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!