The Complete, Unabridged Cuban Rum Regulations

In the aftermath of a May 2017 trip to Cuba with Havana Club, I wrote several articles about Cuban rum. The Cuban Rum Cheat Sheet provides a broad introduction to Cuban rum history and how it’s made. The follow up article took a detailed look at the many lives of the Havana Club brand. Next, I went inside Havana Club’s San José distillery to show how aguardiente and subsequently rum is made. In this final dispatch, I’ll go hyper-wonky, with a complete, English language translation of Cuba’s “DOP,” their regulations for making rum.

It’s popular to say that rum has no rules. But take a look around, and you’ll find that many rum producing countries have detailed regulations about what’s required to label your rum as a product of that country. The most famous, of course, is the Martinique AOC, considered by many to be very strict in its prescriptions for rhum production. Brazil also writes regulation for Cachaça. In late 2016, Jamaica’s rum producers approved a Geographical Indication (aka “GI”) for rums made there.

During my trip to Cuba, the ever-helpful Havana Club representatives occasionally pointed out something that was (or wasn’t) allowed per the Cuban rum regulations. Previously unaware that such rules existed–and flush with enthusiasm for all things Cuban–I entered hyper-wonk mode the moment I returned home. Eventually I uncovered the regulations in an obscure spot on the Cubaron web site. One problem: They’re in Spanish, a language I can’t read. As I suspected, running the document through Google Translate yields barely readable results for technical reasons not worth dwelling on here. However, with a bit of virtual elbow grease, I was able to process chunks of the document in sequence to reconstruct the fairly readable English language version below.

Observations & Notes

It’s worth highlighting that this document is essentially Cubaron documenting its own production procedures. Since Cuban rum was nationalized in 1960, there’s only one rum-producing entity on Cuba: Cubaron; effectively a department of the Cuban government.

Early on, the document introduces the phrase Denominación de Origen Protegida (in English, “Protected Designation of Origin”). Mercifully, this is subsequently abbreviated to “DOP.” Conceptually, “DOP CUBA” is the shorthand way to refer the Cuban regulations, just as “AOC Martinique” refers to the rhum regulations for Martinique.

Roughly fifty percent of the DOP document deals with the actual production of rum, while the remaining text covers administrative details only of interest to the regulatory council. Truth be told, the document doesn’t get to the good stuff (making rum!) until Article 20. (Nobody will know if you skip ahead to that section, trust me.)

The sections related to rum production–the source material, fermentation, and distillation sections–are remarkably light on detail when compared to the Martinique AOC. However, the sections on aging are far more detailed. This shows in a microcosm what each producer considers the crown jewels of their production techniques.

Let’s dive in:

Cuban rum must be made from molasses derived from Cuban grown sugar cane, as stated in Article 20.

Article 21.2.1 throws an interesting curveball into age statements. During aging, any time during which the temperature is below 15 degrees Celsius does not count toward the final total.

Article 21.3.1 is a shout-out to the very select group of Maestro Roneros – “true owners of the aging and blending secrets, transmitted from generation to generation.”

On the topic of fermentation, molasses containing sulfur dioxide (sometimes used in sugar processing, and unpleasant to the taste) cannot be used.  Also, a carefully guarded yeast strain is required. Interestingly, no minimum or maximum fermentation durations are cited. (Sections 21.4.1 and 21.4.2)

In terms of distillation requirements, the DOP throws out several technical terms such as “surface velocity” without any numerical constraints or measurable criteria. There’s no minimum or maximum proof for aguardiente from the still. Nor is there anything about column dimensions or a minimum number of rectifying plates, like you’ll find in Martinique’s AOC.

The aging article (21.6.4) is where the DOP comes to life. If you only read one section of the DOP, this is the one. It describes a minimum of two and possibly more aging stages. It also spells out that aguardiente must be filtered after an initial aging stage of two years. Aging must occur in white oak barrels of 180 to200 liters. Those barrels must already have aged another spirit, which is typically whisky.

After the initial aging and filtration stage, the resulting rum (considered to now have zero months of age) is blended with high proof distillate and re-barreled for yet more aging. The DOP uses the term reoxygenation several times in this section. While the term sounds mysterious, it’s really just oxygen dissolving back into the rum during blending and barreling, when the rum is exposed to open air.

