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Jason Perlow

Havana Club... NOT from Cuba?

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Bought a bottle of Havana Club gold rum from a local liquor store in Hackensack today (Home Liquors) and noticed that the country of origin was Bahamas... Also picked up an interesting looking Ecuadorian rum called San Miguel, 5 years old. Havent tried it yet.

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I believe there is a non-Cuban version of Havana Club. I did some research on this a while back, I'll see if I still have it. Could be similar to the Cuban and non-Cuban version of Matusalem. A lot of this may be a by-product of the trademark disputes that have resulted from the fighting over who owns the trademark rights and names of the old Cuban brands. This is present in liquor and cigars. The Bacardi name is currently being litigated also. Obviously, when Castro came to power, many people fled Cuba with their "names". I'll see what I can turn up.

Eric

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Eric has it in a nutshell. Pernod bought the Havana Club name from the Cuban government a few years ago and sells it around the world, except in the US.

Bacardi filed for and got a trademark in the US for Havana Club. If you buy Havana Club in the US, it certainly didn't come from Cuba.

This is a lot like the Matusalem situation, I for one like the Matusalem made in the Bahamas, but I buy Cuban Matusalem in the islands.

At the heart of the dispute is the claim of being Cuban rum. Some, like Matusalem and Bacardi, which got started in Cuba before Castro, claim that their rum is the same as Cuban rum no matter where they make it.

I couldn't disagree more. The distillation equipment and yeast make a big difference, just as Bacardi about their specially guarded yeast. Another difference has to be the molasses,  and then the aging conditions are different between Cuba and the Bahamas, barrels and ventilation to name just two of the variables.

My take on this is that this battle will continue for as long as the attorneys are getting paid which will be a very long time. In the mean time, they'll have to charge the consumer for their efforts.

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In a nutshell, but to me it doesn't matter where it came from as much as do I like it? To answer that question I often ask myself, Would I buy another bottle?

Cheers.

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HAVANA CLUB Trademark Case . The World Trade Organization Ruling!.   Look up-   www.Findarticles.com    Food & Drink Weekly August 13, 2001.  This one page article by Food & Drink Weekly explaines a lot.

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