Havana Club was created in 1934 by the family-owned group José Arechabala S.A., which produced the rum in its Cardenas distillery, built in 1878. The brand was nationalized in 1960, after the Cuban Revolution, despite objections from the Arechabala family, whose members either fled to the United States or were imprisoned. The Cuban government began exporting the brand in 1972, primarily to countries in the USSR. In 1993, the Cuban government and Pernod Ricard set up a joint venture, the Corporación Cuba Ron, which they owned in equal parts. Havana Club was exported to almost everywhere in the world, except the United States, which instead had the version from Bacardi—who had bought the recipe from the Arechabala family in 1994—produced in Porto Rico. There is an ongoing legal dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi as to who owns the trademark. In 1998, the “Bacardi Act” ruled in favour of Bacardi, protecting trademarks related to expropriated Cuban companies, despite this judgement being declared illegal by the World Trade Organization. Bacardi won again in 2012 in an open dispute over use of the name ‘Havana’, which was claimed to be misleading for a rum produced outside of Cuba in a complaint lodged with the US Federal Court System and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
About the cuvée
A Havana Club 15 Years Gran Reserva rum. This edition, produced in limited quantities, is a blend of various aged casks.
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