Havana Club Edicion A and B
“Rum” – from a modern multi column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 40% ABV @ 20°
In October 2018, Havana Club launched two new rums, limited to 12,000 bottles each, aimed solely at bartenders.
The range entitled “Edicion” currently (December 2018) has two bottles in the range – “A” and “B” although further releases are likely to follow.
Theses “Edicion” rums are showcasing some different flavour profiles from Havana Club that are not usually synonymous with their style of rums and are created in collaboration with bartenders.
Edicion A is “White, full and intense.” It is “an extra-aged dry white rum made in the” historic “style of ‘carta blanca extra.’” It is a blend of three aged rums and Havana Club’s aguardiente and in total is aged for three to four years. This is then further matured in very large, very old oak barrels.
It has an official age statement of three to four years on the label.
Edicion B is “Rich and Smoky Dark.” It is a blend of three aged rums including one that was aged in error, for 12 months, in Islay whisky casks – this is because the wrong casks were sent to Cuba. The three rum types are “Oro” giving a sweet element, “Extra secco” which is very dry and “Centenario” that includes some rum from the nineteenth century and has been aged in exceptionally old casks.
It has an age statement of seven years on the label.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, these would most-likely be classed as “Rum” – from a modern multi column still.
The bottles are in Havana Club’s familiar shape and the labels look similar to their usual range. But, these labels are full of more interesting info including the ageing time and the composition of the rums, which I find really fascinating.
Glass/Aroma A: 6/10 B: 8/10
In the glass, both rums look very different. In the picture below Edicion A (left) shows you that it is off-white, pale almond-like colour. Edicion B is a medium amber. Both have medium density legs.
A is deceptive in that despite being light in colour, it has a powerful nose when first poured. Some vanilla and almost vegetal grassy notes, which surprised me.
B is another surprise in the glass. My first impression was that I was nosing a peated whisky, such is the influence of the Islay whisky cask ageing. Very smokey and intense with a hint of fruity chocolate.
Taste, Initial-middle A: 25/40 B: 30/40
A: The entry is dry and light, but builds. Vanilla, pastry notes and smooth texture.
B: Chocolate, smoked wood, dried fruits.
Taste, Middle/Throat A: 28/40 B: 30/40
A: Multiple sips produce some light pepper, green banana and citrus in addition to more vanilla. A touch of herbal grassiness leads to dry tannins that coat your cheeks.
B: Nutty with more chocolate and tobacco smoke. Dry coffee beans and christmas cake. Feels a little thin despite the flavour profile.
Afterburn A: 4/7 B: 5/7
A: Light in the finish, but that is to be expected. There is no fire nor roughness either, just a hint of herbaceousness.
B: More tobacco smoke and dryness with a hint of vanilla.
TOTAL A: 65/100 B: 75/100
Edicion A is aimed at cocktails such as El Presidente and a Daiquiri.
Edicion B is aimed at cocktails such as Coctel Nacional and the Rum Old Fashioned.
On their own, the rums certainly do have some different character about them compared to Havana’s usual (in my opinion) quite bland taste. I have tested A in a simple Daiquiri and have to say, it is pretty good. It has depth and character whilst having the right colour for mixing a Daiquiri. Edicion B would be so much better if the ABV was a little higher – for me, 40% is too light to shine through in an Old Fashioned. But it does have lots of smokey flavours that I am sure a skilled bartender will enjoy working with.
I would say that these are not really aimed at sipping neat and as such, my marks reflect this, which to some extent is perhaps a bit unfair on Havana Club. These are good, robust flavoured rums, specifically designed for mixing.
You can find more info here and bartenders can apply for bottles for their bar.
If anyone has them and wants to invite me to a cocktail tasting session, please do 🙂
Review No. 133
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7