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Zaya Gran Reserva Rum is a blend of rums distilled from molasses in a five column still, the rums are aged in white oak barrels for a up to 12 years.
Zaya rum was initially distilled by Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala in Guatemala. The brand was acquired in 2008 by Infinium Spirits and is now produced in Trinidad and distilled by Angostura.
Recommendable to most
This review might not be current because the bottle of Zaya Gran Reserva I tried was an old one found on the shelf of a local liquor store. It was distilled in Guatamala, not Trinidad, and had the 2007 San Francisco Gold Medal tag on it so I imagine it had been on the shelf for about 8 years.
The rum was very dark in color. Slightly darker than a Trinidad version I saw at another liquor store. The aroma is strong with the dominate smell for me of coffee and licorice with vanilla accent. It is very smooth with very little alcohol burn. I drink it as a sipper with just one ice cube in the glass.
Very good rum for someone who likes flavor and aroma...
Aromatic notes of vanilla, caramel, with hints of banana and cocoa.
The palate is an initial taste of vanilla, cocoa and brown sugar, with a medium-sweet bodied with hints of oak and orange spice.
After reading a post on the discussion board about how Zaya has become undrinkable swill under new ownership, I finally opened a bottle I had picked up last year while on vacation at what I thought was a great price of $25.
i have to say I agree 100% with the guy who made that post. This stuff basically tastes like vanilla extract. I found an unopened bottle stashed in my cellar of the old stuff with real palm leaf wrap around the neck, and though it is a sugar bomb it at least tastes good. The new stuff either has a paper wrap around the neck or a metal screw top and collar. My newer bottle has the metal, but according to the guy who wrote the post the paper wrapped bottles are terrible too.
I have heard this rum was awesome back in the days it was from Guatemala, unfortunately that was before I got interested in rum. The garbage stuff says "a blend of 12 rums" in the little round label on the bottle instead of "aged 12 years" on the older bottles. Classic bait and switch, avoid the newer bottles. I wouldn't buy this again at any price.
Currently my favorite rum. It is a little sweet, with flavors of vanilla and caramel. Perfect for a dessert sipper. Do not waste as a mixer, drink this one neat. Great rum to share with friends after dinner. For $37 this is a steal.
Sugar: 20 gpl. Lot's of reviewers liked this rum, but I did not finish the bottle I purchased while on vacation. It's a smooth rum with a nice finish but the Vanilla aroma and flavor dominates it from start to finish. I tried it on ice and in mixed drinks but could not come to liking it enough to finish the bottle or to even think of adding it to my collection. I would not buy this rum as there are better rums in this price range.
This was a quite wonderful dram. The vanilla sweetness hit my taste buds first but didn't overpower a complex, bitter, chocolate nuttiness at all. Long and pleasant finish. Sip this neat and appreciate the craft!
A must have in your collection a golden to copper brown color nice vanilla scent nice barrel flavors with vanilla tones with a smooth finish.
All reviews from before 2016 should be ignored - this is now a distinctly different and much lower quality rum than it was previously.
The original Zaya was the rum that got me into sipping rums. Every time I finished a bottle I would get a new one. It was fairly sweet with a taste of vanilla and caramel. If you can still find a bottle where the label has cursive writing on it and there's a wicker sleeve on the neck, buy it.
At first when the logo changed, I was skeptical. The font change on the label wasn't bad, but the sticker that used to proudly proclaim "Aged 12 Years" now read "Blend of 12 selected rums". The neck was no longer covered in wicker and the cork had been replaced with a screw off cap. The taste is *very* different. It still has flavors of vanilla and caramel, but they aren't as rich as they used to be. The rum doesn't taste aged at all, as the change from 12 years to 12 rums suggests. It's still good as a mixing rum, but I wouldn't suggest it for sipping.
Be aware: I'm rating the new version of Zaya rum. The aroma has an intensely chemical vanilla nature with an unpleasant overtone of aftershave. The taste is consistent with the aroma, and is cloyingly, sickly sweet. I like vanilla, but not this artifica, chemical-tasting vanilla. This product is truly horrible. You may think I'm exaggerating or being overly dramatic, but no. With absolute sincerity, I can tell you, this product is truly horrible.
"Review by Chris Carlsson of Spirits Review"
"Zaya rum review by Matt at A Jigger of Blog"
"Zaya Gran Reserva rum review by The Ultimate Rum Guide"
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