Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros

Havana Club Seleccion de MaestrosHavana Club Seleccion de Maestros. Even if this was your favourite rum and you bought it every week and dreamed about it every night.  I bet you still would struggle to spell it!

I apologise now for any spelling mistakes contained within the rum.  Wherever possible I will use the term “rum” alone to describe this, ermmmm…..rum.

Joking aside Havana Club is an instantly recognised rum brand world-wide except the USA.  Actually that isn’t strictly true because although trade embargo’s do not allow Havana Club to sold in the USA, the US government have kindly let the usual legalities slip a little and allow Bacardi to market a rum called Havana Club in the USA.  I bet Fidel really cares he’s still own’s the real stuff!

Havana Club is now widely available in the UK market.  Many supermarkets and off license stock the White 3 Anos, Anejo Especial and the 7 Year Old.  So far my experience of Havana Club’s rums has been pretty average.  All are solid if unspectacular performers in their respective categories.  The Anejo Especial I find has a very tobacco-ed note which is partly why it is not on the site as a review.  I doubt I’ll ever re-visit a bottle.

Seleccion de Maestros was (to all intents and purposes) formerly called Cuban Barrel Proof.  I am not entirely sure of all the changes made between the two rum’s but Seleccion de Maestros replaced Cuban Barrel Proof (which is no longer marketed) as the companies premium offering.  There are more premium (upwards of £150 per bottle) Havana Club rum’s available such as the 15 year old but as far as the average consumer will go this is where the brand is likely to end!  Seleccion de Maestro Havana Club rum review Fat Rum Pirate

A bottle of Seleccion de Maestros costs around £45-50 in the UK for a 70cl bottle.  It is bottled at a slightly higher strength 45%.  I was fortunate enough to get my bottle in a Cypriot duty-free and paid around £36.

The rum comes housed in a very nice canister with a rough faux wood like feel.  I assume this is to replicate the barrel the rum was stored in.  The rum prides itself on being triple barrel aged and finished in small oak barrels.  It is then bottled directly from the barrel.  The bottle is half way between a small stubby old style rum bottle and a bartender friendly bottle.  The bottle feels heavy and expensive.  It has a lovely tapered profile with La Habana Cuba etched on the bottles shoulders.  The labelling is set into the glass and everything about the bottle is luxurious.  The Havana Club branded blue cork stopper is an excellent finish to what is a wonderfully presented rum.  Even before you have nosed or tasted the rum you can see where some of your money has gone.

On the neck of the label there is some further information on the rum’s heritage and craftsmanship.

HAV5In the bottle Seleccion de Maestros is a wonderful amber colour with flashes red and gold.  It is very vivid and almost orange in colour.

It is a very inviting rum.  It certainly has that wow factor.  Guests will be eager to try this rum so be warned!

When opened the rum gives a loud and satisfying pop the nose is extremely pleasant.  Poured in the glass the rum shows itself to be a vibrant amber/gold colour.  It is slightly lighter than the 7 Year Old.  The nose is light.  Unlike previous Havana Club rum’s it is not as oaked.  It’s nose is much fruitier.  I am relieved to say the dreaded tobacco/petrol profile so overly apparent in the Anejo Especial is nowhere to be found.  No matter how far I delve my nose into the glass I cannot detect any of those horrible cloying almost sickly notes.  The bouquet is slightly floral and quite fruity.  It has notes of tree resin in the profile which give it a bit of herbal note.  It smells of apricot and peaches.  It is very light yet still displays complex notes such as oak and nutmeg a little ginger.

Onto the tasting.  It probably goes without saying that this is primarily a sipping rum.  Even a dedicated rum and cola drinker such as myself recognises this.  At 45% I was expecting a little extra punch to the rum.  Maybe a little extra burn or heat to the drink.  Not a chance.  Seleccion de Maestros is such a well blended and well-balanced spirit that it’s smoothness shines through. There is very little roughness or aggressive spirit tones when sipped.  This is a real well aged authentic Cuban Rum.  It is smooth and complex with a flavour which is quite distinct.

To be honest having tried the various Havana Club’s upto the 7 Year Old I was a little apprehensive to try this.  I’d paid a fair bit of money for it.  In all honesty I had bought it primarily to review.  There are certain rums which your site looks pretty silly without (yes I know I’m getting around to reviewing R L Seales 10 Year Old!)Seleccion de Maestro Havana Club rum review Fat Rum Pirate

This is a very good rum, it is smooth yet sufficiently complex.  So many smooth rums are laced with sugar leading to a very one-dimensional profile.  This rum offers complexity and tasting notes which I can only begin to touch upon.  Peach, Apple, Herbs, Tree Sap/Resin, oak.   Each sip seems to reveal something new.

The finish is long, spiced and leaves a slightly creamy note to the palate.  It’s the perfect finish.  This is an excellent sipping rum to pair with a cigar.

The rum is ideal for someone who enjoys a less sweet possibly more oaked profile.  Having said that I am fond of the Demerara and Bajan style yet I am finding this Cuban expression to be very enjoyable.

I confess I mixed a very small amount with an equally small amount of cola.  It was as expected very pleasant but I did feel I was missing out on that wonderful sipping experience!

4 stars



Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros is available from






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6 comments on “Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros

  1. When your comments on the rum come mixed with your admiration for the present Cuban regime it is difficult to ignore bias.
    It is more difficult to believe that you don’t know that that present Cuban regime stole that company from its founders and legal owners.

    • The review is in no way intended to be in any way political

  2. An excellent rum, savoring what i brought back fro.the Havana Club Museum tour and tasting. It is excellent with the Habanos I brooght home as well.

  3. I found this rum very pleasant to drink . My next purchase will be Seales after reading your review.

    • It’s much better than the other Havana club products IMO I doubt you will be disappointed with any of the products of Foursquare Distillery! Enjoy

      • Its every thing you say there will be a bottle on table this Christmas with the cigar happy rum days.

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