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Bacardi to re-launch Havana Club rum label
Miami Herald ^ | August 8, 2006 | ELAINE WALKER

Posted on 08/08/2006 10:14:41 AM PDT by PJ-Comix

Havana Club, the rum that evokes memories of toasts at glittery hot spots in pre-Castro Cuba, is coming this week to Florida bars, liquor stores and hotels.

Coming on the heels of a favorable ruling in a decade-long legal battle with French liquor giant Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government, Miami-based Bacardi U.S.A. is relaunching the Havana Club brand as a super-premium rum selling for $19.99 a bottle.

Thursday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deemed the Havana Club trademark held by Cubaexport ``cancelled/expired.''

Bringing Havana Club back to the United States is particularly gratifying for Ramon Arechabala. His family created the rum in 1935, and exported it to the United States and other countries until Jan. 1, 1960, when Fidel Castro's government seized the family's plant and trademark.

Arechabala, former sales manager of the family company, said Monday he vividly remembers the day the bodyguard of Cuban revolutionary Ernesto ''Che'' Guevara placed a gun to his head and took over the Havana Club distillery in Cardenas.

In recent years, Havana Club has been marketed by a joint venture involving Cubaexport, a Cuban government company, and Pernod Ricard. Because of the embargo on Cuba, it was not available in the United States.

`NOT DRINKABLE'

Although that Havana Club is popular in both Cuba and Europe, Arechabala declared it ``not drinkable.''

''Fidel lacks the formula of the right Havana Club,'' said Arechabala, 70, who has lived in Miami for 38 years. ``That's the only thing Fidel couldn't take from me.''

In the mid 1990s, Bacardi cut a deal with the Arechabalas for the rights to the family's recipe and the name Havana Club. The brand was introduced in the United States, but pulled from the shelves when the rum war ignited.

At least for now, however, here will be two versions of Havana Club for sale, one from Bacardi and the other from the Cuban/French joint venture.

Bacardi's new Havana Club will be bottled at the company's rum facilities in Puerto Rico. For now it will be available only in Florida because of limited supply.

LIMITED SUPPLY

But Bacardi executives said Monday that based on response, it will likely be rolled out to other key U.S. markets.

The timing of the Havana Club launch has nothing to do with any recent Cuba interest sparked by Castro's health issues, company executives said. And the U.S. Patent Office ruling was just coincidental with their plans to introduce the brand, they said.

Instead, executive said, it's all about capitalizing on strong consumer demand for super-premium liquor brands and the return of classic cocktails such as the daiquiri and mojito. The rum category, where Bacardi is already the top-selling brand in the world, has also been growing.

''We've been planning this for many years,'' said John Gomez, vice president and group marketing director for Bacardi U.S.A. ``We always owned the brand. There was no issue in our minds. It was only a question of when it was commercially appropriate for the relaunch.''

Cubaexport has claimed it obtained the rights to the Havana Club name in 1976 after José Arechabala S.A. allowed the trademark to lapse with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Cubaexport registered the trademark in 1976, but no compensation was ever provided to the Arechabala family.

U.S. courts have consistently ruled that Havana Club Holdings, the name of the French/Cuban joint venture, has no right to the trademark in the United States.

But the issue of who held the trademark remained unresolved until last week's decision.

Executives from Pernod Ricard were unavailable late Monday afternoon.

Unlike most countries, the United States typically gives priority to the first entity to utilize a brand, not the first to register it, said Miami attorney Jim Gale, whose firm Feldman Gale specializes in trademark and patent law.

But a trademark in one country has no impact on operations in another country, Gale said.

BUILDING NEW BUZZ

Bacardi plans to market Havana Club as a super-premium brand, along the lines of Grey Goose vodka, which the company also owns.

It will introduce the brand with trendsetters in South Florida and hopes the buzz will spread.

The product will start appearing locally this week.

Most other premium rums made by Bacardi or other companies are dark rums meant to be sipped, but Havana Club is a clear liquid that mixes well in cocktails.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: alcohol; rum
I'll have to check it out. I wonder how Havana Club stacks up against my FAVORITE rum, Flor de Caña?
1 posted on 08/08/2006 10:14:42 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: Luis Gonzalez

bttt


2 posted on 08/08/2006 10:16:09 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: PJ-Comix
I have a couple bottles of the Cuban variety....it's not that good. I'll look forward to trying the "new" Havana Club.

I'm a big fan of Barbancourt...it makes the best rum and coke.

3 posted on 08/08/2006 10:25:17 AM PDT by paddles
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To: paddles

According to the article, the Havana Club now in Cuba isn't using the right forumula. I've heard good things about Barbancourt. From Haiti. Distilled directly from sugar cane juice rather than mollasses like the other rums. I'll have to try it and see how it compares with Flor de Caña which is my current favorite.


4 posted on 08/08/2006 10:29:10 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix

Flor de Cana is very good. Too bad I can't get it around here. I like Gosling's (Bermuda) just as much.


