Thanks so much for submitting a report. It has been emailed to the Rum Captain and will be actioned shortly.
Tasty, but not quite great
Excellent flavour, pairs very nice with cane cola. Smooth with subtle notes of Carmel and vanilla. Smooth finish as well. Reminds me a bit of the original smoothness of the first Zaya, before the distillery moved, but something else I can’t put my finger on yet...more testing required!
Saw this in my local liqour store and the green label stood out on the Zaya bottle. 16 yr??? Decided to give it a try. I am very impressed. A lot of forward apple and vanilla flavors. Very complex profile. It is a 16yr blend, but this is a very nice, smooth rum that is great on the rocks. The finish is not as long and strong as the Zaya 12 yr, which is my favorite characteristic of the Zaya 12 yr. But this one is also much smoother... practically no burn. The finish is still relatively long and the apple and vanilla flavors linger. Overall at $23 USD (in Miami) this is a great value. I'll be buying more.
The bad: Initially, the smell is strong, with a touch of vanilla scented cleaner or disinfectant, which seems to dissipate a little after a few minutes. The good: However the taste is quite good and pleasant. I rated it a 6 due to the sharp initial impression, but the taste is a solid 7. I'd be happy to drink this straight after letting the glass breathe for a bit. The price is good, so I'll probably purchase it again.
I don't find it "sickly sweet" as some others here do. I do find the taste seems like it has vanilla in it, which I really like.
First, I'm fairly liberal. I figure I'm not the final word when it comes to judging what others will like. But the Zaya Grande Reserva 16 Year deserves to be called out. First, make sure it's the new green necked/labeled iteration that we are talking about and second, it's NOT A 16 YEAR OLD RUM! It is a solera rum. They are being quite cute by putting the "16 Years" in a much larger font than the tiny print of the warning, "A blend of Rums aged up to".
It seems that the move from Guatemala has resulted in a continued loss of positive character in this sad Rum.
Don't get me wrong. I agree, a solera rum can definitely be a good rum. But it's insulting to other correctly labeled rums to hide behind a tricky label.
That said, the Zaya Grande Reserva I tasted was sickly sweet and overpriced even for $26. But, if you are someone who mixes all the flavors at the Slurpee machine and would pay $26 for that, I apologize.
The older version (Zaya 12) was a sugar bomb too, but this one is even sweeter. Like liquid candy.
I jumped on it because of a significant price reduction... now I know why.
Zaya Grande Reserva 16 year old rum is a great starter rum for your rum collection. Reasonably priced at $28 per bottle and now easily available in most liquor stores. Original Zaya 12y was pretty good, but now the new version struggles to earn a 7 since it's very overpowering sweet flavor profile. Zaya 16y is definitely on the sweeter side also, plenty of vanilla and butterscotch for sure but it has a very nice flavor profile and hardly any burn. Buy this bottle and compare it to Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, and the massive difference is obvious. Then go to your liquor and buy Diplomatico going onwards.
This 16 year old lacks the nuances of the 12 year old. Smooth? Absolutely. A nice rum. The 12 year old has less wood and more subtle flavors. The great thing about reviewing is you can dwell on the fine points! Both 12 and 16 are very good rums. I prefer the 12, especially neat. The 16 is a FINE looking woman. The 12 is a fine looking woman carrying a GREAT bottle of rum!
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