Vizcaya VXOP–Proud To Participate In The Tasting Panel Tour 2010

If you’re a rum enthusiast and a member of the media or the spirits trade who lives in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami or New York, please join Vizcaya VXOP at The Tasting Panel’s 4th Annual Tasting Panel Tour.

The ultimate sipping rum, Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 had the honor of being chosen as one of the June 2010 “Publisher’s Picks” by The Tasting Panel’s publisher and executive editor, Meridith May. At the Tasting Panel Tour, you’ll be able can taste the sophisticated hints of maple, butterscotch and spice that make sipping a snifter of Vizcaya VXOP a truly luxurious experience.

Join Tasting Panel Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Anthony Dias Blue, in a walk-around tasting event featuring a selection of Double Gold Winners, including Vizcaya VXOP.

It won’t surprise fans of the smooth, amber-hued Vizcaya that this delectable sipping rum also took “Best Rum” at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This rhum agricole, which is distilled with pride in the old Cuban tradition, has won a host of awards, as well as the approbation of spirits lovers the world over. For more information about the upcoming events of the Tasting Panel Tour, including dates, times, venues and the opportunity to register, please click on the city in which you are interested:

Chicago

San Francisco

Los Angeles

Miami

New York

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 10:33 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Come Drink Vizcaya at Brooklyn’s Friendly, Funky Roneria Caracas

Summer is drawing to a close, and that makes people melancholy, even while it sends them to the streets, seeking to wrest just a little more pleasure from this most hedonistic of seasons. If you happen to find yourself in Brooklyn, feeling a little restless and perhaps more than a little thirsty, may we suggest that you head over to Roneria Caracas for a rum flight featuring Vizcaya VXOP?

Located inside Caracas Arepa Bar Brooklyn, Roneria Caracas is an unusual little venue. The atmosphere is casual, funky, colorful and cozy all at once. With aluminum-siding (yes, we said aluminum siding) and plywood (yup, plywood) décor, a chalkboard listing its collection of premium rums, and a clientele that’s largely comprised of indy hipsters in various array of body modification, Roneria Caracas is not the most sophisticated venue in which to enjoy your Vizcaya—but don’t let that stop you.

Not only are their rum flights a fantastic way to venture into the world of “devil water” if you’re not already an aficionado, but the extremely knowledgeable bartenders will be happy to point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a cocktail. In fact, Roneria Caracas has developed a bit of a reputation for creating fresh, fun versions of old favorites—drinks that are at once surprising and true to the spirit of the original. A mojito with just a soupcon of absinthe; an old fashioned with port-marinated blueberries and bay leaf reduction; a pina colada accented with coconut bitters—these are some of the ways that the cocktails of yore are being reimagined by the mixologists at Roneria Caracas. Naturally, the slightly-smoky, honeyed and spiced notes of Vizcaya VXOP would provide an excellent counterpoint to any of these cocktails, as well as excellent enjoyed on its own.

While you’re at Roneria Caracas, make sure to try the speciality of the house at Caracas Arepa, arepas. These pocket-sized flatbreads can be stuffed with meat, chicken, cheeses or combinations of vegetables, and make the perfect snack to pair with a snifter of Vizcaya, or to nibble in between tastes of the rum flight.  If your appetite is already whetted when you arrive, try one of Caracas’s full plates, or order a tableful of arepas, empanadas and delectable side dishes to share.

Weather permitting, enjoy your smooth distinctive Vizcaya on Roneria Caracas’s patio and watch the fascinating parade that the Brooklyn streets provide. Cheers!

Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 1:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Frequently Asked Questions About Rum and Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 Rum

Q. What is rum made from?
A. Premium rums, like Vizcaya VXOP, are made from the freshly pressed juice of sugar cane. This juice is then fermented, distilled, aged and bottled. Many popular rums that are widely available in both bars and liquor stores in the United States today, however, are made from molasses—which, rather than being produced specifically for the creation of rum, is a byproduct of other processes. Molasses generally results in an inferior product, but when you drink Vizcaya VXOP, you can be assured of experiencing only the highest quality spirits, made from sugar cane harvested at the peak of freshness.

