Havana Club 7 Anos

Havana Club 7 Anos Rum ReviewHavana Club 7 Anos is the first in the Havana Club series in terms of price which is intended as a sipping rum.  The other Anejo’s and White Rum’s in the range are aimed entirely at mixing.  There is little to say about Havana Club that hasn’t been said before.  I think the rum is still largely unavailable in the US of A and I’m pretty sure Bacardi have even taken advantage of this to issue their own “Havana Club” brand of rum.

When Bacardi had to re-locate to Puerto Rico, Havana Club remained in Cuba and remained largely under government control.  I’m not sure if that situation still exists.

The presence of Havana Club particularly in the UK has increased rapidly recently.  Most supermarkets carry the Havana Club range of rum’s and it is readily available in a lot of city centre bar’s, especially the trendy “cocktail” orientated establishments.  Even my local Italian restaurant stocks the younger Anejo and white 3 Anos.

Havana Club 7 Anos is presented in an unusual tall sleek black bottle.  Usually I would find a screw cap to be a bit of a disappointment but the screw top is good quality and unusually it adds to the overall presentation.  The black bottle is broken up by the red Havana Club motif and the usual Republica De Cuba Garantia green sticker.  This sticker certifies that the rum is from Cuba and is found on ALL Havana club products.  The rum is bottled art 40% and retails at around £23-28 in the UK.  I was fortunate to pick up a bottle for just £20 on sale.

The rear of the 7 Anos gives Don Jose Navarro’s tasting notes (Master Blender)

“It has an intense and complex aroma, with a palate of honey, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, sweet tobacco, dry fruits and spicy notes.  The finish is powerful and full bodied”

Well it sounds impressive, the front label also states the rum should be enjoyed over ice or in a premium cocktail.  All impressive sounding stuff.

So how does the rum look in the glass? Well the bottle certainly doesn’t give much away!  In the glass the rum is medium to dark brown/amber colour.  The nose is quite sweet but I detect the same scent that I have experienced with the Havana Club Anejo.  It’s a kind of petrol like smell, maybe a little like engine oil or nail varnish perhaps smokiness maybe tobacco.  It’s a sweet yet chemical like smell.  It’s not a smell I’m overly keen on.  It may be the oakiness of the wood but there is something in the nose that I really don’t like.  Their is a creamy/buttery vanilla like smell as well common in these lighter Cuban style rum’s.  The remaining nose is oak, dry tobacco and smokiness.  I’m detecting little by way of fruit in the nose.

When sipped the first taste I really get is a little like when you splash a little after shave on your mouth and you can’t help but taste it. It’s very hot, spicy and very bitter.  Luckily the burn isn’t bad and very short.  Subsequent sips are much smoother.  If you slosh the rum around a little in your mouth you get a more satisfying flavour.  The engine oil/oakiness of the rum is present but it isn’t as overpowering as in the Anejo.  The finish is quite short and very bitter.  The note of cocoa by the Master Blender is spot on.  Personally I prefer Drinking Chocolate to Cocoa and my rum tastes are fairly similar.  This is a real Cuban style rum.  One which would be enjoyed with a big cigar.  Its smoky and bitter it reminds you of snooker halls full of smoke or old fashioned gangster movies.

My own personal preferences are one of the reasons I resisted “scoring” rums for so long.  However, I hope if you read my reviews in full you will be able to make an informed decision on whether the rum is for you.  After all I enjoy a lot of my rum with cola, a lot of people see this as an aberration!

Speaking of cola I best add some to the Havana Club.  The rum does mix surprisingly well the bitterness and notes of tobacco lose their edge.  The “Havana Cuba smell” which I still can’t quite pinpoint (petrol, varnish, paint, tobacco maybe) is still there.  This can make the rum a little cloying and rich along with the cola.  I actually find it a bit sickly and unpleasant after a few.  Actually I’m beginning to come round to the taste profile in the Havana Club’s I don’t like is actually tobacco like which is why it makes me a little queasy.

The Havana Club 7 is a good rum, well crafted, it doesn’t seem to have been messed with – it’s authentic Cuban rum.  Unfortunately there is just something in its profile that I just don’t like.  In the style I would go for Matusalem 15 or Bermudez Aniversario first but that is purely my preference.  I must score it as I find it though.  There is no point fudging my results by judging rum’s on how well made or “authentic” they are.   I’m certainly not going to change my opinion to satisfy other people’s viewpoints.

This is a good example of a 7 year old Cuban rum.  If you especially like Cuban rum add a half or full star to my rating.

2 stars




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One comment on “Havana Club 7 Anos

  1. […] and they have shared the same distillery in the past. Havana Club’s Reserva Especial and the 7 Year Old are particularly prominent. Personally I find that the Havana Club range only really begins above […]

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