Has all the subtlety of the heart attack I had recently.
Notes: This rum is a private label mix of up to 12 rums from Trinidad and Tobago selected and blended by a master blender. Double distilled in copper pot stills, the rum is aged in used once whiskey and bourbon barrels, and the oldest of the mix is 16 years old. The qualifier in small type says “A Blend of Rums Aged Up To” and then in much larger type 16 YEARS.
Zaya has undergone a number of changes since it moved from Guatemala as many brands do as they change hands ( pre 19575 Old Crow and Old Crow afterward is an excellent example of this).
Appearance: A dark bronze nicely rich color, beautiful clarity. On swirling, leaves a very thin coat on the glass with long thin legs slowly forming with drops sliding down the side of the glass.
First Impression: Vanilla and spice bouquet with some char/leather notes, dark fruits, spice cake, sugar cane, and molasses.
Taste: Slightly sweet entry followed by an avalanche of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg notes, spice, with char and leather notes, with a drying barrel, oaky pepper, and spice finish. Medium-bodied, medium-to-long lingering, slightly dry finish with lots of dusty spice.
I’m also getting a fair amount of sugar cane juice and caramel also in the blend.
Drinks: Use in sweeter Tiki drinks calling for a spiced rum or rum and spices. This rum would stand up to any ingredient I could throw at it. Not a sipper.
Cigars: Nothing too heavy. Something with a natural wrapper that is relatively simple so it doesn’t compete with the rum.
Bottle/Packaging: Cylindrical heavy bottomed clear glass bottle with a substantial punt to it. A rectangular label with vertical orientation in a relatively deep inset in the glass. Teal neck wrap is meant to reference the color of the ocean in those parts and it now uses an artificial cork rather than the real cork closure it used to have years ago. An impressed rondel on the shoulder of the glass has a smaller label with a hummingbird on it.”Zaya” is molded in large script on the side of the bottle Thankfully it does not have the South American anti-refill device fitted in the neck of the bottle unlike some of its competitors.
Final Thoughts: Aggressively spicy and aromatic.
Quick loading, but not in any real way informative.