Our Secrets



The original gold coin medals now shown on the face labels of Matusalem Rum no longer exist as they were lost when the Alvarez Family fled Cuba and went into exile in the USA in 1960. In this period the Cuban government confiscated and nationalized the Matusalem plant and offices along with all historical data, facts and memorabilia.

History of the medals:


The first medal awarded to Matusalem rum was at the Matanzas Fair in Matanzas, Cuba in 1881. The Matanzas Fair was dedicated to the celebration of Cuban agricultural and industrial achievements. 
Matusalem Rum was awarded a Silver medal.


The second medal award was received at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The exposition was renown as much for its entertainment as for its fine arts and national pavilions. The fair was very lavish. The fair hosted a wide array of liquor tasting competitions, introduced ice cream cones to the world & other exhibits.

Matusalem Rum medal was awarded a Gold Award.


The third medal award was awarded at the Gran Certamen Habanero in Havana, Cuba in 1911. Matusalem Rum was awarded a Gold Award.



Today the fifth generation of the Alvarez family is managing the Matusalem brand.



We use a combination of white oak barrels on all our products. They include:

American oak (Quercus Alba) 53 gallons/200 liters.

French oak (Quercus Sessile) 59 gallons/225 liters

The American oak is once-used bourbon barrel and/or new barrel, which come from a cooperage in the USA.

The barrels can be used several times.



The barrels are toasted or charred to different levels to achieve a preferred aroma and taste.

What differs from one brand to another within the Matusalem portfolio are the following:

  1. The toast or charring of each barrel.
  2. The ratio of the product from a specific type of barrels that are used within a blend.
  3. The aging of the product.
  4. The blending, this being the most important element which allows Matusalem to create a range of exceptionally smooth, consistent and unique blends of rum. This is the Family Secret Process, which is carefully guarded since 1872, sets apart Matusalem from all other rums in the world.



The entire toasting of the barrels and the blending process is managed and controlled by the Matusalem Master Blender, which for over 145 years has consistently been assigned only to a Family member.



For over 145yrs the Matusalem’s recipe is derived from a Spanish technique traditionally used for the craft of the finest brandy, sherry and cognacs. This patient process called “Solera” creates a softer rum and with greater flavor than the rums of the competition.

Rum blends of varying ages are organized into a system of tiered casks. Oldest at base, youngest on top.

Number of tiers depends on master blender’s formula and style. It is the marrying of older rums with the younger rums. The longer the aging/blending, the better. The Solera number on the bottle indicates the average age of the rums used in the blend.

Today there are no more than six competitive rum brands from around the world that use Solera aging and mixture.