Two stories, two profiles of aroma and flavor naturally interconnected as emblems originated from the same land that for centuries have been part of the life of Cuba, are in this Festival to seal a long-awaited alliance, what constitutes a unique opportunity to appreciate the pairings among the finest Cuban rums and Habano.
For any Cuban, tasting dark rums with good aging with his preferred Habano means a very dear idea, also, it rescues pleasures with history. The XIII Festival has included in its program as something very special, this embrace of kings starring famous Premium cigars of the island and some of its best aged and extra aged spirits. The expert Fernando Fernandez, principal animator of the Club of Sommeliers of Cuba and coordinator of the national training program in this specialty, who has more than 25 years of experience ensures that Añejos, Super Añejos - or extra-añejos, are very classy spirits, dark rums known- the well-known the dark rum, and differentiated by the aging time in oak barrels.
Currently, the various brands of the island, have one or more aged rum proposals -up to 18 dark rums- into different categories, offering a huge universe of combinations, if you also take into consideration the extensive portfolio of Habano, SA. Great dark rums are considered, those with 7, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 25 years of aging. They are big names, such as the Havana Club Gran Reserva 15 years; or the now emerging and with strong impact on the market, Selección de Maestros, from the same company, so fine and so achieved in quality that the best experts have adopted it as a drink and essential reference for pairing with the Habano. Although for the common Cuban rum and cigar are an indestructible unity, whatever the variant of the two products, including spirits; experts agree about the greatness of the dark or aged rums, to match the Habano.
Barbaro Edel Vega, president of the Havana Chapter of the Association of Bartenders of Cuba (ACC) and the Sommelier Yosbel Cardenas, a finalist for the National Habanosommelier 2011 contest, identify that connection with one's nationality, an expression of their culture, which can be considered as a form of tradition. Long before, the most important and prolific Cuban writer Fernando Ortiz, had drawn attention to the strong links between rum, cigar and coffee, as an almost loving relationship between what he defined as "three diamonds of the Island" symbols, even of identity, which have expanded through the best halls in the world acclaimed by sybarites and lineage consumers. With almost scientific arguments, Fernando Fernández has unveiled us his preference for the Cohiba VI century, if he plans to taste paired with a shot of Havana Club Selección de Maestros. Equal combination praises Barbaro Edel; while Cardenas mentioned brands such as H. Upmann, Gloria Cubana and Rey del Mundo, for middle aged rums. "The taste is paired with preferences," insists on Fernandez; and in this regard, it draws attention to the noble spirit of Romeo and Juliet by its coincidence media flavors that provide high adaptability to light rums; although, for showing some additional strength, Partagas, Bolivar or Ramon Allones, they will be excellent. The contrasts of Cuban spirits allow good engagement with the Habano and coffee of this land.
In the Caribbean there are different types of rums as light-bodied, aged between 45 and 55 degrees of alcohol and bodied, between 48 and 58 degrees; of the first ones, Cuba and Puerto Rico are the leaders, while the latter are characteristic of Jamaica and other small West Indian islands. However, tradition, constant tasting, refinement, the natural environment, production volumes, variety and the skill and unique experience of Cuban Masters of Rum have made the spirits of the largest Antillean island, the most known in the region. In addition to this, concerning cigars, a long common history since shortly after the arrival to the island of Christopher Columbus in 1492; and the very fact that for both products, the geography of Cuba has exceptional conditions for its development, which eventually spawned an industry, a culture and a way of life economically and spiritually, a whole plot of sweats and pleasures that has risen to the category of identity, basis of this Festival, one of its most important events.
Although for the common Cuban rum and cigar are an Indestructible unit, experts agree on the greatness of dark or aged rums to match the Habano.