The Barrel Sample: Havana Club Tributo 2021

I was stoked to find out I was sent a sample from Havana containing their 6th installment of their limited edition Tributo collection. The Tributo range, as the name might suggest, “pays tribute to the unrivaled excellence in Cuban rum and celebrates the know-how of the Maestros del Ron Cubano, Masters of Cuban Rum” – taken from their press release.

Havana Tributo 2021 is the work of Havana Club’s Maestro del Ron Cubano, Asbel Morales. He sourced the rum from a unique batch of 100 casks inspired by the very first 2016 Tributo release and then he finished the blend in former white port casks from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

I have no information regarding the exact age of the rum, so it’s molasses based, column distilled and aged in ex-Bourbon and ex-white port casks for an unspecified amount of time. Bottled at 40% ABV wth a limited run of 2500 bottles.

On the nose the white port influence is quite obvious. White grapes, pistachios, saffron, apricots and peaches. Aromatic tobacco, black pepper and red apples. Burnt matchstick, leather, raisins and unripe plums. The flavour feels pretty intense for a 40% ABV. Some cinnamon and shoe polish as well.

On the palate it feels quite sweet. Agave syrup, canned peaches and cinnamon apple pie. Cacao, burnt orange peel, sweet tobacco and leather. Oxydated white port/Oloroso sherry, Luxardo cherries, walnuts and floral honey. It’s sweet upfront and then it dries up a little more towards the end. The finish is medium with charred oak, ground coffee and caramel.

Not bad, the complexity is there and I would definitely enjoy this if offered as I just had, but I wouldn’t purchase this at its RRP – £350. The brand has a well estabilshed fan-base and I’m sure the Havana drinkers will find this exceptional, but for me it’s a touch too sweet and too mellow/low in ABV to justify the high price.

I have to say I do love the packaging, even the sample came with a little wood box and I found it adorable.

Havana Club Tributo 2021 score:
Flavour/taste: 57/70
Value for money: 9/15
Transparency/purity: 11/15
Overall: 77/100


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