“If the aguardiente isn’t right,” he says, “even if you age it 100 years, the rum will never turn out well.” But not just any Cuban rum.In three to seven years — sometimes longer, depending on the flavor Morales is going for — after filtering, aging and blending, this rum will be bottled as Havana Club, one of the two most storied brands in the history of Cuba.The other is Bacardi, no longer made in Cuba since shortly after Fidel Castro’s revolution of 1959.
From a new base in Bermuda, Bacardi, too, went global, and Bacardi brand rum came to dominate the U. After two decades of lawsuits, lobbying and congressional hearings, a Havana Club made by Bacardi is rolling out nationwide this summer and should be available in Washington by September.
It is not to be confused with the Havana Club made in Cuba by Morales and his colleagues.
Will the real Havana Club please fix us a daiquiri?
[Cuban Havana Club is legendary — but is it best for your daiquiri?
] Within this splendidly bitter rum war — Havana Club vs.
Havana Club — is a tale of geopolitical jousting that has more turns than a Cuban mambo. At its emotional core, the rum war is a proxy for an even more epic struggle over the brand of Cuba and Cuban identity.The drama is reaching a climax just as historic changes are taking place in the fraught relationship between the U. The saga of revolution and exile has left unresolved issues. The Washington Post invited four rum aficionados for a blind tasting of dark and light rums at Cubano’s restaurant in Silver Spring to find out.(Danielle Kunitz, Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post) In a warehouse stacked with casks and suffused with aromas of old oak and intoxicating spirits, Asbel Morales is always thinking years ahead.At 48, he’s one of eight maestros roneros, or master rum-makers, on the island.They maintain the quality and tradition of Cuban rum — a staple of the economy and national identity that conjures summer daydreams of Ernest Hemingway knocking back daiquiris in art deco bars, while somewhere the Buena Vista Social Club band plays forever. It’s potent aguardiente, the soul of rum, fermented and distilled from the molasses of Cuban sugar cane. He waves scoopfuls of air toward his face, inhaling yeasty traces of cane, alcohol and subtler notes.