Introducing Vizcaya Cask 12

You’ve been enjoying Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, the ultimate sipping rum, for years. As an aficionado of fine spirits, chances are that there’s a bottle of VXOP in your bar right now. Well, it’s time to make room for a new variety of Vizcaya—introducing Vizcaya Cask 12, a dark rum that possesses the same rich character and high quality as VXOP Cask 21, but with a slightly lighter body that makes it a mixologist’s dream.

Vizcaya Cask 12 is meticulously crafted with the same superb ingredients and traditional methods as Cask 21. After being distilled from the finest of sugar cane—unlike inferior rums, which are made from molasses—Cask 12 is aged for six years in premium oak barrels and then masterfully blended. The finished spirit sings with a rich, complex bouquet; subtle notes of vanilla, cocoa and maple; and a buttery finish.

Due to its slightly lighter body, Cask 12 is also an extraordinarily versatile rum, and can be enjoyed alone or as a component of delicious cocktails. Try it in all the classic rum drinks, or simply splash some over a few cubes of ice and savor the exquisite flavor.

Another way to enjoy Vizcaya Cask 12 dark rum is to pair it with a meal—think tropical tastes, like seafood, coconut and fruit. Of course, you can never go wrong with the classic combination of a fine cigar and a premium rum, and Vizcaya Cask 12 fits that bill to perfection. Relax, enjoy your cigar, and let the heady, spicy aroma of Vizcaya fill your senses.

It’s an exciting time for those who truly appreciate fine spirits. Versatile Vizcaya Cask 12 rum, a premium sipping rum that also works wonderfully in cocktails, will become an exemplary addition to your rum repertoire.

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Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 11:58 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Savor the Culture of Vintage Cuba at Rumbar with Vizcaya VXOP

If you’re looking for a sophisticated, refined yet inviting space in which to enjoy Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, look no further than Rumbar, located inside Key Biscayne’s Ritz-Carlton. The name of this storied hospitality company is synonymous with luxury and exemplary service, and Rumbar puts a decidedly Latin spin on the Ritz-Carlton’s elegance.

With deep, inviting leather couches and armchairs, crimson walls and rich mahogany woodwork, Rumbar looks every bit the gentleman’s club. The atmosphere is genteel and relaxed—perfect for kicking back to savor the spice and complexity of Vizcaya. Rumbar also has a humidor that boasts an extensive collection of cigars for your smoking pleasure.

Despite its decidedly vintage feel—Rumbar reminds patrons not just of Hemingway, as so many Cuban-inspired rum-friendly establishments do, but also, with its slowly turning wooden ceiling fans, of Bogey and Bacall—the small plates offered by Rumbar’s kitchen have a decidedly modern feel. Choose from short-rib sliders topped with goat cheese mousse and arugula, yuca fries with a creamy chimichurri dipping sauce, or a Caribbean pineapple pizza with cilantro. The classic Cuban sandwich composed of ham, pork, pickles and cheese, the Media Noche, is reworked as a panini. Key lime pie is topped with mango coulis in a delicious marriage of two tropical flavors.

As you would expect at a such a delightfully old-school bar, there is a comprehensive list of cocktails, ranging from time-honored standards like daiquiris, mojitos and caipirinhas, to innovative specialty martinis. The true rum lover, however, will probably bypass these in favor of a vertical rum flight—or possibly a tasting of his own devising. It’s also possible to rent one of Rumbar’s VIP rum lockers, in order to store your own personal bottle of Vizcaya VXOP.

Make sure to check out Rumbar on Saturday nights, when Grupo Nostalgia, a four-piece Latin music group, will truly transport you and your date to Old Havana. Any night of the week, however, is a perfect night to sit back and enjoy a cigar as the friendly bartender pours you a neat Vizcaya, at Key Biscayne’s upscale destination for the enjoyment of rum and Cuban culture.

Photograph courtesy of K. Hurley

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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What Cigar Do You Like To Pair Vizcaya VXOP With?

As with any pairing—wine and cheese, rum and food, music and mood, even peanut butter and jelly—the pairing of spirits and cigars is largely a subjective matter. What appeals or seems ideal to one man could well be a total turn-off for another, although it’s likely that they would all agree that at least half the fun is in the pursuit of a classic combination. If you enjoy Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, and if you are a cigar smoker, it’s likely that you will already have done some experimentation to find your favorite cigar to pair with the ultimate sipping rum. Nevertheless, we are pleased to present a basic guide to rum and cigar pairing.

Rum and cigars are a natural match, simply because they are both traditionally produced in the same regions of the world. Just as vegetables that ripen concurrently in a particular climate tend to go well together, so the spicy, smoky flavors of rum tend to complement the warm and complex notes of a good cigar. Of course, the fact that both promote relaxation is not to be ignored, and for many cigar and rum aficionados, the very act of pouring that glass of Vizcaya and lighting up might produce a Pavlovian effect, allowing you to kick back and savor the moment thoroughly.

The first rule of thumb when choosing a cigar to puff with your Vizcaya is to choose one with an equally robust flavor profile. Vizcaya VXOP, after all, has a depth and intensity that works well with  many cigars. Its weight of flavor, which comes from having been distilled with real sugar cane and then aged in oaken barrels, requires a cigar that is also substantial enough to create some balance between the two indulgences.

