This is the first cuban rum to reach my site. And what a cuban to start with. Allegedly this is Castro’s favourite rum. That is however nothing I have had any luck confirming. You’ll just have to the internets word for it I guess.The brand Ron Santiago de Cuba resides in the factory that used to house Ron Matusalem before the cuban revolution. During the revolution Matusalem went in to exile to avoid being nationalised by Castro’s regime. And that made room for the birth of Santiago de Cuba.
Somewhere I have found information that in addition to the old Matusalem factory Santiago de Cuba also utilises the old cuban Bacardi factory. Again I have had no luck confirming this.
I have had no luck tracking down a website of the company, so if you would like more information on the subject I will have to refer you to the almighty Google.
The box is very shiny with black, red and gold graphics. The amount of gold should be enough to attract your attention on the store shelf.
Apart from the product specifications and a medium long sales pitch written with some sort of bad handwriting font making it almost impossible to read, there is nothing else on the box except for the company logo.
The nice solid bar room bottle has a nice heavy feel to it – which I do like in a bottle – and the label has a nice simple layout of only the most relevant information. The back label repeats the sales pitch from the side of the box – but only the spanish version.
My only beef with this bottle is the top of it. First of all there is no cork – only a plastic screw cap. In fact the top two inches of the bottle is dressed in plastic taking away some of the quality feel. Last but not least the opening of the bottle is blocked with a plastic diffuser.
Seriously I do not understand what the need for this diffuser is. I do not have any experience in bar tending so I really can’t say what is is good for. But buying a somewhat premium product to have the bottle disgraced by this sort of cheap plastic stuff is quite the letdown.
The rum it self is a nice mahogany thing and a quick swirl reveals a lighter rum with fast and skinny legs.
First of a punch in the face of children’s glue which quickly gives room for nougat, orange peel and perhaps a little eau de vie. After a breath of air the molasses start coming out rounding it all off nicely.
A rum quite light in nature. At first it comes off quite spicy with oak, cinnamon, orange zest and rock candy being the most clear participants. As with the nose, the molasses comes out when given a little time to breathe along with green bananas.
The lightness of the rum lets it leave the scene of the crime almost undetected. The only evidence of its visit is long lasting spices. There is no sting or pain and a few minutes later you will almost have forgot that it was ever here – if it wasn’t for the pleasant buzz.
Rating and final thoughts
All in all this is a very nice rum. Pleasant in all aspects and a solid sipping experience. It is not extreme in any kind of way which makes it a good way to experience some of the best cuban I have ever tasted.
The taste profile is not as complex as other rums but what it does, it does extremely well.
I found the bottle for around €40 which almost makes it a complete steal in my book. I have yet to try a rum with better value for money. This is quite extraordinary.
Further more I kind of like the story behind it all. The rum being an invader to Matusalem and perhaps Bacardi factories and then making this awesome product.
No official ones. Try google. You might be luckier than I was.