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Zaya Gran Reserva Rum is a blend of molasses-based rums distilled in a five-column still and aged in white oak barrels for 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.
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...
Nose: sweet , caramel , vanilla ,spicy , smoke
Taste: sweet , vanilla, caramel, nutty ,oak, smoky, little bit fruity/alcoholic .
For me , a nice sipping Rum with a good finish.
Zaya is so perfectly smooth it will change the minds of those who claim they 'don't like' rum. It is perfect for sipping and one of the best tasting rums I've found yet.
The first time I tried this rum I was overwhelmed. It was rich, smooth, the aroma itself was intoxicating.
It paired incredibly with a spicy, full bodied cigar as well. I swore by it and highly recommended it to rum-drinking friends, and non-rum drinkers, too.
Recently I purchased another bottle to replace my well-shared empty one. The first thing I noticed was the different label, bottle style and cork that had been replaced by a metal screw cap. They were omens of a tragedy yet to come.
The aroma is way off. Instead of the delicate and sweet smell of vanilla and coffee, it smells like artificial vanilla in a tin can. The flavor is just as disappointing. Gone is the complexity of select blended and aged rums. This is flat, almost stale tasting, and where the previous incarnation left a smooth, warm finish, the new batch just tastes cheap and amateur; think watered-down Kalhua thinned with mineral spirits stored in a beer can!
I blame myself for this bad purchase. Not only is the label design different, it is telling. The original Zaya Gran Reserva label stated "Aged 12 Years." The new label merely claims it is made from "12 selected rums." Caveat emptor.
Now I must find another spiced rum to fill the void left by a poorly but cleverly disguised imposter.
Best served on waffles. Sugary, oily, and overpoweringly vanilla-flavored. Plus, it feels creepily thin in the mouth. This stuff actually made me sad.
This rum is NOT to be confused with 12year old Zaya that existed before. It is a recipe that blends 12 "aged" rums. Sneaky, sneaky. I believe most of the reviewers that rated it very highly, probably may be referring to the 12 year old, but the new one has much "room to improve". Just grab some corn syrup, some alcohol and make it thin enough and there you have your current Zaya. The rum is barely passable on the rocks, so I update my rating by 1 point. These guys seem to be milking the success of their previous recipe and deceiving people which is why I give it a 2 = 1 for deceiving folks but 1 more because it barely passes on the rocks.
This rum stinks of cheap artificial vanilla flavour. There is no flavour there from aged rum. Just sugar and caramel. No smoothness either. I guess there was no aged rum to blend their product with. Maybe if you like Bacardi Oackhard a lot that you are willing to pay top dollar for extra caramel and sugar. Better buy vanilla Coke and add some gin.
This rum comes in a very nice thick and large bottle.
The smell is very sweet with lots of vanilla and caramel.
The taste is very sweet (vanilla, caramel) with a bit of spice and oak. The finish is long with some spice and oak.
This is a sweet rum and I recommend it to all that wants to try a easy to drink sweet rum. I have tried it straight up and with cola and both are very good. I also recommend that you always have two bottles at home because one of them always seems to run out :)
I had my hopes high about this one, I was severely let down. I hear tell the blend changed and not for the better. I hope the previous mix was nicer. This one tastes like gasoline raisin water and had bad artificial flavouring. Didn't even enjoy the smell and I'm not picky.
I hear it's easy to tell which one is the good one based on the bottle wrap - mine is the false wrap. I will give the other bottle a try if the opportunity presents itself but, won't be spending my money on it.
When I tasted Zaya for the first time, I sampled it along side other dark and rich sippers to include Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva. Although sharing many of the initial qualities of DRE, it was missing a certain oomph (sp?). It smells of molasses and vanilla perfume or lotion (in a good way) with a papaya and pepper after taste. Good but still lacking something that makes it memorable. Seems like an easy door opener for those new to sipping rum. At $29 USD (01/2016), it's worth grabbing for making a quality cocktail or to sip on when your first choice has run dry.
I'll admit I haven't tried every rum out there, but I have tried a lot, so I'll reserve 10 just in case I find better someday. Love the smoothness and vanilla undertones. Wonderful for sipping and a great value.
"Zaya Gran Reserva rum review by The Ultimate Rum Guide"
"Zaya rum review by Matt at A Jigger of Blog"
"Review by Chris Carlsson of Spirits Review"
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