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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chairmans Reserve - Rum Club

Hey Rum Bums! This months Rum Club was super fun, with Chairmans Reserve in the glasses and new  “old style” Puerto Rican meals on the plates; there’s no way you couldn’t have a good time.

As Mentioned, our featured rum this month was Chairmans Reserve Spiced Rum and White Label which was served alongside four courses of yummy classics: Mini Bacailitos, Pechuga, Mofongo, and a sweet moist Tres Leches.

The Menu was so tempting; the owner of Chairman's Reserve, Clyde Davis Jr. had planned on coming out to Seattle specifically for this event!  His flight was canceled by inclement weather but that did not stop the rest of us from enjoying his wonderful rum. With award winning blends and pot still rums averaging five years, six different types of “hand-blended” rums, and using only Rainforest water there’s no question why or how this rum has made it to our Rum Club.

We want to thank everyone who came out regardless of all the holiday shenanigans, we love your company and can’t wait to see you all next month for Rum Club on January 29th!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Rum Guide - Feat. "DonQ Holiday Coffee Break"

 DonQ Holiday Coffee Break

After decorating and sending out Seasons Greeting cards, you'll need a little reward... a coffee break if you will. That's why we're sharing DonQ's  Holiday Coffee Break for our first Holiday Rum Guide series! We here at La Isla hope this helps you get through the winter season with a smile on your face and rum in your tummy!
  • 1 1/2 oz. ...................................................... DON Q GOLD
  • 1 1/2 oz. ...................................................... TIA MARIA COFFEE LIQUEUR
  • 1/2 oz....................................................... CHERRY HEERING LIQUEUR
  • 3/4 oz. ...................................................... FRESH LEMON JUICE
  • 1 tsp. ...................................................... ST. ELIZABETH'S ALLSPICE DRAM
  • 1 stick ...................................................... FRESHLY GRATED CINNAMON
Pour Don Q Gold and the Tia Maria into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh cinnamon.

To watch the video of how to make this drink go on over to the DonQ site!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flor de Cana - Rum Club

La Isla Rum Club
Featured Rum: Flor de Caña

It may have been chilly and damp outside, but inside La Isla was warm and cozy - probably due to all the people drinking delicious rum and enjoying good company! Rum Club was another great success with Flor de Caña serving up some tasty samples of their award winning rum next to our authentic puerto rican dishes made by the talented Chef Hernan! Flor de Caña, Spanish for sugarcane flower,  has won over 100 awards internationally in the last decade and we were excited to host their rum and introduce another great product to our wonderful customers and friends.

The first course was Guineitos en Escabeche (Pickled Green Bananas) served with Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 years. The 4 year carried hints of mint, caramel, banana peel, and butterscotch.

Guineitos en Escebeche
Our second course was Crèma de Platano served with Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7 years. Plantains and bananas were a reoccurring item Tuesday, this time blended up into a hot soup with crispy fried cod fish fritters as a very necessary garnish. The 7 year had notes of caramel toffee, vanilla, walnut, and chocolate.

Crèma de Platano

The third pairing was Pavochon Relleno de Trifongo (Pork marinated Turkey Roast stuffed with Mashed Tubers) alongside the Flor de Caña Centenario 12 years. This sample is made with walnut, pecan, caramel, honey, vanilla, and has some mellow oakiness.  The stuffing (also made with plantains) was incredible.

Pavochon Relleno de Trifongo
For dessert, we had Arroz con Dulce and Rum Chocolate balls (Flor de Caña of course) paired nicely with La Isla’s Porcelain Doll, which is vanilla rum, 151, Kahlua, and cream.
Arroz con Dulce
Again, thank you thank you thank you! We love seeing all of you here at La Isla smiling, having fun and of course enjoying good rum and good food! Make sure to mark your calendars for the next Rum Club, Tuesday, December 25th!