Premium rums undergo a third aging period. The DOP is clear that this final aging is performed in the oldest, most neutral barrels available. It also highlights the practice of holding back some of each batch, aging it yet again, and blending it into future batches of the same expression.  (The Havana Club people told me this is done with Havana Club 7.)

Article 22 of the DOP cites a few hard measurable values of the final rum. Of particular note is the maximum allowed bottle proof, which is only 41 percent ABV. This is surprising and implies that Cubaron intends their mainstream expressions to be bottled at 80 proof. Other measurements making an appearance here include methanol, esters, and aldehyde contents.

The astute reader will note that the Havana Club Selección de Maestros (previously known as Barrel Proof) weighs in at 45 percent ABV. This discrepancy seems to be explained by an “escape clause” paragraph at the end of Article 22 that in essence says super-premium rums aren’t subjects to most of the previously cited measurements.

Allowable designations for aged Cuban rum are covered by Article 23, which spells out the allowable label terminology such as Ron Añejo Blanco and Rones Extra-Añejo. In Article 25, we learn of the desired characteristics of Cuban rum, including “translucent and shiny” and “pleasant and mild to the palate.” And with that, the fun articles of the DOP come to an end.

A final note before you enter the translated DOP. Everything below was originally translated via Google Translate, after which I did a very light editing pass to fix up the most awkwardly phrased constructs. I’ve done my best to make it as accurate as possible, but I cannot guarantee it’s a 100 percent accurate translation.


INDUSTRIA ALIMENTARIA RESOLUCIÓN No. 343/13

WHEREAS: The Republic of Cuba is a signatory to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, and to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which regulates all Concerning Geographical Indications in Section 3 of Part II.

WHEREAS: Resolution No. 0714 dated April 2, 2010, issued by the Cuban Office of Industrial Property (OCPI), was granted to the Corporation Cuba Ron S.A. The rights of use on the CUBA denomination of origin to distinguish rums, in the geographical area that includes the territory of Cuba, being the only entity that until now owns this right.

WHEREAS: Pursuant to article 28.2 of Decree-Law No. 228 on the creation of regulatory boards, in order to develop the productive and commercial activities of appellations of origin, it is necessary to regulate the use of The CUBA designation of origin for the Cuban export rum and to group all Cuban entities related to the production, marketing and export of rum in an organization that centralizes and controls them, which corresponds to what is established by Agreement No. 2719 of 19 November 1993 of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers regarding the power of the Ministry of the Food Industry to develop and control exports of rum produced in Cuba and to approve the brands of rum with exportable quality.

 WHEREAS: It is necessary to have a legal instrument that allows defining the specific and general functions of the Regulating Council of Cuban Rum, as a body responsible for ensuring the quality of rum, as well as creating the necessary conditions for greater international protection.

WHEREAS: The one that resolves has been designated Minister of the Food Industry under the Agreement of the Council of State dated March 2, 2009.

THEREFORE: In the exercise of the powers conferred on me, in Part Three, numeral 4 of Agreement No. 2817 of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, dated November 25, 1994,

RESOLVES:

FIRST: To put into force the following:

REGULATION ON THE CUBA PROTECTED DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN FOR RON, AS WELL AS THE CREATION OF ITS REGULATORY BOARD

CHAPTER I – From Definitions

ARTICLE 1. – It is defined as a designation of origin, as described in Article 3.2 of Decree-Law No. 228 of 20 February 2002 “GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS,” the geographical name of a country, region, or place, which serves to designate a product originating from it, when a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic is due mainly to its geographical origin, including natural and human factors.

CHAPTER II – Of the scope and objective of this regulation

ARTICLE 2. – The purpose of these regulations is to establish the control, administration, communication, protection, and defense of the Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) and other designations of origin for Cuban rum that arise in the future, as well as the creation of its Regulatory Council.

ARTICLE 3. – This Regulation is applicable to the DOP CUBA, as it covers rums manufactured in the national territory of the Republic of Cuba from raw materials obtained exclusively from sugar cane, regarding those provisions of a general nature, the primary features which are described in this regulation.

ARTICLE 4. At the date of these regulations, the Corporation Cuba Ron, S.A. (Hereinafter Cuba Ron) holds the right to use the DOP CUBA, registered in the Cuban Office of Industrial Property.

CHAPTER III- From the regulatory council

ARTICLE 5. In order to develop the productive and commercial activity related to the appellation of origin and at the same time ensure their proper use and defense of their rights, holders of the right to use the DOP CUBA, may associate with each other through the formation of Regulatory Councils, whose formation, organization, structure, and functions are established by these regulations.

ARTICLE 6. The Regulatory Council’s purpose is the control, administration, communication, protection, and defense of the DOP CUBA and other Denominations of Origin for Cuban rum that may arise.

ARTICLE 7. The Regulatory Council shall be attached to the Ministry of the Food Industry and consists of all companies that are producers and/or marketers of exportable quality rum produced in the territory of the Republic of Cuba.

ARTICLE 8. The aforementioned entities will be represented in the Regulatory Council by the officials specifically designated for it.

ARTICLE 9. The presidency of the Regulatory Council will initially be in charge of the CUBA RON Corporation, as it is the only entity with the right to use the appellation of origin for Cuban rum.

ARTICLE 10. The Regulatory Council is responsible for fulfilling the following functions:

  1. A) Control and certification of rums, as well as their promotion and defense of the cultural heritage of Cuban Rum.
  2. B) To inform the State Administration corresponding to the agreements which, by virtue of the powers conferred by this Regulation and those by its importance, must be known by them.
  3. C) Conduct consultations with relevant agencies.
  4. D) To elaborate, approve, and control the strategy for protection and defense of the Denominations of Origin for Cuban rums.
  5. E) To elaborate, approve, and control the communication strategy for Denominations of Origin for Cuban rums.
  6. F) To ensure updating and maintenance of the records for Denominations of Origin for Cuban rums, registered with the Cuban Office of Industrial Property and abroad.
  7. G) Propose the recognition and protection of new designations of origin for Cuban rums.
  8. H) Ensure compliance with quality controls in each step of the Cuban rum process.
  9. I) Approve the application of the Registered Denomination of Origin to new products.
  10. J) To create Working Commissions to study matters of interest regarding the fulfillment of the functions of the Regulatory Council.
  11. K) Create internal regulations to develop organizational and operational aspects not covered by this Regulation.
  12. L) Complying with and enforcing the Regulation.
  13. M) To fulfill any function relevant to its stated purpose.

ARTICLE 11. The functions described in paragraphs 5 and 6 shall be executed by CUBA RON, with the exception of financing legal actions in the case of special rums with brands whose title is held, in each case, the Regulatory Council will have to decide the source of financing to be used

ARTICLE 12. The President of the Regulatory Council has the following functions:

  1. A) The legal representation of the Regulatory Council before any public or private entity, administrations, agencies, courts, and mediation. This representation may be delegated by the agreement of the Regulatory Council.
  2. B) To preside over sessions and moderate the development of the debates, ordering the deliberations and voting.
  3. C) Ensure compliance with the provisions contained in this Regulation as well as other regulations related to its application.
  4. D) To sign the minutes and certifications of the agreements of the Regulatory Council.
  5. E) To execute the laws, as well as those disposed in Regulation of the Regulatory Council, delegating to a competent official their faculties in case of temporary absence or other cause beyond their control that permanently prevents their physical presence.
  6. F) In the event of a physical absence, a new President shall be elected.

SECTION 13. To the Secretary of the Regulatory Council

You have the following functions:

  1. A) Organize the Regulatory Council sessions and execute their agreements.
  2. B) Attend the sessions with voice and without vote, take calls, record the minutes, and certify adopted agreements, guard the books and documents of the Regulatory Council.
  3. C) Process and deal with matters related to the internal workings of the Regulatory Council.
  4. D) Other duties entrusted by the Regulatory Council, related to the preparation and implementation of matters within the Regulatory Council’s domain.

ARTICLE 14. – The Regulatory Council shall meet at least twice a year, by convocation delivered via its Secretary by mandate of the President, or at the request of at least 50 percent of its members.

ARTICLE 15. – The call will be made in writing and will contain the agenda of the meeting. Between each meeting of the Regulatory Council, the Chairman and the Secretary may submit for consideration of other members certain issues that must be agreed upon by them, according to the system described in Article 16. These agreements will also be incorporated in the minutes, recording the results of the vote.

ARTICLE 16.The sessions of the Regulatory Council shall be considered valid with the participation of more than 70 percent of its members, and shall be convened fifteen calendar days before its conclusion, except in urgent cases, in which this period will be reduced to twenty-four hours. Agreements shall be adopted by simple majority and reflected in minutes prepared by the Secretary.

ARTICLE 17. – When the call for an initiative comes from at least 70 percent of the members with voting rights, the items included in the application will be included in the agenda together with those proposed by the Presidency and the meeting will be held within seven (7) calendar days following receipt of the request by the Presidency.

ARTICLE 18. – A representative of the quality inspection body of the Ministry of the food industry shall be permanently invited to all sessions of the regulating Council, with a voice but without a vote, the latter in order to safeguard its status as a third party responsible for certifying the conditions required for each of the Denominations of Origin for Cuban rums. Any people that are required according to the topics under discussion may also participate as guests.

ARTICLE 19. –  In order to guarantee the fulfillment of its functions, the Regulatory Council may use the specialized services of natural or legal persons, Cuban or foreign, approved by the Regulatory Council itself. To that end, CUBA RON, as holder of the right to use the DOP CUBA, will ratify or, if applicable, grant the pertinent powers for the purpose of filing applications, oppose applications for trademark registrations or other distinctive signs in conflict with the designations of origin for Cuban rum and initiate legal proceedings.

CHAPTER IV – DESCRIPTION OF THE NAME OF PROTECTED ORIGIN CUBA

ARTICLE 20. – CUBA is the Protected Denomination of Origin, reserved to qualify and protect the rums made in Cuba and that previously have been granted the Seal of Guarantee of the Republic of Cuba, made with raw materials obtained exclusively from Sugar cane and manufactured in Cuba maintaining the essential values of the Cuban rum tradition that does not artificially induce age and modify aromas and flavors, according to the quality standards established by the Cuban rum industry, referred to in this regulation.

ARTICLE 21. – In the quality of the Cuban rum the following factors are involved:

Raw Material

21.1 Honey or Molasses. Cuban Rum is born of sugarcane molasses, with a relatively low viscosity and acidity, with a high content of total sugars (particularly favored by the climate of Cuba), with an excellent ratio of fermentable sugars to non-fermentables, with a very low formation of Sulfuric acids and with a natural microflora (mesophilic and thermophilic microorganisms in quantities very favorable to the aroma and very little harmful effect) that accompanies the Cuban molasses and that intervenes during its fermentation in the formation of the later aroma that, unlike other rums, is achieved thanks to the low capacity of Cuban molasses to form sulfur compounds.

The molasses of Cuban sugar cane is also characterized by high nitrogen and phosphorus content, minimizing the need for nutrient salts for their fermentation.

Climate

21.2.  The climate of Cuba is characterized by an air temperature of with small temperature variations (from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius in 90 percent of the year). This means that the final honey [sugar cane molasses] from Cuban sugarcane differs from molasses from other regions due to the characteristics and particularities of the Cuban climate. Also, the high sugar concentration decreases water activity and guarantees great stability.

21.2.1. The particular climate of Cuba contributes greatly to the preciseness of aging, which is especially rapid.

21.2.2. When calculating the age of rums qualifying as Rum of Cuba, the time spent while the temperature is below 15 degrees Celsius is not considered in the age declaration.

21.2.3. The Republic of Cuba is located geographically between 23.2 and 19.9 degrees north latitude and 84.8 and 74.2 degrees west longitude. This position places it in the northwest of the Caribbean Sea, at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico and very close to the North American continent, where they separate by less than 200 kilometers.

21.2.4. The geographical position of Cuba also has very specific characteristics in the meteorological patterns and climate of the country, distinguishing two well defined periods during the year: The winter, from November to April; and summer, from May to October.

21.2.5. Comparing Cuban conditions with other areas of the Caribbean and Central America, the winter season temperatures in Cuba are lower and precipitation is lower than in the rest of the area; this offers very favorable conditions for crops such as sugar cane, which require lower temperatures and little rain for the concentration of sucrose in the cutting season. In summer, on the other hand, the Atlantic anticyclone has less influence, because Cuba is situated more to the east, favoring a greater and more stable rainfall, precisely in the growth and development stage of sugarcane.

The Man

21.3. This factor constitutes the “Know-How” of Cuban rum and is related to the knowledge and art of the producers, the Roneros Masters [“Rum Masters”], whose mastery in the aging process and blending plays a decisive role in fulfilling the organoleptic patterns imposed by demanding rum production procedures.

21.3.1. The Cuban Roneros Masters are the true owners of the aging and blending secrets, transmitted from generation to generation; they are faithful guardians of the historical and genuine character of Cuban rum.

