Review: Special Report: Zaya vs. Zaya

So a while back I began receiving emails about Zaya 12 Year aged rum. It seems that the distillery has relocated from Guatamala to Trinidad. While this isn’t in itself a good or bad thing, there were also reports of a distinct drop in the rum’s quality as well. In fact, old Guatamalan bottles of Zaya were quickly becoming difficult to find as they became presumptive collectors items. I count myself fortunate to have scrounged up one of the last remaining bottles from a local store, thus making it possible for me to do a proper side-by-side comparison.

In the bottle, the new vs. old Zayas are nearly identical. The dark amber color is a near perfect match, and it’s only by holding up to the light and looking carefully that you can tell the old Zaya is slightly redder, while the new is a bit more orange. The bottle structure and labels are also nearly identical, although the script beneath the rum’s name now reads “Imported Rum from Trinidad” rather than the former “Imported Rum from Guatamala”, and the small disc above the tag now bears a tropical coat of arms instead of the previous sun-god looking thing. Continue reading

Review: Zaya Gran Reserva

Rating: ★★★★☆
Zaya Gran Reserva Rum

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from Internet Wines and Spirits

Never has a rum looked more dignified. The bottle is tall and elegently marked with its black and gold label. The neck is tightly wrapped in palm, which contrasts beautifully with the rich mahogany, 12 year aged, pure sugarcane rum within. The bottle itself is extra thick, and the additional heft this creates only further lends the impression that this is a rum worthy of note.

Upon removing the cork, the rum itself smells heavy and sweet, and tastes the same. It’s full of contradiction, weighty and aloof, yet surprisingly forward. It’s kind of like meeting a dusky tribal queen dressed from head to toe in rich silks and golden feathers, and when you reach out to politely kiss her hand she instead sits on your lap and liplocks you in front of your bewildered crew. Yeah – something like that. Continue reading