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Cuban Matusalem

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So -- does anyone have any info on the recent developments of Matusalem? I have been told by some pretty reliable sources that they are no longer producing this rum. Any truth to this? I have heard stories of re-packaging, re-branding, and of course the old trademark issue(s) discussions -- however I haven't gotten the real scoop. Any help here?

Also, was this rum ever exported from Cuba? I didn't think so but I wasn't sure. Thanks.

Eric

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There are two Ron Matusalems presently being bottled. The Cuban version is being distilled and bottled in Cuba. The other is imported distilled and blended in the Bahamas  and sold in the states. The Cuban Matusalem is available in some of the Caribbean islands but not in the US.

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So I guess it was an export product. I think there was one that was and one that wasn't although my memory escapes me on the details.

Similar to the two versions of HC15 -- one for export and one not.

Thanks,

Eric

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Seems I did a Dogpile search and came up with a story on this.  Will look again.

Sorry, can't find it.

(Edited by Bolivar Petit Corona at 6:29 pm on Jan. 29, 2002)

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Greetings,

I went to Cuba this summer and brought back a bottle of Matusalem anejo Superior.  After I drank the bottle and I realized that it was in a class of it's own (with a VERY close second Santiago De Cuba).

Since then I went insane trying to find this rum.  I could not.  I contacted Tim Forsythe at Caribbean Week Newspaper and we lead me to the Matusalem Company based in Miami.

After responding to an e-mail I sent to the Matusalem Company concerning the Cuba rum, Jim Tirel (Sales Manager for Matusalem Co.) called me.  We had a long conversation about Matusalem and the Cuban variant of their rum.

It all boils down to Castro and the revolution.  Matusalem was producing their rum in Cuba, business as usual.  Then came the revolution.  They fled Cuba.  The next part is a little sketchy, Jim Tirel did not tell me all of it.  I don't know about the Bahamas part.  Jim told me that they set up in Miami and Castro took aver their plant in Cuba and he then continued to produce rum under the Matusalem banner.  After a ~17 year long legal battle, in 1998, maybe 1999, they finally won back the world rights to their name and product.

They now are distilling their product in St-Croix, US Virgin Islands, and bottling it in Miami USA.  And Castro still produces his version of Matusalem in Cuba.  BUT... if he exports any of it, Matusalem Miami has the right to sieze the shipment (just as Bacardi has done in the past, so says Jim T.).

That's all that I know,

Cheers,

Dan Smith, Montreal, Canada

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I believe that originally, Matusalem was not an export product, simil;ar to the original offering of Havana Club 15. At the beginning, HC15 was not exported. Then, when it gained popularity and notariety, they began to export it -- with two packagings/bottlings. One has a spout-type top which makes refilling the bottle very difficult -- an affort to deter bootlegging/counterfeiting. The other with a regular, non-spout type top.

Matusalem did though end up getting exported but I am not sure how. I am still told by various people who are in the know that still say it is not an export item. Perhaps people just buy it and ship it, but I am not sure at all.

Eric

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Matusalem rums are exported to St Maarten and some other islands. Matusalem Miami would have a very hard time stopping trade in the Caribbean especially when the rum doesn't have to go through the freest country in the world.

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