5 posted on 08/08/2006 10:31:44 AM PDT by bagadonutz
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To: PJ-Comix

I'm usually OK with just some vodka with cranapple juice poured in, maybe a key lime.

Will have to try this Havana Club, though, this news has kind of a happy feel to it.

I like Bacardi better than Flor de Cana, which I think is a little perfumy in flavor. Bacardi is harsher, but somehow that pleases me. OTOH, I'm getting too old to drink much anymore.


6 posted on 08/08/2006 10:36:40 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Don't mix alcopops and ufo's)
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To: PJ-Comix
Unlike most countries, the United States typically gives priority to the first entity to utilize a brand, not the first to register it, said Miami attorney Jim Gale, whose firm Feldman Gale specializes in trademark and patent law.

US Admiralty law is the same way. Goes against the rest of the "International" approach to maritime laws by other nations. Gotta love the U.S. of A.!

7 posted on 08/08/2006 10:37:20 AM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (Admn Mods: tiny, malicious things that glare and gibber from dark corners.They have pins and dolls..)
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To: PJ-Comix

Put me down for a fifth.


8 posted on 08/08/2006 10:38:19 AM PDT by Hydroshock ( (Proverbs 22:7). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.)
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To: PJ-Comix; paddles

You should try Westerhall Plantation if you find a bottle; it's "estate bottled" in the US Virgin Islands, and has a distinct cane taste.
It's a clear sipping rum, and NOT hideously expensive, but it's hard to find.


9 posted on 08/08/2006 10:40:05 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: Sam Cree
I like Bacardi better than Flor de Cana, which I think is a little perfumy in flavor.

Try the clear 4 year old Flor de Caña?

10 posted on 08/08/2006 10:40:24 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: bagadonutz

Seems like a good time to suggest that all you rum lovers try El Dorado from Guyana.


11 posted on 08/08/2006 10:42:28 AM PDT by masadaman
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To: PJ-Comix

They better have a sit with Hyman Roth, make sure this is okay.


12 posted on 08/08/2006 10:43:33 AM PDT by Petronski (Living His life abundantly.)
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To: PJ-Comix

A friend of mine's family is from Cuba. They left in 1961. They have two unopened bottles of the original Havana Club in their liquor closet. Yes I did say closet. They will only open them when they have a confirmed report of Castro's death, to celebrate it.


13 posted on 08/08/2006 10:48:32 AM PDT by Hydroshock ( (Proverbs 22:7). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.)
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To: masadaman
Rum once occupied a very important place in this nation's history. In colonial New England, the distillation of rum was the biggest industry. Also EVERYBODY drank rum back then including even children.

(I had my first shots of rum when just eight years old.)

14 posted on 08/08/2006 10:49:53 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix
there will be two versions of Havana Club for sale, one from Bacardi and the other from the Cuban/French joint venture.

Hmmm... I think I'll go with... Bacardi!

15 posted on 08/08/2006 10:52:19 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: PJ-Comix

Not the 4 year old, I don't think. I'll give it a try.


16 posted on 08/08/2006 10:53:49 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Don't mix alcopops and ufo's)
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To: Sam Cree

I've developed a taste for aged rums. What is good about Flor de Caña is that it is naturally aged. They don't use chemicals to hasten the process.


17 posted on 08/08/2006 10:57:17 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix

I remember when Flor de Cana came out, made by a Nicaraguan family IIRC. I seem to remember the guy saying he was going to go head to head with Bacardi, and do it better. That was such a bold and endearing statement that I went out and got a bottle.


18 posted on 08/08/2006 11:06:51 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Don't mix alcopops and ufo's)
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To: PJ-Comix

Venezuelan Rum is the best. Particularly Ron Pompero Anniversaro.


19 posted on 08/08/2006 11:11:13 AM PDT by tdewey10 (It's time for the party to return to the principles of President Reagan.)
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To: tdewey10
I've come to enjoy my rum and cokes over the last two years, but I'm still no connoisseur. Here's my two cents:

Best tasting: Captain Morgan

But if I want to get hammered: The 151. I do respect it, however. One finger, and lots of coke and ice. After two/three of these, I'm hugging you and telling you how much I love you. Any more and you're dumping me on my front doorstep, ringing the bell and running.

Best mixer: Coke with Lime. Sometimes I do the Diet Coke thing, as if that offsets the 50,000 calories of the rum.

Question: Is rum the most fattening of the boozes, being that it's made of sugar? If you must drink, what's the dieter's best non-wine choice?
20 posted on 08/08/2006 11:28:52 AM PDT by Jhensy
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To: Jhensy

I heard 0 calories in rum.


21 posted on 08/08/2006 11:46:40 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix

0-carbs

0-fat

0-sodium

calories-64/1oz serving


22 posted on 08/08/2006 11:54:51 AM PDT by American_Centurion (No, I don't trust the government to automatically do the right thing.)
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To: Jhensy

My favorite Rum and Coke substitutes Bourbon for the Rum and leaves out the Coke.


