Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Viva Inicio

Yea! After two months halfway around the world I am finally home in the Burgh. I missed it so much. I was away for my birthday, I missed the Steelers pummel the Ravens in the AFC championship game, and worst of all I missed the Super Bowl. I was up at 3:00AM to watch the game auf Deutsch, but it's not quite the same. I missed the buzz, the air of excitement, that builds up during the 2 weeks prior to the game and ultimately culminates in the drunken revelry and celebration of that magical night. I missed the parade that followed. I missed...the One for the C*ck.

But I am home now, and the one thing I did not miss is the weather. I went from pleasant 75 degree desert winters to the cold, down to the bone Pittsburgh winters. So how do you warm yourself up when the weather has you down? You get yourself some booze. And when looking to warm your spirits, why not a spirit from the sunny Caribbean? So I picked myself up a bottle of Havana Club Añejo 3 Años.

In my first post I mentioned my penchant for picking up stuff up not available in the U.S. Well you don't get any more "unavailable" than a product of Cuba. I also brought a few cubans back with me as well. Havana Club's 3 year aged white rum has a light straw color and is advertised as a premium cocktail rum. What makes Havana Club different from other rums is the use of column distillation with fractional condensation. This lets them pull only the heart distillates (aguardientes) from the rum, leaving behind the head and tail for use in lower quality products. It's then aged in white oak barrels. It should be far better than Bacardi Superior or Gold, which is over-hyped rum flavored grain alcohol. I'm looking forward to cracking it open and trying it out on a cuba libre or maybe a fresh mojito.

I would've rather picked up something a little better out of their line, such as their Cuban Barrel Proof or their Máximo Extra Añejo, which actually comes in it's own crystal decanter. But since I've never had any Havana Club rum, I really can't complain. I was simply glad to find something at all. When you go to the Middle East the one thing you don't expect to find much of is alcohol. It was obvious to me that I wasn't going to find any of the local spirits of the region. It flat out just doesn't exist. My only hope was the Abu Dhabi Airport duty free. On my last trip I didn't find anything of interest, and the prices weren't anything worth while, so i didn't pick anything up. Fortunately I chose to take another look this time around, and I'm glad I did. Otherwise, I may not have found this little gem.


  1. Cold? Cold!???? Come a few degrees north on an actual lake and talk to me about walking to work when it is below zero for a week! Bah!