After an unsettlingly easy day at work, a long tiring workout at the gym, and a transcendent dinner of Pad Thai take out, I was trying to find some excuse to not go to bed yet. As luck had it, d33ann
gave me a call as she was trying to rescue her evening (which had been a bit miserable apparently), and we decided to go out for drinks. Yay! Recently, Dee decided that going to the Alibi Room was no fun anymore, and I'd gotten two separate recommendations for the Zig Zag Cafe which is in the same general area.
It was not quite what I'd envisioned: creme pained cinderblock walls, fancy pink lamps on the walls, small chandeliers, dark curtains, and a mix of a bar, tables, and booths. French-inspired low-budget non-pretentiousness. Nice mix of clientele by the look of it, too. Decent prices, and a just amazing, outstanding
selection of Bourbons, Single-malt Scotches, and (my favorite) Rum! I ordered a glass of the Zaya Gran Reserva 12 yr ($12). It was pretty good; bright nose, hints of maple and caramel over a solid rum base, somewhat astringent taste quickly blending with pepper, mint, and wood. Not as deep as I was hoping, with a medium finish. A bottle here is only $43, so I'll add this to my collection. On its merits I wouldn't hurry, but it's listed as "supplier out of stock", so I may buy it soon (there are 32 bottles left in Seattle according to the LCB website). That happened recently with Coyopa, but it cost more and I liked it less, so I'm not heartbroken over that one not being available.
After we moved to a booth, our waitress disappeared, and another gentleman came over to get our next order. It turned out to be the owner (Casey), and he informed me that I'd gotten the last glass of the Zaya he had. It was a pleasant shock to find another rum aficionado, and he and I got to geeking out about the topic, much to Dee's amusement. After some discussion, I asked for the empty bottle of Zaya (Casey had mentioned that he couldn't get anymore; none of those 32 bottles I mentioned are listed as available for purchase for bars), which he graciously brought over along with two rums for us to sample! Woohoo!
The first was one I cannot remember the name of (it had a large diamond-shaped white/creme label with yellow/orange text), which was very astringent, and only OK. The second was Angostura (like the bitters) 1824 12yr Rum. It was medium-dark amber, and the first thing I said when I sniffed it was "Mmm, a bit smoky". Then a taste.... Oh. My God. Yum! This was a rum totally unlike any other I've had. Strong, complex wood flavor with smoke and almost inky undertones, but smooth
. Just enough sharpness to be interesting, but nowhere near the tongue curling bite I get from Islay single-malts (Dee said it reminded her of such). I almost can't call it rum, it was so out of the ordinary. But it was very very good, and I'm getting some soon
I then finished up with some Pappy van Winkle 20yr Bourbon, and we headed home. A very, very nice night indeed.