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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.
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.
Very sweet, thankfully that is what I prefer.
Initial flavours of pineapple and butterscotch. Not sure its worth the price I paid however.
Pineapple and vanilla come through almost immediately. One of the very few rums I’ve ever had with the pineapple aura. For the price this isn’t bad. Is this a “premium” rum? No...but for sipping without pretense it’s not bad: not great but not bad. It’s a B-. Just pour over a little ice and forget about the pandemic!!
I tried this 16 year Zaya side by side with the 12 year old, and I found them to be quite similar. In fact, I really struggled to pick a winner.
Like the 12 year, this is fairly sweet with a good amount of vanilla and some butterscotch, which I actually find quite good. But those are the dominant flavors, and it's difficult to taste the underlying rum.
A very good smooth sweet taste. Not bad at all, but not worth seeking out if you can more easily find the 12 year.
I read various review about Zaya, so during the Holidays, I purchased a bottle of Zaya 16. My expectations were to be something similar to Diplomatico Gran Reserva, but what I got was a mouth full of spices, and tart. I tried on ice, and not much improvement. Some of my friends liked it, but I guess this one is not for me. I left it with my friend to enjoy.
This has replaced the 12 year old bottlings just about everywhere I have looked recently... at the same price, it's a supermarket rum for those looking to step out from bacardi gold and into something to sip on its own. It is, like its younger sibling, a good introductory rum, but if you're going to expand your range and keep a bottle of this around, it's better as a mixer - something heavy on the sugar to use judiciously if you want to offset something strong on citrus.
The color is a nice golden brown, but once you taste it you realize 16 year old rum shouldn't be legal. It has a rubbing alcohol backdrop with sugar to make you think it is older
This is a one and done rum. As in you try it once and then you never have it again as long as you live.
Tried this at a nice jazz club in the San Diego Gaslamp District. Nice subtle flavor, smooth and fairly sweet, but not too sweet (IMHO).
Smells sweet, tastes... different. There’s something that I can’t put my finger on. Sweet, maybe apple or spice almost? Anyway it’s got a bit of a bite, considering the price point ($50 CAD). Definitely more going on than just a baseline Carmel flavour. Another fun rum to sip for the collection.
View: Pours light golden brown.
Nose: Smooth vanilla and oak notes
Initial Tasting: Sweet vanilla, but natural, not gimmicky
Body: warm vanilla
Fade: slight burn on the back end, but vanilla holds true
Overall: Excellence achieved. Great for sipping, as well as with Coke or ginger beer
I fell for this sweet rum and bought a whole bottle rather than one ounce at a bar as I did for their Zaya 12. I would say that it still has somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 gpl of added sugar and no telling what else. It comes off as being so fake, but it is still drinkable and not quite disgusting. Aging in the bottle may change my perception and sweet rums are notorious for deteriorating in the bottle after only a few weeks.
I tried mixing this one with my favorite cola, and it was barely acceptable. Not the worst, but certainly not the best. Since this one HAS to be used as mixer and is priced so high, I would tell others to stay the hell away. The only reason that I rated it as high five is because I have encountered too many more undrinkable rums.
This one is not even a good drunk! I am being very generous with my rating of 5, but anyone rating this one higher clearly does not know good rums from bad ones!!!!! I will leave it at that.
So my first review of Zaya 12 was back in 2015, when I felt like I discovered heaven. Great flavor of molasses, caramel, chocolate, vanilla.....all of the flavors I love to discover in a great rum, plus a little honey flavor. Great bottle, little Brother to Zacapa 23, and $31 a bottle at that time. Then, corporate greed set in around 2017, and the mix was cheapened along with the bottle. The mix gotten considerably younger and more harsh, less refined for sure. My favorite Go To was gone. Now, after all of the harsh consumer reciews blasting the Company for their greed and stupidity of F-ing up a great thing, the mix and bottle design has changed again, but for the better. I think that this is the 4th or 5th receipt change through Zaya's history. But, it is not a 16 year old rum. Where as the 2015 Zaya was a 12 year blend, suggesting that the youngest rum blended was 12 years old and could be 15, 18 or 20 years or more, and the 2017 edition was up to 12 years with numerous blended rums (cheaper!!!!), the new and improved 2019 edition, Zaya 16, suggests that multiple rums are blended up to 16 years old. What a difference when you compare the taste of the 2017 12, versus the 2019 16 year. MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT In blend and flavor. Vanilla, Molasses, Caramel and Honey flavors have returned. Maybe not as aged as the original 2015 edition I discovered, but pretty damn close, for sure. Try it neat, with a cube or even mixed with a Diet Coke if you like. And maybe too sweet for some folks, but I really like this Zaya 16. And I have seen prices in the $29 range, so a great but for a solid rum under $30. Zacapa 23 at $45 is also a great rum I enjoy from time to time, and again, the same Owners of Zacapa and Zaya. Guys, go pick up a bottle of Zaya 16 and enjoy. Cheers!!!!!
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