Havana Tributo is an exceptional rum. The third time, Maestros Roneros (masters of rum) of Havana Club prepared an exclusive rum (namely Asbel Morales, Maestro del Ron Cubano). 2500 bottles only, a blend of 20-year-old rums aged in 80year-old smoky-Scotch barrels. For Czechia, 60 bottles were available and I was lucky to be invited to the unique evening event on November 29th, 2018 in the Kvalitář gallery in Prague.
Presentation: Tributo 2018
The event itself was very pleasant. The Kvalitář gallery premises full of art provided the whole evening with a great atmosphere. The representatives of Havana Club Czech explained how Tributo 2018 was created but talked about other rums and their production as well. The event also hosted a mobile bar, serving two drinks (Old Fashion and Canchachara) and also other refreshments of course. Music was there as well, unconventionally combining a DJ and electric violin. Cuban cigars were just the cherry on top. The presentation of Tributo 2018 was definitely a success.
Tributo 2018 Rum
The unique Tributo 2018 rum is blended from archive Havana Club rums older than 20 years, which were further aged in 60-year-old American white oak barrels, formerly housing smoky Scotch whiskies, which gave the rum the taste of a peaty Scotch. This Tributo is the third blend of this name. For example, the year 2017 was in colour green and is still available. As a complementing colour, after blue and green, this year it is wine-red. Tributo falls under the Icónica collection.
The Tributo tradition started in 2016 and each year is dedicated to a particular part of the rum manufacturing process. Every bottle is numbered and signed by Asbel Morales.
“Whereas the first edition of Havana Tributo 2016 was a tribute to maestros roneros, overseeing the manufacturing process from start to end, last year’s collection celebrated the aguardiente, the base of every Havana Club rum. The limited Havana Club Tributo 2018 edition is dedicated to the process of aging, which plays a major role in the taste of the final distillate.”Jakub Vinš, rumb ambassador, Jan Becher Pernod Ricard
This rum is not aged using the Solera system but aged without continual blending. It is made in the Ronera San José distillery, an hour south-east from Havana, the Cuban capital. Only local Cuban sugar cane molasses is used in the process. The distillery was open in 2007, replacing an old facility from the 70’s.
The taste of Tributo 2018
This rum is not quite soft but you may find sweeter notes of dried fruit (peach, mango and pineapple), raisins, dark chocolate, coconut, coffee and oak. Let’s not forget the notes coming from the smoky Scotch barrels. The colour is dark amber. The combination of the peaty Scotch notes and oak together with tropical fruit makes for an exceptional rum to be appreciated by both rum and whisky lovers.
The price of Tributo 2018
In CZ, it was sold for CZK 9999, abroad for 345 pounds. It is hopelessly sold out in Czechia and if you own it, you are very lucky. Tributo is sold in 21 countries only and it is great to see Czechia among them. More about Tributo on Havana Club website.
Who are Pernod Ricard and Havana Club?
In 1993, the Cuban company Cuba Ron S.A. founded Join Venture Havana Club International S.A. together with the French Pernod Ricard Group to promote the Havana Club brand in the world. Havana Club is the 3rd most important international rum brand in the world excluding the USA and the main worldwide producer of super-premium and higher-class rums. The annual production of Havana Club reached 4 million crates in June 2016, earning the company 21st place in the producer chart Impact Top 100 (2016).
The company is based in Havana, exporting to more than 120 countries excluding the USA, where Cuban products are banned due to business embargo.