That said, there are times when contrast becomes harmonious. As long as the cigar won’t pale in comparison to your neat or on-the-rocks Vizcaya, or vice-versa, choosing a particularly smooth and sweet cigar will provide a tasteful counterpoint. The notes of brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla and maple in Vizcaya will sing more prominently when echoed by a rum that exhibits characters of sweetness. moke loves sweetness. Think of the way barbecue sauces often incorporate an element of sweet, fruity flavor that is tempered and deepened by the smoke of the grill.

Yet even a drier, more savory cigar can complement Vizcaya VXOP nicely, by playing up the rum’s substantial spice elements. You might notice a new element—say, clove or black pepper, oak, raisin or molasses—when enjoying a medium-bodied cigar, which wasn’t apparent just moments ago, before you lit up.

Vizcaya’s refined, intricate taste profile can be enjoyed on its own merits, or amplified by your favorite cigar. We think that the attempt to find the perfect marriage of a cigar with Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum is a task well worth pursuing, and we invite you to share some of your favorite cigars in the comment.

Photo courtesy of Alex Brown

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Vizcaya VXOP Helps You Stock Your Home Bar

A well-stocked bar is an absolute must-have for the spirits aficionado. Having the proper tools to craft a cocktail—or even just the right sort of glass for drinking your Vizcaya VXOP in cocktails or on the rocks—will complement your entertaining experience. Whether you have a dedicated room in your home as your bar, or simply a bar cart in the living room from which to serve yourself and your guests, it’s important to make sure you have supplies on hand before you need them.

So what should the well-stocked bar include? Obviously, you’ll want to keep the ingredients for a variety of cocktails on hand:

A selection of premium liquor, including a few bottles of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Cuban-style rum
Standard mixers–club soda, tonic water, sodas, fresh and canned juices, Grenadine and bitters
Garnishes—olives, citrus wedges, cocktail onions, cherries or other fruit

Besides liquor and mixes, you will want to ensure that you have the proper glassware and mixology tools:

Shot glasses, which can double as a jigger
Tall and short rocks glasses
Champagne flutes
Wine glasses for both red and white wines
Pint or pilsner glasses
Martini glasses
Wine opener
Bottle stoppers/pourers
Cocktail shaker
Bar towels
Cutting board and knife for preparing garnishes

Don’t forget the little touches such as straws, stir sticks, cocktail picks, napkins and coasters. If you or your guests are cigar smokers, you should have cigar cutters, lighters and ashtrays close at hand. Having these items readily available for your guests can truly make the difference between a sophisticated, elegant home-bar experience and one that is sub-par.

Since many fans of Vizcaya VXOP enjoy our premium sipping rum either neat or on the rocks, we’re sometimes asked what the ideal glassware for Vizcaya would be. Our recommendation is a brandy snifter if you like the rum neat—in order to fully appreciate its spicy, aromatic nose—or a rocks or highball glass if you like it slightly chilled by a few ice cubes. Yet there’s no wrong way to enjoy the lush, delectable flavors of this Cuban-style rhum agricole, so don’t stress over it. Just pour yourself a glass of Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 and—most importantly—enjoy.

Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Vizcaya and La Descarga: Two Tastes of Old Havana

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the sensuous heat, lush scents and vibrant nightlife of Havana, the men behind Los Angeles’s newest classic cocktail venue have created a dream come true.

La Descarga is the newest venture of twins Mark and Jonnie Houston, and this East Hollywood nightspot transports guests to another time and place. Step inside, and you’ll find a venue that seems lifted right from 1950s Cuba, down to the foyer turntable playing salsa, cumbia and mambo music. Authentic touches are everywhere, from the ceiling fans and wrought iron decorations, to the cigar smoke that swirls on the smokers’ patio, to the colorful atmosphere and even more colorful dancers.

What really sets La Descarga apart, however, are its cocktails. Premium rums like Vizcaya VXOP can be sipped neat or on the rocks, but if you really want the full Old Havana treatment, have the mixologists make you a classic: a Hemingway daiquiri (double the rum, natch!), say, a rum punch, or a minty and refreshing mojito. In the mood for something new? Try a Bad Spaniard, a Tropical Holiday, a Honey Swizzle or another offering from the cocktail list.

La Descarga’s owners have hinted that rum flights and punch bowls may soon be available, which gives rum aficionados something to look forward to. For now, sip a Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum or rum-based drink and enjoy the Latin beat of the shows at La Descarga, which feature congas, fire sticks, bar-top dances and some of the curviest performers in L.A.

The vibe at La Descarga is a perfect match for the flavor of Cuban-style Vizcaya VXOP. Close your eyes as you sip; listen to the beat of the drum as you taste the warm caramel and spice that the rum offers up. The combination of Vizcaya’s sensual tastes, soul-stirring music and the murmur of beautiful women will make you feel you’re in Old Havana–you may just forget all about the here and now.

The Details:

La Descarga
1159 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles

8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Reservations are encouraged: (323) 466-1324

reservations@ladescarga.com

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 1:43 PM  Leave a Comment  
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