Havana Club 11 Year Old Small Batch Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange

Havana Club 11 Year Old Small Batch Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange rum review by the fat rum pirateHavana Club 11 Year Old Small Batch Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange. This is a world first. Havana Club, the iconic Cuban distillers have never previously released a bespoke expression for a single retailer.

Whilst Havana Club might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or glass of rum) and a lot of their “mystery” is due to not being easily available to one of the worlds biggest spirit markets – the US of A.  They are without doubt one of the better producers of light Cuban style rum. Not that really says a great deal if we are being entirely honest.

Yes, they do on occasion like to get the “special sauce” out and add it to their rums but I have always rated their Seleccion de Maestros expression in particular. Their 7 Anos has also grown on me over time though I still think its fairly average.

I can’t quite believe it is almost 9 years since I reviewed the SdM bottling. I have had the expression since.  More often than not because it has been far and away the best bottling to be had at the Duty Free! Again sadly not a huge endorsement of the product.

Like the Seleccion de Maestros, we have a bottling which has been developed by the “Maestros” in this instance it is the “Maestro del Ron Cubana” Asbel Morales. Asbel has held this position for over 15 years and has also worked on many other Cuban rum brands such as Varadero and Legendario – which are regularly seen for sale in mainland Europe.

Havana Club 11 Year Old Small Batch Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange is a blend of Single and Multi column rums. Cuban rum is typically produced on column stills rather than pot stills. It has been aged entirely in Cuba in “white oak barrels” (ex-bourbon). The producers have advised that no additives are present and the rum has not been chill filtered.

The rum has been bottled at 50% ABV, which again is unusual for Cuban rum which is typically bottled at between 38 and 41% ABV. Havana Club advise that this 50% offering is Cask Strength. So we have a couple of points which might persuade those who do not usually buy Cuban and Cuban style rum to give it a try.

As noted already this is a Whisky Exchange exclusive so is only available directly from them The online store currently has this in stock priced at £74.95. Bearing in mind the price of some “limited edition” rums recently, from other major producers – isn’t a bad price.Havana Club 11 Year Old Small Batch Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange rum review by the fat rum pirate

There are 2400 bottles of this rum available so it is not a single cask release.

With my information exhausted why may as well move onto the fun part….

On the nose we are presented with a pretty sweet, almost floral nose. I’m getting a nice hit of raisins and some orange blossom. A smoky note of tobacco and some cocoa nibs. Honey, Apple and some notes of Peach Melba (a very sweet dessert cake).

In terms of the colour this rum is fairly dark with a yellow/orange hue running through it. As the producers claim this rum comes additive free according to the hydrometer at least.

It is pleasant and easy going the extra ABV. For a Cuban style ate least adds a nice bit of extra bite without detracting from the otherwise easy going “light” style of rum.

From the nose I think you would guess this was from Havana Club. It has a note that I can’t quite explain a bit like a sweet tobacco? Which is common in their aged rums.

Sipped the rum is fairly spicy with a nice hit of tobacco, leather and some dark chocolate. Further sips reveal more of the sweeter notes – apple, peach and some darker fruits, such as blackcurrant and cranberries.

The mid palate gives way to a light grassiness or a hint of sugar cane.  Along side smoky notes and a lot of well worn in leather. It’s pretty dry but at the same time very refreshing and enjoyable.

I’m enjoying this taking very small sips. It is nicely refined and it has quite a long finish. Smoky and heavy on the dark chocolate. Havana Club 11 Year Old Small Batch Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange rum review by the fat rum pirate

It is a rum which has been very much shaped by the barrels it has been aged in. No messing around with this one. It isn’t a massive flavour bomb like a Jamaican nor does it have the vanilla/bourbon led character of a Bajan rum. It does what it knows best.

I’m not sure how much more I enjoy this than the Seleccion de Maestros as I haven’t tried that expression for some time. This is very pleasant though, a little easy going but that is what it is meant to do.

It’s a very good example of this type of rum. It doesn’t knock my socks off but its a solid  if unspectacular sipper for me.





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