The production process was patterned in black and white: stages, percentages, concentrations of all, to a point. Or, in fact, until a dash. The "blue line" is a metaphor for extra-aging cycles of Cuban rum. This aging of alcohols -for - second and third times- and its subsequent mixtures have been established by the rum masters of the past 60 years.
As a haute cuisine chef, they can teach, explain, but do not tell the whole story. Beyond the blue line, the production strengthens its creative and artistic side. In the words of Jose Pablo Navarro, First Master of Cuban rum, they are "men of science and technique, but dreamers as well."
"While the Master has the support of the physic-chemical and instrumental analysis, he knows that each stage in the end is passed by him, and that his judgment cannot be replaced by machines. The responsibility to preserve and respect the characteristic sensory profile of each rum, is our task, "says Navarro.
The obligation is not free. In recent times there have been disguised expressions of those who claim they can manufacture rum according to the Cuban recipe, and even some who call themselves masters.
"The Master of Cuban Rum requires mastery and specialization in comprehensiveness from molasses to bottling, assures Navarro. He designs teams, operations and has a very high discipline to convey the rum cultural heritage; You must determine the number of barrels, number of cellars to meet their own productions and those that will make others. Sometimes you have to predict with more than 14 years, "he describes.
The key to that lies in aged bases reserves, climate, knowledge settled for decades. "We do not want to give a nice alcoholic drink, we want to give history, sentiment, tradition. Who is Cuban, who has the hallmark is the rum, not the Master."
Protected Designation of Origin
As part of industrial property, the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is a practice that reinforces trademarks and identifies a product according to their geographical origin. Cognac, France; Tequila, Mexico. In this case, the Designation of Origin Cuba coincides with the name of the country, says Emilia Orta, intellectual property specialist.
Globally, the specific regulation of the DOP is the Lisbon Agreement. After its appreciation to national authorities, the Designation of Origin Cuba is in the process of processing within that mechanism.
The main obstacle in this regard seems to be that the United States does not belong to the Agreement, however, Orta explains that the way to protect and record the DOP would be by US Trademark Law, as well as corresponding to the obligations of that as a member of the World Trade Organization.
According to Alicia Martínez Pérez, legal director of the Cuba Ron Corporation, it is imposed the advance in other international registers, as several national rums are exported to other markets that are not signatories to the Agreement, and are showing very often trademark applications with words associated with the designation of origin Habana or Cuba.
"In Europe it is above 20 or 30 the amount of opposition processes that we have against all those applications; and from December 17 in the United States trademark registrations associated with Cuba have also increased, "said the lawyer.
During the Third International Scientific-Technical Symposium on Cuban Rum, the Deputy Minister of Food Industry, Betsy Diaz said that there is much optimism with the possible opening of the US market and the emerging authorization to enter rums and cigars to the United States, where there is a high demand for these products.
"But there are also many requirements that force us to work in a different way than we have done until now, both producers and distributors, on all local traders, who have to learn to work in the international market," he said.
2020 export plans of the Cuba Ron Corporation exceed 200 million dollars, which requires investment, creativity and greater access to consumers. "It is about achieving the proposed levels every year because it is important to grow as the market warrants it, and not think about big jumps which can then lead to big falls," said the deputy minister.
Juan Gonzalez Escalona, president of the corporation, said that currently develop new lines, such as the Perla del Norte rum, and El Valle de Cuba, will soon appear on the market. By the end of year two proposals for foreign investment should be incorporated into the Opportunities Portfolio of the Ministry of Food Industry.
Resolution 135 of 2001 establishes the technological requirements for the manufacture of Cuban rums, and seeks to monitor the compliance with the classification and quality requirements. Right now it receives some proposals for amendments from the existing regulations in major export destinations.
With this goal, standards in the US and the European Union, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Venezuela Union have been taken as reference, representative of rum produced in the area of Central America and the Caribbean.
Here it should be noted the wide variety of rums produced in Cuba, "reflecting the great tradition we have," said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, First Master of Cuban rum. "Over time we've have been developing products for all tastes, from simple refined, to the great extras".
Speaking of big, the latest creation from the aging cellars is the Santiago de Cuba 500, which honors the eastern city on the date of its five centuries. There rum arose, in its version similar to what is known today. So that the cycle closes.
So proudly, Caney label -another typical rum of the area- reads: "In your hands is the rightful heir to the tradition of Santiago rums, from where the best light rum in the world is produced since 1862 ".