Matusalem & Company was founded in 1872 by brothers by Benjamin and Eduardo Camp, who left Spain to settle in Santiago De Cuba to create their own rum distillery. The Camp brothers brought with them their knowledge and expertise in the solera system of blending and distillation used in making brandy and sherry.
After the Cuban revolution in 1959, the family and the Matusalem brand went into exile, and was established in the United States. However, the Cuban government carried on making rum in the former Matusalem factory in Santiago de Cuba.
Many family feuds followed the family's leave from Cuba. In 1995 Dr. Claudio Alvarez Salazar, the great-grandson of the founder, took control of the Matusalem trademark, and in 2002, Matusalem & Company was relaunched. The brand wanted to focus on its Cuban roots, though the rum is produced in the Dominican Republic. In 2016 the brand also opened its own ageing and bottling facilities in the Dominican Republic.
The name Matusalem is Spanish for Methuselah, the Old Testament patriarch said to have lived for 969 years. It was chosen as a reference to the solera ageing process used in producing the rum.
Matusalem Gran Reserva was first produced in Santiago de Cuba over 130 years ago. It is aged using the Solera process, so on average the rums contained herein are 15 years old
Nose: Enticing aromas of sweet spice, Christmas cake and toasty oak.
Palate: Very approachable, soft and smooth mouthfeel, with plenty of rich, fruity spice, but still clean and elegant.
Finish: Not especially long, but everything in check.