 For more photos check out our Facebook album!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Centenario Rum Club at La Isla


For those of you new to Rum Club,  once a month we hold a food and rum combo night where you’re able to try an ensemble of rums that are paired with complementing side dishes. If you enjoy good people, good food and particularly good Rum – Rum Club at La Isla is the place to be! For those of you who have been to Rum Club before, you know exactly what we're talking about.
yum, yum, rum!
 This month’s rum club was sponsored by Centenario. Our friend Ben, the Centenario rep, came down and shared some background on the brand and how it’s most popular in Mexico but fresh to Washington State.  The rum flight included the 5yr, 7yr, 12yr, and 25yr with delicious food pairings. We started out with a squash and walnut soup followed by Costa Rican native Gallo Pinto Frittata and finished with a decadent Pumpkin Pie-esque dessert.
Alongside good rum and good food - we here at La Isla, make it our personal duty to ensure you’re enjoying yourself and having a good time; that’s what its all about right?  We were excited to see so many of you show up! So make sure next month you mark your calendars for Rum Club and come have a fun filled evening with friends while, most likely, making new ones!!  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rum Dinner on Thursday, June 28th

Saludos Rum Bums! Join us to celebrate our recent crowning of Don Q as our house rum. On Thursday, June 28th at 8pm, we will host a rum dinner that will feature a five-course meal accompanied by five courses of Don Q rum (and a surprise cocktail). Our very special guests will include Don Q representatives Esteban Ordoñez, D'Shawn Jackson and Barclay Webster, who will be flying in from the three other corners of the globe. 

We are limiting this dinner to 40 people (10 tickets have already been sold). Tickets are just $45 and can be purchased in advance at La Isla. We hope to see you on Thursday night!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

May 2012 recap ~ Islands, islands, and more islands...

Sometimes, rum tasting is as much a lesson in geography as it is an exercise of indulging the palate. In May, the Rum Bums got a taste of three island spirits. Alfonso and Hernan were manning the kitchen and served up delicious Caribbean-style dishes. 
Our first round of the night was a taste of Cruzan Estate Diamond 5-year rum from St. Croix. Cruzan prides itself on using virgin rainwater to cut this blend of 5 to 10-year rums that are aged in a single oak barrel. This rum smelled as sweet as brown sugar and had a lingering, spicy finish. The Cruzan 5-year was accompanied by crab and sweet plantain patties, served with a garlic-infused cream sauce and mango salsa. 
Up second was Scarlet Ibis rum from Trinidad & Tobago. A blend of 3 to 5-year rums, Scarlet Ibis is distilled in copper pots and aged in small white oak barrels.  This rum came across to me as a sweet cherry flavor with a fiery finish. The food pairing for this spirit was a plantain and cod croquette (somewhat reminiscent of a crab cake) served with a tangy cream sauce and slice of lime.   
The final taste of the evening was Sea Wynde rum. Sea Wynde is a unique blend as it marries rums from both Jamaica and Guyana. The rum is produced using a traditional pot distilling method and bottled in small batches. it is smokey yet sweet with hints of vanilla. Sea Wynde is offered on the La Isla whisky flight - which is a great way to taste it if you weren’t able to make it to rum club! We finished the food pairings with a decadent summertime treat featuring mojito gelato topped with a breaded sweet potato croquette. 
Stay tuned for details regarding our special rum dinner in June which will feature Don Q rum. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rum Bums on Tuesday night

The Rum Bums will be island hopping on Tuesday, April 24 with featured spirits from Barbados and St. Lucia. 
Top billing will be given to Plantation rums, which are born of a unique double-aging technique. These rums are first aged for several years (generally in bourbon casks) in the Caribbean and then shipped off to France where they are transferred to oak casks and aged for up to one year. We will be sipping the Plantation 5-year blend as well as one of the 2000 rums. 
We’ll finish off the night with a taste of the Chairman’s Reserve rum, which is billed as being a versatile spirit that can stand alone or make great cocktails. 
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday night!

