Rum, Rum Basics

Tasting Of Havana Club Union Rum With Cuba’s Legendary Master Blender

union rum

We tasted Havana Club’s ultra premium Union rum recently in Havana. It’s a powerful and amazing expression of an aged rum, blended to pair with a Cuban cigar. The target was the powerful Cohiba Siglo VI.

The most exciting part about the tasting was that we did it with master blender Asbel Morales, the creator of this remarkable and hardy blend. One of only seven living Maestro Roneros in Cuba, Morales exudes in every breath his intense pride in Cuba’s rum–which he clearly sees as a key part of Cuba’s history and living culture. His passion and brilliance come through in the rum, near the very top of Havana Club’s line of premium rums, second only to Maximo.

Morales teamed up with Cuba’s most renowned cigar sommelier, the legendary Fernando Fernandez, to create the first Cuban rum expressly crafted to pair with cigars. The team was inspired by two products that are each expressions of the land and that are both the result of careful aging and blending. Union draws on multiple small stores of aged and blended rums that are brought together with incredible skill to make one of the finest and most distinctive rums a cigar lover will ever encounter.

Union is pure luxury and élan. Something to be savored in its intended context, a bottle passed around among friends over a couple cigars after dinner. Its power can overwhelm lighter cigars. Matched with more robust cigars like the Cohiba Siglo VI that was its inspiration, life doesn’t get any better.

Union’s debut coincides with a quality trend in Cuba’s premium rum industry that Havana Club has done a lot to spur. It also appeared at a time when Cuba’s top young cigar Somms–many of whom are women–were becoming especially focused on the natural synergies between Cuba’s best rums, chocolate, coffee, and cigars. We’ve met a number of these terrific ambassadors of their country’s most iconic products. Their enthusiasm and knowledge point in great directions!

You can get Union in Havana at some Habanos stores, at the rum museum, and in some top restaurants. It may take some effort to find–production is small–but the quest will be rewarding.

Havana Club Union Rum Tasting Note:

Intense amber in color, the result of long natural aging of the component blends. The rich nose balances smoke and wood with complex toffee and dried fruit notes. These all continue on the palate, accented by hints of dark chocolate and vanilla.   The wonderful, deep and elegant finish sustains it all. An amazing rum. 99 points.

*The rum sells for CUC $350 at the Casa del Habano Stores at the Melia Cohiba and  Conde de Villanueva