The bright amber color, with powerful aroma, which brings to mind sugar honey and grapes, mixed with the oak wood tone of casks, and the intense dry taste of aged eau-de-vie, the blend of well-known tastes of chocolate, cigar and coffee, stand out when sipping a drink.

Bottled with 40 percent of alcoholic level and conceived to be drunk straight or including some ice, Tributo 2017, the second product of a series launched back in 2016, comes out as part of Havana Club’s Iconic collection within the framework of the 19th Habano Festival, an event taking place at Havana’s Convention Center, Feb 27 – March 3.

“The existence of Havana Club Tributo has a goal: paying tribute to the know-how and passion of Cuban Master Rum Makers, whose tradition was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the Culture Ministry of Cuba. With this idea in mind, the collection shows the identity of our rum by means of its sensorial attributes, on an annual basis. Tributo 2016 paid homage to the Master Rum Makers; on the other hand, Tributo 2017 highlights the eau-de-vie that gave origin to the drink, especially to Havana Club,” according to Cuban Master Rum Maker Asbel Morales, one of the creators of this product, which only comprises 2,500 bottles to be marketed.

Mr. Morales, who signed every bottle, used a specific blend of rum bases and eau-de-vie aged over decades in octogenarian casks. A special role is played this year by the green color of the package, which refers to Cuban sugar cane and guides the concept of this collection.

Lucrecia Fanti, director of Prestige and Innovation for Havana Club Internacional S.A, underscored that this product highlights the quality of Cuban rum, especially in foreign markets, where they offer it as a high-level spirit to be enjoyed along with whiskies and cognacs.

Since it is a limited edition, the international presence of Tributo 2017 will be limited as well, Master Rum Maker Asbel Morales underlined. It is not going to be marketed worldwide, it targets consumers that not only know the rum realm, but they also collect and enjoy tasting a fine Havana Club. Therefore, the limited edition will be available in sixteen international markets, six more than its 2016 predecessor, including such countries as Germany, Austria, China, United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico and Cuba. As for Cuba, 350 CUC shall be paid per each bottle.

“There is a strong bound in Cuba between rum and culture. Havana Club is the Cuban nation’s flagship. Beyond the exceptional products we make, we have won more than forty gold medals over the past four years in international spirit competitions and we know for sure that quality is accompanied by passion, a lifestyle that attracts people from overseas,” Mr. Jerome Cottin-Bizonne, General Manager of Havana Club Internacional S.A, pointed out.

According to Mr. Cottin-Bizonne, the Tributo collection is a way to tell the world that Cuban rum is extraordinarily complex, refined, characterized by a unique making process and described as an element of national identity, so the 2017 edition stands out as the second piece of a long story to share the variety and richness of this rum.

The amber drink, owned by the world leading brand in the category of Super-Premium and Prestige rums, according to the IWSR (International Wines and Spirits Records), proposes rum connoisseurs and collectors an opportunity to establish a perfect pairing with Habanos. Experts recommend Montecristo Número 2 and Bolívar Coronas Gigantes.

In the same breath, Mirelys Acosta, Head of the Communication and Strategic Marketing Division for Havana Club Internacional S.A in the Cuban market, said that this collection aims at recovering the after-meal talk concept, by pairing a good drink with a Habano, two cultural symbols of Cuba.

Havana Club Internacional S.A was founded back in November 1993 as a joint venture by Cuban corporation Cuba Ron S.A and French group Pernord Ricard, in an effort to boost the Havana Club brand beyond the island nation’s borders. It has gained momentum and, since 1994, Havana Club is one of the main fourteen brands of French group Pernord Ricard. It also stands out as the third rum brand on the face of earth, except for the United States, and it has been labeled as the world leader in terms of high-quality rums.

By Anays Almenares Avila / PanamericanWorld – Havana