Havana Club Añejo 7 Años

Havana Club Añejo 7 Años

Product of:  Cuba
Aged:   7 years
Price:  $20 - $25 in Caribbean Windward Islands
Alcohol:
 40% ABV 
Sugar: 6-10 g/L (
estimate)
Context:  Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 7

Tasting Notes
Havana Club 7 is a no-nonsense Cuban rum, aged seven years to an attractive medium amber color. On the nose it delivers warm, smoky, deep aromas of caramel, tobacco, mild coffee, minerals and slight tones of fruit (raisin and pineapple). Tasting reveals even more coffee and cocoa flavors, mixed with a taste of dry brown sugar and caramel, almost like a mild and very light version of coffee, but with a dry, woody finish. While this rum exhibits a number of distinct flavors -- all of which are pleasant -- it lacks that extra bit of oaken vanilla complexity that would make it really appealing as a sipper. 

Update
September 2015: I’ve detected an inconsistency in the flavor and texture of Havana Club 7 Años over the past 2-3 years.  Comparing recently purchased bottles with old stocks in the Rum Gallery archives, the latest bottlings taste thinner, with a more chemical-additive characteristic replacing the barrel-aged flavors of previous versions.  Simply stated, Havana Club 7 Años isn’t as good as it was in the first decade of the 21st Century.  It still makes a great classic daiquiri, but it’s not the smooth sipping rum of old.  As of this update I’d downgrade it to a 7.

Anecdotes
Rum Gallery was first treated to Havana Club Añejo 7 Años by an acquaintance in a protracted tasting on Antigua and again on Mayreau, during a wonderful sailing adventure. Since this rum is made in Cuba, and we are Americans, we are denied its pleasure at home. Packaged in an unassuming looking bottle reminiscent of a Riesling only with a screw cap, this rum provides easy sipping without pretense or high price. 

Opinion
 Havana Club 7 is widely available in the Caribbean, South America and Europe, but embargoed from the 'States because of a strict US policy against importing goods from Cuba.  It is very good rum, yet it exhibits an odd  a mineral aroma and a flavor that to my palate tastes like old aging barrels that have been used past their prime.  Havana Club Añejo 7 Años does make the foundation of a hight-quality daiquiri, as it should, but it also works well as a sipping rum, either neat or with a piece of ice.  It’s flavors are delicate – it might be lost in a blended drink.   Drink it when you're looking for an alternative to some of the heavier pot still rums offered in the Caribbean. 

Reviewed: October 2007 in the Caribbean for the first time and frequently thereafter.

© Dave Russell 2017