Ron Cubay Reserva Especial

Ron Cubay 10 Year Reserva Especial rum review by the fat rum pirateRon Cubay in case anyone is any doubt, is a rum from Cuba.  Cuban rum has become even hotter property recently as news that the US of A will soon be getting stocks of what, until very recently has been forbidden fruit for our friends over the pond.

Forget about the pointless rangling over the Havana Club brand by Havana Club and Bacardi International, as here we have one of the more domesticated Cuban rums.

Cubay is produced in Santo Dominco, in the Provence of Villa Clara which is in the centre of the island, hence reference locally to the “Pearl of the Cuba”.  The Ron Cubay brand was only ever intended for domestic consumption.  Since 2010 the rum has been distributed in Europe and entered the UK market around 2013.

It is currently stocked by both The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt at £38.95.  The rum is bottled at 40% ABV and I’m pleased to say passed the dreaded Hydrometer Test with flying colours.  Ron Cubay comes in a more standard bar style bottle with a screw cap but you do get a decent quality carboard sleeve with the rum for storage/display purposes.

Havana Club has the UK market pretty much sown up when it comes to mass market distribution of Cuban rums in bars and clubs.  This rum is related to the Havana Club brand 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 the 7 Year Old with the Seleccion de Maestros.  Outside of this rum I have little regard for Havana Club without going into the more expensive selections.

This rum represents the top tier of the Cubay range available in the UK.Ron Cubay 10 Year rum review by the fat rum pirate

In the glass the rum is a medium brown to straw colour – almost orange in some lights.  The nose has notes of Havana Club rums but not the Union – I kid you not.  It has none of the cloying tarry and tobacco notes of the Especial for example and much more of the cleaner more defined toffee and chocolate notes of the older rums.  I’ll leave Havana Club parked now and concentrate on Ron Cubay!

It has quite light bodied nose – nicely balanced.  It’s not at all fiery – nice cocoa and chocolate sweetness, a little of the tarry “Cuban” notes.  Vanilla and some sweet fleshy fruits – peach, nectarine.  Nice light oak notes.

It’s all very good and really pretty complex for a 10 year old.  The rum has been aged for 10 years in Bourbon casks.

Sipping Ron Cubay Reserva Especial it is one of those rums that delivers everything it promises in the nose.  This really makes for a rum of great balance and complexity. On entry it is sweet – nice toffee and chocolate notes, fruity sweetness – moving onto very nice mouth feel of vanilla, spice and very well balanced hints of oak.

Ron Cubay 10 Year Reserva Especial rum review by the fat rum pirateThe finish is extremely long lasting – its oaked and dry yet refreshing.  It rounds off what is a very good sipping rum.  The key to this rum is the balance of flavour and the lack of any off notes that can spoil so many “rons” or lighter Cuban style rums.  Many have a tarry of leathery notes that stop them from being truly great.

Ron Cubay works really well and is certainly one of those rums that is mature beyond its years. I certainly would not drink this rum with a mixer.  There really is no need – it is beautiful on its own – or maybe with another Cuban export.

4.5 stars





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