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Is Zaya an underdog?


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Andy

Posted 19 Aug '14 from United Kingdom with 143 ratings

There have been tons of positive Zaya ratings recently. Why isn't this rum sold in more stores and offered in more bars? Also why is there only 1 version? Where's the light and extra old?

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mamajuana

From United States with 148 ratings Replied 19 Aug '14

In the US its not hard to get in liquor stores if you know where to look that is. Its not heavily carried though. I have never seen it at a bar before. It is very cheap at some stores I saw it on sale for 21.00 from 30+ the other day. In terms of it being an underdog, that I'm not certain some people hate its overly vanilla and sweetness and call it a cooking rum because of its profile. Its a rum you either love or hate with more people choosing to love it. Its all about taste preference. Its been ages since I have had some. I have a bottle on deck but its not high on the list as there are so many others I have yet to try. As opposed to some here I only review my rums here that I have had after joining this site which I think should become a rule personally. I mean who can fully recall a rum they had 5 years ago?

I would love to see another version come out preferably a 20+ year offering it might tone down the sweetness or balance it more with a heavier oak. Also maybe a sherry cask or port finish where the blend gets and additional 2-3 years in a sherry cask. I could see this adding some complexity and fitting in well with the sweetness.

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 29 Aug '14

I have not been able to find any figures on added sugar in Zaya, perhaps it is not sold in Sweden or Finland where they test rums and post the results. I suspect it is sweetened quite a bit, but it is robust and interesting enough to still be good and for the price (Low-mid $20s) I would choose it over Zacapa 23 at $35+.

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thefatrumpirate

From United Kingdom with 122 ratings Replied 9 Sep '14

In the UK good rum is hard to find. You can get Zaya at The Whisky Exchange

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thefatrumpirate

From United Kingdom with 122 ratings Replied 9 Sep '14

In the UK good rum is hard to find. You can get Zaya at The Whisky Exchange

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thefatrumpirate

From United Kingdom with 122 ratings Replied 9 Sep '14

In the UK good rum is hard to find. You can get Zaya at The Whisky Exchange

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BostonFisher

From United States with 12 ratings Replied 12 Sep '14

I've only found it at one store in Boston and never seen it at a bar. I agree that with it's strong unique taste it's pretty hit or miss with the general public.

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Ransy

From Canada with 0 ratings Replied 24 Sep '14

Sold at Costco liquor stores in Calgary, not cheap at $54 but much less than government liquor stores in B.C. At $79. One of my favourites with coke, tastes like more.

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LarsF

From Sweden with 39 ratings Replied 25 Oct '15

If you are in Sweden or know somebody who is you can buy Zaya from Systembolaget (the only shops who sells spirits in Sweden). The price is about €68 or $76.

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Rob

From Ireland with 92 ratings Replied 8 Nov '15

Finally got my first bottle of Zaya today.
I really like it, but can see why some people might not enjoy it.
However if you like sweet rums, this is a must try.
Found it very difficult to find, ended up buying it in my homecountry of the Netherlands for 65 Euro which is about 80 US Dollar.
Read that in the States it is sold for about 1/3 of that price, which would make it an excellent bang for your buck.

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mamajuana

From United States with 148 ratings Replied 8 Nov '15

I am in awe of the insane pricing of this rum in some countries. I'm glad you enjoy this rum at that price. I would image there are much better rums in Europe than this. Maybe not in some countries there though. One thing to consider to lessen the bite of that price. That is that the 12 year Zaya age statement rum will be no more shortly. They are now labeling this rum in the USA instead of 12 years as a "Blend of 12 rums". So Zaya 12 will be taking a nose dive to say the least very shortly!

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 12 Nov '15

Haven't tried it yet but it is widely available in Florida.

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Nathan Hevenstone (PREMIUM)

From United States with 27 ratings Replied 6 Dec '15

Interesting... every rum I've tried so far (see my cabinet) I've found at a Total Wine in Connecticut(, New England, United States). They have a whole side of one isle dedicated to rum... or pretty close, anyways...

This includes Zaya, BTW...

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caleb hogan

From United States with 18 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

Zaya is sold at every walmart I've been to in several different states. Its intense sweetness and strong vanilla flavor suggest about 30 grams of sugar added to the bottle. I would wonder why so much sugar had to be added to the batch. But with the added sweetness it is an easy drinking rum.

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

Caleb, for whatever it's worth, I know of only one WalMart in this region that sells rum. Most WalMarts here sell nothing harder than beer and wine. There is on in Panama City Beach, Florida that sells alcholic beverages but their selection is pretty standard stuff.

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

Someone on the board at the rum project tested Zaya and came up with 20 g/ltr. That's a lot but not nearly on par with Zacapa 23 which until recently had 45.

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caleb hogan

From United States with 18 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

Gotcha. I just use a google search to find what i want but I can also get it shipped to me. Another outlet that most people overlook are the chain pharmacies. cvs. rite aid, walgreens, etc. They can surprise you with selection at times. You can also contact the supplier, which I have done on occasion to find a local carrier.

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

The chain pharmacies here only are allowed to sell beer and wine.

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caleb hogan

From United States with 18 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

Well then I guess you're screwed...kidding. I'd call or contact the maker. they have a website and can point in the direction to get their product.

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 9 Dec '15

Zaya is carried by most of the regional liquor stores.

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Geno

From Canada with 30 ratings Replied 4 Jan '16

Zaya is under the radar often. Bought it, love it. It is a top 3 when we do Men's Rum Tasting nights. Very available in NS Canada. Cheaper than Zacapa 23 and Plantation 20. It is in my top 3!

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Ramon

From United States with 74 ratings Replied 20 Feb '16

I had it for the first time at a Nashville TN Barbeque restaurant of all places. I just found it on the shelf of one Wine and Spirits store in the area of the 12 or so I have shopped. My latest thing to do when we try new night spots is to see if they pour any unusual rums. I think rum is gaining popularity with the college kids and hipsters.

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Capn Jimbo's Rum Project

From United States with 1 rating Replied 26 Mar '16

"Someone on the board at the rum project tested Zaya and came up with 20 g/ltr. That's a lot but not nearly on par with Zacapa 23 which until recently had 45. "

Au contraire. One of our members - "Che" - performed an amazing series of tests in which sugar was accurately added in increasing amounts from 1 to 50 grams, to known pure and unaltered rums. As little as 1g/L was noticeable, and even just 5g had significant effects. Ten or above pretty much ruins the rum, masks and smothers the profile. Saying that 20g is a lot less than Z23's 45g, is like saying you're better off drinking just half a flask of arsenic. At a point - far below 20g - the effects are so massive and smothering that further additions are simply piling on the same effects. See Che's study, below...
.
Che's study is remarkable, and well worth reviewing:
http://rumproject.com/rumforum//viewtopic.php?t=1134
.
Zaya's rating is here:
http://rumproject.com/rumforum//viewtopic.php?t=1683

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Geno

From Canada with 30 ratings Replied 28 Mar '16

interesting read, that said, i say screw the numbers, taste it. and zaya is under rated. it is a superb rum, excellently priced, and a permanent fixture in my bar! bottoms up.

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Capn Jimbo's Rum Project

From United States with 1 rating Replied 29 Mar '16

There is no doubt that Zaya is a rum that was heavily altered and sugared. It is best described as a liqueur-like, sweetened rum, actually a kind of dessert rum. Personally, in the rare case when I want such, or have guests over who are not ready for pure rums, the flavored Zaya is a great choice, though overpriced as all such specialty concoctions are.

The good news is that more distillers are lableling honestly, and the publicly available tests now make it possible for those who prefer pure and unaltered, top quality rums to find them, Of the 560 sugar tests performed, nearly half were pure and unaltered, and honestly labeled. Perhaps in time, all distillers will come clean and allow the buyer to understand what he/she is buying.

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 29 Mar '16

Capn Jimbo, how dare you allow those non-purist rum drinkers into your home and allow them to drink such swill in your presence?!?! Were they required to read your Encyclopedia of Sugared Rums before they entered at least?

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mistercoughy

From United States with 239 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

Jimbo, you know what the difference is between you and the rest of us? We actually write reviews and rate the rums we drink. You, on the other hand, contribute nothing to this website (One review? Really?), except to troll the discussions and bloviate endlessly and monotonously, using the exact same cut-and-paste speech every chance you get. I really appreciate the work you've done regarding the added-sugar situation, but I don't like the way you use The Truth as a weapon to batter everyone into silence. I imagine you know a lot about rums, and would love to read your reviews of them – not canned speeches but your actual, genuine, heart-felt reviews and opinions without all the self-aggrandizing and constant haranguing. I was so impressed by your -and others' - work on added sugar that I started my own rant, but I've pretty much kept my opinions limited to that one thread. Maybe you could do the same. At this point we all know what you don't like. You don't need to keep reminding us every chance you get. Maybe you would actually enjoy this site better if you remembered that drinking rum can be fun, that discovering new rums is a blast, and that writing about and sharing your opinions with fellow rummies is an enjoyable hobby. Why not hop off the soapbox, put the microphone down and join us?

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

Well said, MisterCoughy. Well said.

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Geno

From Canada with 30 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

and i stand by my remark, for me it is a top 3 on men's nights, i'm talking 10-15 guys sipping and raiting various rums and having fun doing so. and for me still a go to top 3-5 rum. taste's great. and like we say in NS regarding of Kieth's India Pale Ale...

"those who like it, like it a lot"

cheers

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Ramon

From United States with 74 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

I personally am not looking for Diet rum or Rum Zero. If someone is conjuring up their own blend and wish to add some sugar or pure molasses on the back end I have no problem with that. Some people bash Papa's Pillar for being transferred from barrel to barrel and being infused with too many flavores to be identified. I say bravo and mix it with a splash of Cruzan Black to make my own blend !
PS. I purchased a bottle of simple sugars the other day and I'm not afraid to use it :-)

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

Geno, when you mentioned Men's Rum Tastings, it sounded a little funny. Now there's "pale ale" guzzling going down at these events too? What else is on the menu, tube steaks??

