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Zaka Trinidad Rum (7 Years Old)

Review: Zaka Trinidad Rum (7 Years Old) – 81/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted December 16, 2020

I knew absolutely nothing about Zaka Rum, and so I ran the name through my search engine and to my surprise I ended up on a Fan Page where everyone was discussing the fanatical Zakarum form Blizzard Studio’s awesome computer game series Diablo. I checked my spelling and realized I had forgotten to put a space between Zaka and Rum but it got my review off to a good start.

When I corrected my mistake I found the website for Zaka Rum.

Zaka Rum is a third party rum company headed by a chap named Bruno Le Merle. The Rum brand bases its identity upon the the relationship between Zaka (who is apparently a traditional Voodoo God of Agriculture and Peasants) and the planters, farmers, or producers who are associated with the manufacture of rum. This relationship appears to be one of mutual respect for the sugar cane crop and the environment in which it grows.

Zaka Rum currently contain three expressions, one from Trinidad, one from Mauritius, and one from Panama. The subject of this review is Zaka Trinidad Rum which is a blending of 7 to 10 year old cane spirits which were column distilled from molasses and aged in ex-Bourbon oak barrels.

The spirit is bottled at 42 % alcohol by volume.

In The Bottle 4.5/5

To the left is a bottle shot for the Zaka Trinidad Rum. I should note that in some markets the rum is also housed in a nice colourful retail box. The squat cylindrical bottle and label catch the eye in a retail setting and the box which it is sometimes housed in adds even more. I like the mid length neck which makes pouring easy.

All in all this is a very nice look for the rum brand.

In The Glass 8/10

Colour: Amber

Legs: Slender legs which fall at a moderate pace

Nose: Vanilla, butterscotch and coconut with light oak spice and orange peel zest. As the glass sits, I notice some almond scents in the breezes with some bits of cinnamon and more vanilla escaping from the dry wood spice.

Pleasant, but not nearly as complex as I would expect a 7-year old-tropically aged spirit to be.

In the Mouth 48/60

The rum has a mild buttery feel in the mouth with firm flavours of butterscotch and almond mingling with fine wood spices and heated orange peel. Vanilla and some light coconut flavours are present as is some winding grassy tobacco. Even though I allowed the glass to breathe for a full ten minutes I did not notice any appreciable building up of oak flavour nor the depth of character I would expect from a rum with a 7 Year age statement.  Zaka Trindad Rum is pleasant; but in a flight of unknown rums, I would peg it for a good amber mixing spirit, and not an aged sipper.

In the Throat (12.5/15)

The short finish is bring lingering flavours of butterscotch coconut and vanilla. There is a little orange peel heat running through the exit which makes a cube of ice preferable, or better yet a cocktail.

The Afterburn (8/10)

Zaka Trinidad (7 Year Old) Rum is a spirit which hides its age well. As a result, rather than a rum suitable for sipping or for Old Fashioned Cocktails, this is a rum suited for daiquiri style bar drinks and tall servings with ginger-ale. There is nothing wrong with that, but I will admit I was hoping for a smoother rum with more depth and character.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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