Valdespino’s Legend of Cuban Rum is one of those bottles that have a special story behind it. It comes from a unique solera system of Cuban rums that belonged to the Valdespino family’s private stock, settled in their own winery in Jerez, Spain, since the 1940s, and offered only to visitors to their Bodega.
It was only after Valdespino was sold to its new owners that small batches since the late 2000s have been selected for release annually in Japan. My bottle comes from their 2019 bottling, but the sample I had was from their 2014 release.
On the nose is an old and antique-y Cuban, a blend of honey mangoes and roasted coffee, with dark chocolates and a hint of tobacco. Quite cognac-esque, red grapes, very much warm and inviting.
(Image Source: @weixiang_liu)
I could have mistaken the initial palate for an agricole, light, slight grassiness and cane juice. As it lingers on the tongue, the old solera’s character shows with those oaky tannic notes, followed by soft sulphur in the background. The finish is relatively short, but its also where this rum excels. The sherry cask influence is most obvious here where the rum returns with wave after wave of grapes, sherry, vanilla, coffee and toasted caramel. And all this time it is well integrated, the abv, the distillate, and the cask influence, all very well balanced.
This is quite a treasure that Valdespino have in their cellar, a rich and full-bodied Cuban that transports you to their Bodega in Jerez. Its depth and complexity exceeds that of most Cuban rums, and one can only hope that this solera system lives on to continue producing this Cuban legend.
Your occasional rum addict!