The new recipe has been developed by maestro ronero Asbel Morales, to provide a "sweeter taste profile and a smooth drinking experience". The rum remains at 40%abv and is said to have notes of vanilla and caramel and an underlying hint of tobacco, cinnamon and orange peel.
The packaging has also been revamped to include a font with a handwritten style and an oak barrel effect on the label.
Morales said: “At the Havana Club distillery in Cuba, we are continuously working on developing new recipes that will appeal to a wide range of rum fans around the world. The new Havana Club Añejo Especial has a distinctive flavour profile due to the unique production process we have adopted, whereby the rum bases are aged in white, young oak barrels before being blended and aged for a second time ahead of bottling. The influence of the barrel ageing is evident in the flavour profile with notes of vanilla and caramel really coming to the fore, which makes it an ideal base for Cuban cocktails, particularly the Cuba Libre.”
Nick Blacknell, international marketing director for Havana Club International, said: “We’re delighted with the new Havana Club Añejo Especial – our maestros roneros have produced not only what we believe is the best rum for classics such as the Cuba Libre, but also an expression that can attract whisky drinkers looking for equally good, yet more exciting, alternatives to their usual brand. With this new formulation and premium look, we are confident that Havana Club Añejo Especial will satisfy demand from sociable young adults seeking a naturally sweeter taste profile, but for whom authenticity and high quality are equally important purchasing cues.”
The new Havana Club Añejo Especial will launch in Germany in September 2013, priced at 15€ before rolling out globally over the coming year. The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign.