Classifying rum by colour
White rum is aguardiente that’s been briefly aged or is un-aged – typically between 0 and 3 years. With its lighter flavour white rum is ideal for fresh cocktails: Cuban rum for Daiquiris and Mojitos, while the ‘grassier’ agricoles are used in punches. Havana Club 3 años has a minimum of three years in the barrel and is charcoal-filtered to lighten the colour.
Colour classification of rums would be ideal were it not for two rather large hitches. Different oaks and charring will lead to different colouring and flavouring, so comparing two rums from different producers and styles will not show that one is older or better than another. In addition, some rums use colouring – caramel or e150. Many experts have denounced colour as a useful means of classification across the industry. However, in Cuba, blanco, dorado and oscuro are officially used terms in the country’s rum regulation. When it comes to Havana Club rums, customers can trust that dark rums have matured longer and have been selected for their finer, more complex profile.