Zaya just might be my favorite rum of all time. We have had a long history together filled with happiness and anger (when it was stolen from me). I happened upon this while working in Philadelphia, and after I tasted it, knew I had to get a bottle of my own. The company moved about a year ago from Guatemala to Trinidad which explains why there was a shortage for a few months, but it’s back, and now apparently has a slightly different recipe. Same great product, different taste. This review will be on the newer Trinidad Zaya Gran Reserva.
This is a dark rum. One of the darkest I’ve seen. When uncorked (yes, it has a cork), you immediately smell the sugar. Zaya is made from 100% sugarcane which is why it is on the sweeter end of rums. The color is a beautiful mahogany that contrasts nicely with the palm that is wrapped around the neck of the bottle. Pouring it into a rocks glass, I was able to release a lot of the aromas that are trapped in the bottle. Hints of raisins and wood are almost overpowered by the strong smell of molasses. Taste-wise, Zaya is heavy and a little complex. It leaves the mouth feeling warm while the tastes of toffee and caramel appear. The finish is long and spicey with very little “burn” on the way down. Adding ice changes things a bit here. Due to the introduction of water, the taste becomes a little less complex and the spicy finish drops off quite a bit. The finish as a whole is a lot shorter and the slight burn from before is almost non-existent.
I picked this up for $39.99 at Total Wines & More in Delaware off of I-95: 691 Naamans Road, Claymont DE 19703