact that the ”Maestros” selects the rums that goes into the blend and then bottles the final product straight from the barrels.

The 45% ABV liquid is a beautiful rose gold colour and it sparkles in a very special way in the sunlight. I have never seen another with a colour like this.

Given a twirl, the glass gets a light coating from the rum and after a couple of seconds a light ring starts to appear. The ring transforms into a lot of medium speed droplets, which are a soon after united with the rest of the rum again.

When nosing the SdM you are treated with a light and complex profile.
Heavy caramel and a lot of orange zest are evident as soon as you start pouring the rum. And when you start nosing, they are still there en plenty quantities.

There is a little sharpness from an estery note of nail polish, but it is soon overwhelmed by more pleasant notes of raisins, vanilla and subtle oak.

Several consecutive whiffs will reveal almonds, which slowly evolve into marzipan.

All in all a beautiful and pleasant nose. It lures me in and keeps me occupied for a long time.
The only thing a little bit off, was the nail polish.

The lighter profile is confirmed by the palate. So is the heavy, but not very sweet, caramel notes. The orange zest is also very heavy and a little too domination, but in no way does it turn out obnoxious.

It has a certain fruityness to it, which draws me in the direction of litchis, apricots, mangos and grapes.

For a closing note it also shows some vanilla and a lot more oak than the nose indicated.

But instead of being over done, it all feels super balanced. Like a perfectly made katana from the ancient ages of japan.

Over all it is a very smooth experience without ever getting sticky or sickly sweet.

The finish is not the longest. It is very pleasant and at best a medium finish.

The light profile dries the mouth nicely and leaves nice traces of orange zest and oak spices

But as the oak spices clear, the litchis are suddenly back for an encore.

It seems to be over very fast – too fast. I long for more and wish it would stay around longer.
But at least it was good for the short time it was here.

Rating and final thoughts
Mark my words: This is a very good rum.

Everything seems balanced to the verge of perfection. The litchis are very refreshing, the light profile and the pleasantly complex palate makes it a very interesting drink.

The orange zest is a little too heavy, the nail polish on the nose is a little too sharp. But all in all it is a very, very good rum.

It can usually be found €50 and at this price I consider it a steal. If you see it, buy it. It is superb for its price. Even with the smaller inconsistencies.

I do feel that it has room for improvement. The inconsistencies could be ironed out, the finish could have been longer, and perhaps the proof could have been slightly higher – even though the 45% is already quite impressive.

And those things regrettably take the absolute top off.

However all the excellences makes it easy for me to award it with a…

Rating: 77/100


No comments:

Post a Comment