Montecristo No 2/Cubaney 21-Year-Old
Seems that the old Cuban/elsewhere thing is not just cigars and Bacardi. Whilst we have Cohiba’s and Montecristo’s from various places, as well as Cuba, I had not twigged that Cubaney Rum is also Dominican. I recall bottles from Cuba some years ago and I had a little sampler bottle of their 21-Year-Old in the drinks cupboard, from where I know not (as in, from where I got it, I know not, but I believe, even though one cannot tell from the small bottle with the blurred label, it to be from the Dominican Republic).
I’m off to Margaret River for a week tomorrow and with the best will in the world, unlikely to find time for a cigar. So, I pulled out a good-looking Monte 2 and looked for something to match it. Thought I was going all Cuban, but have discovered that this was apparently Dominican – although it is really difficult to identify that from the websites and info, where it is, rather neatly, described as ‘Cuban-style’. Still, in the overall scheme of things, it is all about how it tastes, not where it is from.
And the rum is a cracker.
A smidge of research about Cubaney – Juanillo Oliver was a Catalan in the Spanish military. He finished his service in 1868 and moved to Las Placetas in Cuba, where he and his family cultivated tobacco and sugarcane. That expanded into the milling and production of sugars and tobaccos for the local farmers. In turn, the family soon became known for fine rums and cigars, especially rums. They established their distillery, but the War of Independence put a halt to everything. Farms were burnt to the ground in 1898, as were the Oliver mills. Juanillo had no option but to return to his roots and rebuild both the sugar and tobacco crops. He and the family were successful and they maintained ownership and production up until the Revolution in 1959, whereupon the family fled Cuba and by 1963, had set up shop in the Dominican Republic. Under the Oliver & Oliver name, they produced various rums, including Punta Cana, Unhiq, Ron Quorhum and Tres Hombres. I’ll confess to only having tried the latter, which I like a lot. They are known for using pure sugar cane juice and pot stills.
Others may have a clearer understanding as there was much conflicting info on various sites – if so, please clarify things. Anyway, either members of the family returned to Cuba in 1987 or, in 1993, Jaunillo’s great-grandson, Pedro Ramón Oliver López, did so. Assuming the latter, which seems most likely, it is believed that Pedro discovered hundreds of family documents, including his great-grandfather’s original formulas. By 1994, Cubaney was up and running again, in the Dominican Republic.
The 21-Year-Old, which apparently contains rums between 20 and 24 years of age, is one of numerous top end products from this producer. Loved it. Florals, spices, walnuts, honey, butterscotch, white chocolate, teak. Slightly spirity and of medium weight, but overall, quite subtle and fresh. A vivacious rum.
The cigar, one of the best Monte 2’s I’ve had in absolutely ages. With a code of GSU OCT 06, it has plenty of age and that has worked its magic. A lovely dark, oily wrapper with a hint of russet. Very promising and it delivered. A firm draw. Really good construction. Depth of flavour. Chocolate, which deepened and increased throughout. Richness with notes of leather. Loved it. For a score, 96.
As a combo, cracking match. Both mid-weight and expressive. The butterscotch and the chocolate worked perfectly. A really fine experience, no matter where they might come from.