After eight long weeks of stay-at-home orders, our county finally removed the recreational boating restrictions and we were free to sail again. First stop: our favorite, typically quiet anchorage, now invaded by powerboaters kicked off the sandbars. With a bottle of Vizcaya VXOP from the Dominican Republic to explore, we settled in to watch the shenanigans.
What immediately attracted us to Vizcaya was the label stating “Cuban Formula Rum.” Cuba’s humid climate and rich, fertile soil is ideal for growing sugarcane. Once harvested the cane is pressed to extract the juice. The juice is then boiled to create molasses which is then combined with water and yeast to ferment. Cuban rums are distilled in copper-lined column stills, then placed in American white oak barrels for aging.
Vizcaya states they use the time-honored, traditional Cuban methods dating back to the nineteenth century although don’t provide a lot of detail about the production. They begin with Dominican sugarcane, which is harvested at the peak of freshness then pressed to extract the juice. The juice is fermented and distilled in small batches then aged in oak bourbon barrels. There is no indication about what type of still is used in the process.
The age of the rum is also in question. Looking at the packaging the number 21 is prominent in the middle leading us to believe this is aged 21 years. However this is a Cast number not an age. Vizcaya’s website only states that the rum goes through “extensive aging.” If they are sticking to the true Cuban style it must be for at least two years. Any time beyond that is unknown.
The nose fills my senses with vanilla, toffee and raisin with an underlying alcohol astringency, hinting at a younger rum. The pleasant nose carries over to the palate with each of those notes enhancing, while more are introduced. There is a buttery feel to this rum with some butterscotch and nutty flavor pulling through. The slight alcohol note on the nose resurfaces on the finish providing some welcomed warmth.
The golden color provides a thick coating on the glass, with large droplets running back to the bottom. The nose is sweet with vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and an ever so slight hint of ginger. These notes hang on palate for quite some time even after the rum runs down the back of my throat. The finish is delayed as it dissipates in the back of my palate then resurges with a warm sensation further down my chest. This rum reminds me of a Dark and Stormy without the lime.
Overall thoughts on Vizcaya VXOP
We found ourselves sipping and talking about Vizcaya for quite a while. Although the notes sound extremely sweet, Vizcaya VXOP is well balanced and very pleasant to sip. At the $45.00/bottle price point this rum is well worth placing in your stock.