Of Fermentation

21.4.1. The fermentation of the molasses [“final honey” in the translation] for the aguardiente production used in Cuban rum manufacturing is determined by two main factors:

  1. A) The molasses characteristics (low concentration of acids) favors fermentation and aroma quality.
  2. B) Molasses containing sulfur dioxide cannot be used because of its destructive impact on the rum’s aroma.

Of Cuba / Cuban Rum

21.4.2. Requirements for the yeast culture used in the fermentation:

  1. A) It is a mixed yeast culture of the genus Saccharomyces cerevisiae which involves isolation of yeasts and their preservation under strict control for a long time.
  2. B) Its effect has strongly influenced the sensory profile of rum for Cuban rum for more than 60 years due to its impact on the distillation and condensation processes after fermentation. Due to this uniqueness, it is unlikely that a mixed crop isolated like this exists outside Cuba, even with yeasts of the same genus.

Spirits Distillation

21.5. In Cuba, the distillation of spirits is governed by a process different from that of other countries.

21.5.1. The distillation of the aguardiente is based on these technical elements:

  1. A) Surface velocity of the vapors in the distillation column;
  2. B) Residence time of the liquid in each plate (must be copper) of the enrichment zone [the upper plates of the column];
  3. C) The specific volume ratio of liquid in contact with the copper surface [plate];
  4. D) The distillation plate design avoids high temperatures in the reboiler and thus avoids the aguardiente from burning;
  5. E) Use of fractional condensation to select the streams that make up the aguardiente. This implies specific condensation surfaces in each condenser, as well as the permanent updating and control of the sensory profile of the mixture accepted as traditional Cuban rum.

21.5.2. The aguardiente to be aged must maintain the aromatic profile that has always characterized it, and thus requires sufficient fermentation and distillation control.

Of Aging

21.6. In making Rum of Cuba/Ron Cubano, direct production with a single aging stage is prohibited, and only the natural aging is recognized as valid practice.

21.6.1. The use of scents, aromas, artificial additives, macerations and extracts is prohibited in the elaboration of Rum of Cuba/Ron Cubano, even if it is not intended to modify the organoleptic characteristics of the product. It is also forbidden to use any chemical element that imitates the process of aging. [Note, however, that the use of sugar is not specifically prohibited.]

21.6.2. Cuban Rum / Cuban Rum is naturally aged and does not count the aging time at lower temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius.

21.6.3. We distinguish at least two stages of aging for white rums and at least three for dark rums, in a practice allowing complete evolution of the compounds extracted from the [barrel] oak. Each stage of aging is preceded by blending that allow the subsequent aging to reach higher quality and translate into distinctive aroma and flavor.

21.6.4. The main stages of aging used in Cuban rum are as follows:

Aging / Phase 1

In Cuba it is required to age all pure spirits for a period of at least 2 years in white oak barrels of 180 – 200 liters of capacity, generally of Irish or Scottish origin, which have already aged a spirit [i.e. whisky].

The high alcoholic strength of the aguardiente and the ethanol congeners, coupled with the fact that at this stage the youngest barrels are used, means that after 2 years a high formation of acids, esters, aldehydes and large wood compound extraction (e.g., volatile phenols, furan aldehydes, phenolic aldehydes and other very important ones such as oak lactone) occurs. Likewise, the extraction of tannins with their high amounts of harsh and bitter polyphenols is also high, and which only decreases in the reoxygenation induced in later aging stages.

Since everything extracted the wood is not necessarily pleasant to the smell and the palate, nor what is nice is suitable at all intensities, to eliminate the unpleasant aromas and to diminish the concentration of others, the production of Rum of Cuba /  Ron Cubano uses an active carbon absorption operation in equipment designed for this purpose using mathematical modeling and multiple trials, rigorous research and patient observation.

At this stage of the process the Maestro Ronero pays particular attention to the sensory characteristics of the resulting liquid, knowing that it impacts sensory profile of the resulting rum.

Aging / Phase 2

All Cuban rum has at least a second aging stage where the light character is emphasized via a mixture with superfine cane distillate (always less than 96% vol.) and high purification with activated charcoal in equipment that, like the above, is specifically designed for the purpose.

