To my grandparents Vicente and Mario who, in long days of hard work, have cultivated with their sweat the land of the eastern part of Cuba.
It was the summer a few years ago in a gorgeous Paris, a generous climate, blue sky, and the temperature invited to enjoy the terrace of one of its historic cafés, accompanied by a Habano that conferred a right to be to those moments.
Sitting in a discreet corner of a terrace, I saw him come, he who was the reason of my stay in the privileged setting. A firm handshake and a vigorous hug, gave way to a conversation that over time, it would make me proud of what I was told.
– We are about to open some old barrels-.
He said it so simply, without much ado, but with a hint of emotion in his words, denoting the significance of the phrase he had launched into the air.
The old barrels … finally someone that I respect and admire deeply was saying that for decades I had heard mention, but that no one had yet confirmed, since the time when my interest in the Cuban light rum, it was just this, a hobby marked by a sentimental attachment born many years ago, and that was rooted in the history of my family, which has evolved over the years to allow me to be a part of this wonderful art that transforms the best Cuban molasses in the delicate elixir, dedicated the palate able to understand and comprehend, far beyond the economic value of the same, the true meaning that they have, in the history of an industry that has a century and a half of life, time spent to give pride and great satisfaction to the people of Cuba.
Many years ago someone told me one of those myths of the Cuban light rum, told me about these very old barrels, of which it was said that they were in the depths of which I do not know the cellar, where for many decades, they had been preserved and jealously guarded, the best basis of aged Cuban light rum, those who have produced the best spirits that were never issued by any factory in Cuba.
The mere mention of these barrels, sparked in me an absolute frustration: I wanted to know if it was true that tons of sugar cane cut by my grandfather Mario, now deceased, had left an imprint in the guise of sublime distillate, which would allow me, after many years, to pay homage, simple but honestly, to a man who deserved for he had devoted his work entirely to sugar cane. Nevertheless, no one knew there were no answers; it was like some sort of story or adventure that we knew only that, a story that the day of reckoning is never true.
However, yes, it was, and the long wait was not in vain. I was able to finally discover the secrets of the Masters Founders of light rum had bequeathed to their successors, transformed into unique elixir of their kind, I was in a wonderful but fleeting moment, check out how it was reified knowledge that generations of masters, contained in those diaries that bequeathed to those who would continue their work, and who hide inside, the authentic truth of all that had been done in Cuba.
– I’ll call you when it’s ready, so he took his leave, but before he left he told me … ” Siglo y Medio ” … this will be its name.
A century and a half. Digit concise and grandiose , but it is not a summary of the immense legacy that Cuba left to a product , light rum, without which you cannot understand and comprehend the close and intimate relationship we have with the land that gave us birth ; 150 years of age is the light rum, born in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba, and wonderful gift that the Masters Founders bequeathed to successive generations of Cubans, who have dedicated their lives to express as closely as possible, through the best island rum, the passion that the people of the Greater Antilles feels for this item.
But that number has come true, as a tribute to Cuba and, in particular, the capital of the eastern part of Cuba, a philosophy and a way to understand the process of obtaining raw materials, its transformation and evolution over time, until to convert to the final product, which surely many in the world have appreciated and even more so if along with a big cigar.
It sees the light “Siglo y Medio ” as a unique and unrepeatable in the history of Cuban light rum . A final and excellent assembly of the best aged bases that Cuba has produced over the last 50 years; a path that has taken the form of a pure distillate and very high organoleptic characteristics, through a journey that began in the early 60s and continues today , acting as a glue between the old stocks hoarded in Cuban factories of that time and those new ones, seamless , and that has allowed us to perpetuate a way of understanding and making light rum, unique in the world, protected by the Masters of the product in question, who have never left their land, and they were considered to be at home in the same way as high priests of a religion, because religion is the one that is a light rum for Cuba, especially in the city where I was born, Santiago de Cuba.
Given that the essence of “Siglo y Medio “, it consists of a path focused on each of the best bases aged over the last five decades , so you could not use anything else but the best and the oldest ones that are preserved in Cuba, the barrels used for aging and the final refinement, processes that have been carried out in the so-called “Cofrin”, the oldest and most freighted to know among those preserved on the island, with age , which in some cases go over 90 years, and have the property to store in them, the only real sensory map of the best Cuban reserves of almost a century.
An aging so intense, exquisite in its extensive mode, the greatest of all those who have been in the industry Cuban, cannot give way to something else that cannot be defined differently if not exceptional, magical achieved through a vertex the efforts of several generations of Masters and workers of Cuban rum, which made it possible, today, to all those who can afford it, access to a privileged stage for the contemplation of the authentic and only truth that you can reach around the light rum produced in Cuba .
A unique production of 3000 bottles, which will never be replicated, hence the uniqueness of the product, of which only 2,000 bottles will be available for sale, which will allow those who come into possession of one of these, to make a long walk into a sublime moment, the one where you can taste a creation so delicate, having the honor to enjoy the soul of Cuba concentrated in a distillate that is unmatched by anything that has ever been done on the Island.
It will be this : a century and a half of life in a single moment , but a moment that will never be forgotten , that will be indelible , because like all great rum history, will leave to those who will enjoy it if a trail of memories almost poetic.