Zafra 30 Master Series
While drinking and smoking cigars during the workday gets in the way of actual work for many, we have the incredible good fortune that THAT is our work! One could easily argue that over the last 10 years we’ve done little else.
So when it came time to decide on what pairings were going into this milestone issue, we leaned on two of our all-time favorites. We picked out some Oliva V Melanio Figurados from the aging humidor and cracked open a bottle of Zafra 21 from the bar. The pairing was excellent, as we knew it would be. One of the guys snapped a picture of the pairing with his cellphone and sent it to our friends at Zafra just to make them jealous. They’re almost as crazy about cigars as they are about rum… almost. What happened next was pure luck.
We got a call from our office saying, “They’ve just launched Zafra 30 in the US and Europe and they’d like us to try the pairing with the 30 instead of the 21. They said it’ll blow your mind.” We had already finished the pairing, gathered all the tasting notes, and were good to go with what we had. But when opportunity knocks, and it comes with a bottle of limited edition rum, you welcome it with open arms. And a fresh set of Serie V Melanios!
The Zafra 30 pours rich and heavy; the density and viscosity of it has more in common with an XO cognac than a typical well-aged rum. That’s partly because many rums are aged using the Solera aging system which combines rums of different ages before arriving at the final product while the Zafra 30 is made up entirely of 30-year-old rum. This limited edition rum (only 6,720 bottles were produced this year) will be bottled annually from rum that has been in a barrel no less than 30 years.
The intense but balanced flavors of molasses, vanilla, oak, and banana provide a perfect platform for the Oliva Serie V Melanio to perform. The cigar’s super smooth earth and pepper manage to cut the sweetness of the rum while taking on an interesting buttered toast and honey flavor on the finish. Here’s to many more years of pairings like this!