This second stage happens in American white oak barrels of 180 – 200 liters capacity and, to a lesser extent, in larger barrels that do not exceed 500 liters of capacity. These are barrels of that have already aged rum numerous times. Previously used rum barrels are used both because they contribute less bitter and rough, but also because the blending and purification that occurs creates a reoxygenation that strongly influences the aging process and eliminates rough and bitter character.

Aging / phase 3 (optional)

As the centuries-old practice has taught Cuban rum masters, the passage of the years depletes the oxygen within the barrels, pausing the reactions that optimizes the flavor and aroma of the distillate. It is at this stage that all rum designated as dark-brown [premium] contains at least a portion having a third stage of blending and additional aging.

In this third phase, the new blend is reoxygenated, breaking the equilibrium that has stopped the good aging process, and is a new opportunity to use other American white oak barrels, also 180 – 200 liters, but much older, so that their contribution of bitter and rough polyphenols is minimal or zero. [In essence, the third aging stage must be in extra old, neutral barrels.]

It is a common practice of Cuban rum to send [back] to aging a part of the extra-dark  [premium] rum obtained, to be reused [added back in] after many years to the same rum that gave rise to it, thus achieving a sensory rounding of incalculable value and greater sensory standardization. [In essence, not all rum in a premium batch is bottled. Some if further aged and then blended into subsequent batches.] In accordance with Cuban legislation, the conditions of aging vessels must comply, among other things, be of an adequate dimension to allow an average temperature of 30 degrees C, and be located where medium sunlight can reach them.

ARTICLE 22.The Rum of Cuba / Cuban Rum

Must meet the following physico-chemical requirements:

(Numbers below are minimum, maximum.)

[ The abbreviation a.a. is short for “absolute alcohol”–essentially, the spirit if all water were removed, leaving just alcohols and congeners.]

  • Ethanol, expressed as percentage by volume at 20 ° C.
    • Min: 37.5%
    • Max: 41.0%
  • Total acidity, exposed in grams of acetic acid Per 100 L of a.a
    • Min: 2
    • Max: 100
  • Aldehydes, expressed in grams of acetaldehyde Per 100 L of a.a.
    • Min: 0
    • Max: 30
  • Esters, expressed as grams of Ethyl per 100 L of a.a.
    • Min: 1
    • Max: 90
  • Higher alcohols, expressed in grams of higher alcohols Per 100 L of a.a
    • Min: 8
    • Max: 400
  • Methanol, expressed as grams of methanol per 100 L of a.a.
    • Min: 0
    • Max: 10
  • Color, expressed in density units optics. Done by means of sample pattern.
    • Min: 0
    • Max: 1.3

The content of ethanol may exceed that indicated in the table, after agreement between the producer and the customer.

Extra quality rums, which due to the characteristics of its technological design, its limited production levels, and the use of extra-old base rums, are in fact specialties, and may exceed the maximum limits of specifications, except those of methanol, per previous Agreement with the customer. [In essence, super premium rums aren’t subject to these specifications if the customer agrees. The exception is methanol, which must always be within the prescribed range.]

ARTICLE 23. Considering that all rums designated as CUBA designation of origin must have at least two stages of aging, one corresponding to the spirits of origin [aguardiente] and another to the rum proper, and of sufficient durations to be called Añejos, they are labeled as follows:

  1. a) Ron Añejo Blanco.
  2. b) Ron Añejo Ámbar Claro or Carta Blanca.
  3. c) Ron Añejo Oro moderadamente oscuro, also Carta Oro or Dorado.
  4. d) Ron Añejo Reserva.
  5. e) Ron Añejo Oscuro, also simply Ron Añejo
  6. F) Rones Extra-Añejo, which are dark aged [premium] rums, which are specialties because of their unusual and prolonged aging and highly representative of the most legendary Cuban rum old reserves.

ARTICLE 24. In the evaluation of Cuban rums, the senses of sight, smell and taste are used, giving rise to the taste sensations that define the organoleptic pattern of Cuban rum.

ARTICLE 25. Attributes that distinguish rum from Cuba / Cuban Rum from other light rum and constitute a true organoleptic pattern, traditional and unique, are the following:

  1. A) Translucent and shiny.
  2. B) Drink of evident body and good sunrise. (?)
  3. C) A low alcoholic odor, and excellent balance between alcohol and aged notes without an excess of undeveloped wood.
  4. D) Aroma coming from fermentation and distillation, of high complexity while maintaining a single sensory profile.
  5. E) Pleasant and mild to the palate. Their flavors open and unfold in the mouth. Its multiple and soft nuances, without aggressiveness, affirm its Cuban origin.