Q. Is all rum aged? Does rum continue to age in the bottle, like fine wine?
A. Not all rum is aged, although most of it is aged in oak barrels to provide a mellow, more elegant taste to what might otherwise be a somewhat raw-tasting tipple. Vizcaya VXOP is aged in select oak barrels that once contained fine bourbons or armagnacs, in order to impart to this distinctive sipping rum a rich, nuanced quality. Most rums are aged before blending, and then bottled. This arrests the aging process, so you can be confident that each glass of Vizcaya will taste as consistently delicious as every other.

Q. What is “rhum agricole” or “methode agricole”?
A. The “methode agricole” is a unique distilling process that can be likened to the “methode champenoise” used to produce fine champagnes. It originally referred to spirits that were produced from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice and distilled to approximately 70 percent alcohol (140 proof) by volume. Rhum agricole, which simply means “agricultural rum,” is in direct contrast to mass-produced industrial rums. Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum, which is painstakingly crafted in the Dominican Republic in the old Cuban style, is a rhum agricole and the ultimate sipping rum.

Q. So what is a sipping rum? Can’t I use Vizcaya with mixers or in cocktails?
A. A sipping rum typically has more complex, refined flavors that are intended to be enjoyed for their own merits, rather than combined with other ingredients that might overpower or obscure them. Sipping rums like Vizcaya are often paired with cigars or food to bring out the rum’s unique characteristics—notes of spice, butterscotch, vanilla, wood smoke and fruit, as well as a warm, inviting bouquet and smooth finish. Considered the ultimate sipping rum, Vizcaya VXOP may be best enjoyed neat, n on the rocks, or with just a splash of water to let its full flavor profile shine through. Nevertheless, we’re not going to tell you that you can’t enjoy Vizcaya as a component of an extraordinary cocktail—make the rum your own and savor it however you wish, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Q. Did pirates really say “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum”?
A. Probably not. The phrase comes from a fictional sea shanty in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel Treasure Island, and has been referenced or used in everything from poems, to television series, to a graphic novel, to a ride at Disneyland. Nevertheless, the tradition of rum drinking aboard ships, whether Navy or pirate, is a long-standing one, and singing “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” fits nicely with the romantic vision we have today of brave, seafaring men.

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 10:40 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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The Many Renaissances of Rum Culminate with Vizcaya VXOP

Rum is one of the oldest spirits in the world, with a fascinating and storied tradition. Even Marco Polo recorded an account of tasting “a very good wine of sugar” offered to him in what is now Iran, in the 14th Century. A slightly more modern origin of rum is described by spirits historian Anthony Dias Blue in his Complete Book of Spirits: A Guide to their History, Production and Enjoyment. Blue quotes a document from 1651 which describes the fermentation of rum in Barbados: “The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish and terrible liquor.”

Thankfully, the process of distilling rum has become much more refined, and today’s rums, like Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21, are a vast improvement over such “kill-divil,” or “demon water,” as rum was once called.

Rum has had a valuable place in American history—some estimates say that before the American Revolutionary War, every man, woman and child in the colonies drank an average of over 13 liters of rum per year—as well as in British. One of the most abiding associations with rum is as a ration issued to Naval seamen, after the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. Mixed with lime juice, sugar and water into a concoction called grog, the daily rum ration was a staple of seafaring life until 1970. Today, the rum ration is still issued on special occasions such as marriages or births within the Royal Family.

In the mid-20th Century, rum enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the burgeoning Tiki culture, and was featured in such drinks as the mai tai and the Zombie. Americans fell in love with fruity, tropical drinks that complemented Asian-inspired food and could be sipped pool- or beachside—or even just in a suburban backyard lit by tiki torches. Those who were slightly too young to enjoy tiki drinks may have discovered rum through another pop-cultural phenomenon: the pina colada, which soared in popularity after the Rupert Holmes song “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” hit the charts.

Today, rum has become more sophisticated than ever before. Take Vizcaya VXOP, the ultimate sipping rum. This is no ordinary rum, to be mixed and drunk and forgotten about. Vizcaya is a rum that commands your full attention and all your senses. Enjoy it neat or on the rocks, with or without a good cigar, or take the time to craft a cocktail with premium ingredients that will showcase the spicy, intricate notes inherent in Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum.

Whether you enjoy your drinks with a paper umbrella or a wedge of lime, while gazing out over still waters or rough, treat yourself to the very finest in spirits—Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21 rum. Here’s to the history of that noble spirit, rum!

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM  Leave a Comment  
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