After the first sip you may wonder if your finest crystal snifter is good enough for Vigia Gran Reserva 18 YO Cuba Rum.
TecnoAzucar is about as close to a conglomerate as you can get in a slightly backward communist country. And because it is … well … in Cuba, details are sketchy. What we do know is that TecnoAzucar translates roughly as the “Technology of Sugar” and that is a good-sized chunk of that they do—make things from sugar and sugar byproducts under the direction The Cuban Ministry of Sugar. Come on, you knew that there just HAD to be a ministry of sugar in Cuba, right? It is not surprising that Rum is in the mix, since Rum is made from sugar, and the best rums are made from fermented molasses, a by-product of sugar production. Anyway …
TecnoAzucar produces a few premium Rums
, Vodka, candies, and household items and yes, there is a picture of Fidel Castro on the office walls.
Ron Vigia Gran Reserva 18 YO Cuba Rum is named after Finca Vigia—the famous “Lookout Farm” where Ernest Hemingway lived for a few years while writing “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea.” During this time, it is no secret that the great writer drank more than his share of Rum and Rum-based adult beverages. And this one is a limited production Rum worthy of that reputation.
Somewhere just off the Cuban coast, a cruise ship bar disgorges frozen, Rum-laced smoothies into plastic cups for intoxicated travelers seeking advanced levels of inebriation as they dance the Macarena on the Lido deck. This ain’t for them. Vigia Gran Reserva 18 YO is a premium Rum, no two ways about it. It is aged for a full 18 years in white oak, giving it a character more akin to a fine cognac than Rum. It would be a shame to blend this sipper up into a daiquiri de’ tourista. Better to pour it into a fine crystal snifter and sip it as it should be, with all of the care and attention this fine Cuban liquor deserves.