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Geno

From Canada with 30 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

no we don't drink beer on men's night, i was just quoting an old NS saying that has been said for 100 or more years, and it is apropos to rum for me... those who like it, like it a lot...

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thefatrumpirate

From United Kingdom with 122 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

The issue regarding added sugar in rum is a complex one. Primarily people interested in knowing if their rum has "additives" (sugar being the most common and certainly the easiest to identify via the Hydrometer Tests) wish to know because they feel they are being conned. Paying premium price for very average rum which is heavily altered to make it smoother and in many people's eyes "better". Such alteration leads to doubts about age statements as well. Why do El Dorado add sugar to a 25 year old rum?

I like to know what is in my rum. The myth is that rum can have all these additives. In actual fact there are a lot of regulations in place - unfortunately they are not enforced. Unlabelled additives in rum is not legal in most parts of the world (and it does not matter where the rum is made it is where the rum is sold where the regulations should be enforced). It is a myth that rum is a "rogue" spirit and anything can be added to it - of course anything can be added to rum but it should be labelled spiced, flavoured or liquor depending on what and how much.

I have no interest in seeing rums such as Zaya outlawed nor would I condemn anyone for drinking such things. However the rum world COULD be just the same as Scotch Whisky if both regulation and self-regulation was enforced. Unfortunately I can't see that happening anytime soon. Especially in the US where El Dorado really showed what they think of the average US consumer by issuing a number of sugared ED15 wine cask finishes. The European market was given the Rare Collection - 3 rums which would ordinarily have been Velier releases.

Each to their own as far as I am concerned but I do believe people have a right to know what they are really drinking.

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

Rum Pirate, I like your site. As far as the transparency on ingredients issue, we get it. Unfortunately, we have to hear about it on every single thread.

Geno, I was just busting your chops. Bottoms up.

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thefatrumpirate

From United Kingdom with 122 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

RedBlaze6 - I hear your pain!

Glad you like the site sometimes its better just to put facts out rather than preach......

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

Well stated, fatrumpirate. In the case of Bourbon, I enjoy a nice old-fashioned - but usually AFTER I have sipped on some good Bourbon neat. I would like the option to add my own sugar, not have it done for me.

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Geno

From Canada with 30 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

redblaze6... i know. cheers, :)

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Ramon

From United States with 74 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

Being in the Tennessee Kentucky region I can tell you there are a lot of small distilleries popping up everywhere. Like everything else there are these boutique brands boasting of creating single barrel non blended whiskies. Unfortunately while authentic and true to their craft, some of them are perfectly awful. One can look at my rum shelves and see I have not ventured much over $30 for a bottle, but as stated, it is only fair to label properly especially when you start getting into the top shelf products. If I buy something pineapple or banana flsvoured for $15 I am not expecting much accept to be ashamed of myself, but yes if it says XO, 12 or 15 year on the bottle, I expect every drop should be what it says it is.

BTW, who can give me a suggestion good or bad, a rum that taste like authentic rum from days of old, say 1700s to 1800s

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Nathan Hevenstone (PREMIUM)

From United States with 27 ratings Replied 30 Mar '16

"BTW, who can give me a suggestion good or bad, a rum that taste like authentic rum from days of old, say 1700s to 1800s"

Let me hop in my time machine real quick and steal a bottle from a pirate (pray I don't walk the plank in the process)... then I'll get back to today, do some comparisons, and let you know...

:P

Seriously, though, I'm pretty sure that will genuinely be impossible. We can guess, but I don't know how we'd ever really know...

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Ramon

From United States with 74 ratings Replied 31 Mar '16

Seriously, actually I quite enjoy being flamed and ridiculed so I think I might start another post to welcome all comers :-)

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Ramon

From United States with 74 ratings Replied 31 Mar '16

Seriously, actually I quite enjoy being flamed and ridiculed so I think I might start another post to welcome all comers :-)

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Nathan Hevenstone (PREMIUM)

From United States with 27 ratings Replied 31 Mar '16

Oh I wasn't ridiculing you at all! My apologies! I was just being goofy over the question... heh...

It'd be interesting to find out if we do know what the rum pirates drank tasted like, yet at the same time I feel like the cheap rums we use as mixers is probably the closest we get today. I sincerely doubt a top-shelf one, with or without sugar, is what they drank.

Maybe Captain Morgan is that rum...

Unless we manage to dig up a rum recipe from that time and recreate it, there's no way to really know...

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Ramon

From United States with 74 ratings Replied 31 Mar '16

I figure if people claim to have George Washington's recipe for whisky, there may be a distiller or two who claim to use a recipe handed down for centuries. Wine makers certainly have a benchmark dating back centuries and taste testers trained in every generation to maintain that standard, so I wondered if that exist in rum making over the centuries.

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 31 Mar '16

Ramon, what's your email? I got a rum recipe that Jesus used at a wedding in Cana to make some mean mojitos.