Monday, February 27, 2012

January 2012 re-cap ~ don't miss out on Vizcaya or the February Rum Bums celebration!

Rum Bums, please forgive me for the delayed re-cap of the January gathering. It surely was not for the lack of a great experience - we tasted some delicious rums!

Rob Ahrens was in the house to introduce us to Vizcaya, a label that is distilled and bottled in the Dominican Republic. The folks over at Vizcaya employ the solera method of aging their rums, which means that they are continually filling the barrel to replace the rum that dissipates in the tropical climate. This results in a rum that is a mixture of ages, with the average age increasing over time. Vizcaya recycles charred white oak bourbon barrels from distillers in Kentucky, which makes for sweet and flavorful spirits.

I was shocked by Vizcaya Cristal - aged only an average of two years, this rum was amazingly smooth and vanilla sweet. Although perfect for mixing, the Cristal could definitely stand alone as a sipping rum. Rob said that the Vizcaya Cask 12 was a favorite with the ladies and that held true with me. It was a caramel delight that ages an average of seven years. The final taste of the night was the Vizcaya VXOP. The average age of this big daddy is 18 years and it proved to be consistently sweet with a scotch-like finish.

Lee provided another delicious spread for the evening. The starter was a garlic-infused papa rellena de queso (potato filled with cheese). The main course was a savory treat of pork and garbanzo bean soup with a side of coriander buttered toast. If it sounds decadent, that is because it was! This was some of the most flavorful soup that I have ever tasted (side note: all of the soups that I’ve had at La Isla are really tasty - you should order one the next time you stop by!). For dessert, we enjoyed a chilled arroz con leche.

The Vizcaya Cask 12 has a firm spot in my rotation of sipping rums. These rums were not just a hit with me - Cameron, Ramon, Dustin and Jesse (all of the friendly faces that you see working behind the bar) were talking them up before I even grabbed a seat at the bar.

Just a reminder - Rum Club is coming up tomorrow night, Tuesday, February 28. We will be celebrating La Isla’s seventh anniversary by tasting some seven-year-old rums as well as a glass of Don Q Gran Añejo. Join us as we raise a glass!

Friday, January 13, 2012

December 2011 Rum Bum re-cap

The Rum Bums closed out 2011 with a four-round tasting of Clément Rhums. I had the pleasure of chatting with Rocky Yeh, the portfolio master that represents Clément, both before the tasting and as he made his way around the bar to enlighten us about Rhum Agricole.

Rocky Yeh in action

We kicked off the tasting with Clément VSOP. Clément ages the VSOP for an average of five years in a similar fashion as they would a cognac. It was dark, silky and sweet - a great rum for sipping. We followed the VSOP with a taste of the Premiere Canne. Served with a lime wedge for squeezing, the Premiere Canne was smooth and dry, which Rocky attributed to the high water and alcohol content in this barely-aged spirit.

If sipping rum is not your thing, I would recommend ordering a millionario (Cameron’s choice on the drink menu). This cocktail is a delightful mix of Clément VSOP, vermouth, orange bitters and an orange twist. The millionario was chilled and crisp - really refreshing!

We finished up the night with a taste of the Clément Creole Shrubb paired with a mini passion fruit cheesecake. The Creole Shrubb is a rum-based orange liquor that is über sweet for sipping. The La Isla crew got creative with this gem and instructed us to create a tiny well in the cheesecake to hold a small serving of the Creole Shrubb. It was a tropical fruit explosion!

Lee knocked the food pairings out of the park in December. He served up Puerto Rican-style ‘potstickers’ filled with pork, shrimp, shredded carrots, green onions and flamboyan (red pepper garlic sauce) alongside vegetable escabeche. This was a light plate that was a great lead in to the passion fruit cheesecake. One of the things that I love about Rum Bums is that we get to try small bites of dishes that are not always on the regular menu.

Thanks to Rocky for introducing us (or, at least, me) to Clément and to the La Isla crew for hosting another great evening of Rum Bums.