23 posted on 08/08/2006 12:01:28 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: PJ-Comix

Demerara from Guyana is the best, if you can find it.


24 posted on 08/08/2006 12:09:56 PM PDT by Clemenza (Need new tagline)
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To: PJ-Comix
One of my favorite topics.

Fav's include: Appleton XO (extra old) Pyrat XO Mount Gay Eclipse Bacardi 8 Bacardi Anejo The Anejo is a distict flavor, came across it in Key West and I have been hooked on aged rums ever since. btw Captain Morgan = spiced rum , its too busy for me, try Bacardi 8 if you want a treat, has distict carmel aftertaste.

25 posted on 08/08/2006 12:36:24 PM PDT by freethinkingman
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To: PJ-Comix
Flor de Caña - Have an emply bottle that a friend brought from Nicaragua last year. 5 year old Black Label. Do you know of a USA source? Its a very sippable run on the rocks. Reminds me of Bacardi Select.

Lots of rum threads since Castro's (ahem) mis-fortune, huh?

26 posted on 08/08/2006 12:36:46 PM PDT by Don Carlos (Cuba Libre!)
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To: elhombrelibre

Ping to you, my rum drinking friend!


27 posted on 08/08/2006 12:41:00 PM PDT by Don Carlos (Cuba Libre!)
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To: PJ-Comix

Irrefutable evidence that Fidel's dead.


28 posted on 08/08/2006 12:42:33 PM PDT by livius
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To: PJ-Comix
the best rum IMHO is Brugal. it was cuban of course, but the brugal family fled cuba but had distilleries in Domincan Republic and St. Croix USVI. excellent stuff!

venezuelan pampero is good stuff too, or at least it was before the clown chavez and his parrot took over...

down here in Chile you can get the cuban/frog version of Havana Club. make great molotov cocktails or lighter fluid but i wouldn't actually drink the stuff...

29 posted on 08/08/2006 12:44:21 PM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: Don Carlos

Down here in Florida, Flor de Caña, can be found in about half the liquor stores.


30 posted on 08/08/2006 1:34:39 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: chilepepper

Yeah, a Dominican friend of mine was RAVING over Brugal. I think you can get it cheap down in Santo Domingo.


31 posted on 08/08/2006 1:35:47 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: freethinkingman; tx_eggman

Ron Zacapa Centenario... a 23 year old Guatamalan rum. Sipping drink only, do NOT mix it with anything. It's smoother than any single malt scotch I've ever had.


32 posted on 08/08/2006 1:39:30 PM PDT by SpinnerWebb (It's time to play Cowboys and Muslims)
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To: PJ-Comix

Try Don Q rum. Distilled in P. Rico. Can be found some places here in the states.


33 posted on 08/08/2006 1:47:24 PM PDT by agenda_express
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To: agenda_express
There is no better rum on the planet than Havana Club. We used to be able to get a 750ml bottle in the dollar stores in Havana for less than $4. I can't even drink Bacardi anymore. When I do drink rum here in Florida, I get the cheap stuff from the ABC stores. It SAYS it's made in the USVI but I suspect it's made somewhere in Dade County.

When ordering a "cuba libre" in a foreigners' bar in Havana or Varadero, the bartenders will look around to see if any goons are skulking. If it's clear, they'll correct you and say that it is called "mentira," (a lie), because there certainly is no Free Cuba.

34 posted on 08/08/2006 1:56:34 PM PDT by Ax ("Burn the Village to the Ground, Doo-dah, Doo-dah....")
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To: Ax
There is no better rum on the planet than Havana Club.

Okay, you convinced me. I look for it in the liquor stores this weekend. Now I have to give it a try.

35 posted on 08/08/2006 3:45:56 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix
Arechabala, former sales manager of the family company, said Monday he vividly remembers the day the bodyguard of Cuban revolutionary Ernesto ''Che'' Guevara placed a gun to his head and took over the Havana Club distillery in Cardenas.

Not the most important reason to hate every Che t-shirt and bumper sticker I see, but I'll add it to the list.

36 posted on 08/08/2006 3:50:42 PM PDT by Invisible Gorilla
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To: Invisible Gorilla

Does anyone think that the sudden availability of Havana Club might be related to the state of Fidel's health?


37 posted on 08/08/2006 3:54:09 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: PJ-Comix
Yes, but in a strange twist it's actually good news for my health.
38 posted on 08/08/2006 4:35:36 PM PDT by Invisible Gorilla
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To: PJ-Comix

PJ, if you find one that sells it, please let me know. I'd KILL for some Havana Club!


39 posted on 08/08/2006 5:03:11 PM PDT by Ax ("Burn the Village to the Ground, Doo-dah, Doo-dah....")
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To: Don Carlos

Thanks


40 posted on 08/08/2006 9:06:09 PM PDT by elhombrelibre (Civilization and democracy are under attack in Israel. Stand by her.)
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To: Don Carlos


This book just came out a few weeks ago. Sort of a history of America/history of rum.
41 posted on 08/08/2006 9:25:45 PM PDT by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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