CHAPTER V – Of Quality Control

ARTICLE 26. – The quality control system includes the recording the processes control from the state of the raw material to the finished product, allowing traceability of the production process described in:

  1. A) Procedures.
  2. B) Work instruction.
  3. C) Standard operating procedures.
  4. D) Comprehensive management manuals.
  5. E) Business norms and branch norms.

ARTICLE 27. – During the production process the following norms and provisions are applied:

  1. A) NC 113 – 2009
  2. B) NC 143 – 2010
  3. C) NC 277 – 2008
  4. D) Resolution No. 135/01 of the extinct Ministry of the Food Industry.

ARTICLE 28. – In addition to the Cuban standards and legal provisions mentioned in the previous article, the analytical procedure of sensory evaluation and other current standards related to good food production practices apply.

ARTICLE 29. – The quality inspection body of the Ministry of the Food Industry, as the governing body for quality control, shall verify compliance with the technical requirements established for each of the appellations of origin for Cuban government, ensuring objectivity and impartiality in its operation.

CHAPTER VI- Of the identifying signs

ARTICLE 30. The CUBA appellation of origin may be identified by means of a stamp which shall be used in all advertising of the rums brands to which the DOP CUBA has been granted, as well as in the institutional publicity itself of the Denomination of Origin Protected Cuba.

ARTICLE 31. In applications relating to media in which the seal cannot be used, CUBA shall be added plus the abbreviation DOP.

ARTICLE 32.The trademarks, symbols, emblems, advertising legends or any other type of propaganda used, applied to rums protected by the CUBA appellation of origin that this Regulation protects, cannot be used, not even by the owners themselves, in the marketing of other rums not covered by the said designation of origin.

ARTICLE 33. The design of the seal identifying the denomination of origin Cuba for rums will be approved by means of a resolution approved by the Regulatory Council. Until there is an approved design, the entities that have been granted the right to use the DOP CUBA may use the word CUBA plus the abbreviation DOP.

CHAPTER VII – OF THE USE OF THE DENOMINATION OF PROTECTED SOURCE FOR RUM CUBANO IN TRADE

ARTICLE 34. The use of DOP Cuba for Cuba rum/Cuban rum in commerce begins to apply thirty (30) days after the publication of this Regulation in the Official Gazette, therefore, Cuba Ron may exercise directly the right granted or through other companies producing and/or selling rum brands that hold the seal of guarantee of the Republic of Cuba, corresponding to CUBA RON the obligation to comply and enforce the aforementioned companies, all that the regulatory Council agrees to that effect.

ARTICLE 35. In use of the functions conferred on the Regulatory Council, the latter shall ratify or, where appropriate, elaborate and approve the following specific rules:

  1. A) Internal Regulation on the relation of Denominations of Origin of Rum of Cuba / Rum Cuban with the Trademarks, Commercial Names and labeling.
  2. B) Internal Regulations on the Communication of Denominations of Origin of Ron de Cuba / Ron Cubano.
  3. C) Internal Regulation on the use of Denominations of Origin of Rum of Cuba / Ron Cubano in commerce.

ARTICLE 36. The regulations approved by the Regulatory Council shall be executed and financed by CUBA RON, and shall report periodically to the Regulatory Council on their compliance.

CHAPTER VIII – Of protection and defense

ARTICLE 37. The Regulatory Council will keep a close watch on the defense and protection of the DOP CUBA, keeping updated the strategy of protection and defense of the same. This strategy should include definitions on the protection of these regulations in accordance with the different modalities of industrial property and protection systems.

ARTICLE 38. The strategy approved by the Regulatory Council will be executed and financed by CUBA RON, which will report to the Regulatory Council periodically on the compliance thereof.

SECOND: This Resolution enters into force thirty (30) days after its publication in the Official Gazette.

COMMUNICATE to the Deputy Ministers and Directors of the organization, the Directors of the budgeted units, the General Director of the Business Group of the Food Industry, the Presidents of Corporations and to all natural and legal persons.

PUBLISH it in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba.

ARCHIVE the original in the Legal Department of this Ministry.

Given in Havana, on the 5th day of the month of September 2013.

María del Carmen Concepción González

Minister of the Food Industry

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