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Thursday, March 31, 2011


Someone once said that nobody knows how to party like the people of Trinidad.  Spirits expert Dave Broom is quoted as saying “Very few places in the world take such pleasure at just being alive”  

Being Puerto Rican and used to the joys of living, I'd take exception to this.  That is until I met my friend Vern.  Many of you may know him and if you do then you understand the quality and truth of the original statement.  If you do not, you should get to know him.  This may help you understand the Trinidadian lifestyle as well as give you a better perspective of the world overall.  Vern and company are like no one else in these parts (the Seattle area that is) and we are much better off knowing them.  Now, the main reason for that statement is I feel a good segue into the discussion and merits of Zaya rum.  Our featured rum of the month at La Isla.  

You see, Zaya used to be from Guatemala.  More importantly, the Zaya company would contract the rum out to be distilled and bottled at the Zacapa plant.  Unfortunately, (to a lot of fans of Zaya from Guatemala) when the Diageo company purchased the Zacapa company, Zaya (being the main competition) was left out in the cold.  They then turned to Angostura distillers in search of another place to continue their own production and thus the new Zaya was born.  It is somewhat similar to the older version and (I'm told) it in fact uses the same formula.  But since it is using a different type of aged rum from a different company and region, it has changed quite a bit.  Unfortunately we do not have an original bottle of the Guatemalan version to compare it with but that is besides the point.  The new rum is exquisite and stands very well on it’s own when compared to similar products.  The similarities between it and Zacapa are readily apparent.  Just take a look at the bottles side by side and see what I mean.  Someone at the last Rum Bums meeting described them as step brothers.  I'd like to think of them more like half brothers.  

In this blog we can debate similarities to no end, but the truth is that the rum is just terrific like so many other things Trinidadian.  This is one you should enjoy as you should life, one sip at a time.  Thanks for sharing this time with us and... SALUD!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The breadth of rum encompasses many different dimensions.  One of the things that makes it so interesting is the fact that one rum can fall in many different categories.  For example, you may like one particular rum for many different reasons.  It may be a rum that on a normal night you’d like to sit back, relax and sip it neat.  But maybe on some occasion, you’d rather mix it in a drink.  Or maybe you’d rather use it as a cooking ingredient.  Personally speaking, I think rum is so varied in flavor that doing specific categories may beget pigeonholing.  It does not do it justice and thus I am hesitant to say this rum is for this and that rum for something else in specific.  As with a lot of things in life, it is all in the eye of the beholder.  We are here to help guide you through certain paths by making suggestions we think are good when it comes to rum, not to tell you what to do with it.  Thus the theme of this Rum Bums meeting.  These are rums that are not only really good on their own but they can certainly fit into the category of after dinner rums (if there ever was one)  I like to say they are also great beginner rums because of their elegance and smoothness going down.  If you have a lady you’d like to impress with rum, go ahead and choose one of these for her to try.  If it does not work, please, try the next one in line and so on.  At the very least, you are sure to have some fun with this experiment.  In short, these are some of the great rums in the world of such spirit.  There's one from Guatemala (Pampero Aniversario) one from Trinidad & Tobago (Zaya) and and finally one from Venezuela (Zapcapa Centenario)  Some of you may already know how good these rums are.  If you do, you are probably already excited to come drink with us.  If you do not, this is one rum club you do not want to miss.  So when you come out remember to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.  We hope you like them as much as we do.  SALUD!!!