Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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Archive for the ‘2008’ Category

*Classic Post* I miss being in Greece ..

Posted by Rishiray on March 21, 2016

*Classic Post* I miss being in Greece … Here’s 13 thoughts for your laughter #trinitravel @rishiray @trinitravel #http://htl.li/ZMqTs


Posted in 2008 | Leave a Comment »

Ah Trini Travelogue

Posted by Rishiray on January 3, 2010

Ah Trini Travelogue has permanently moved to www.rishiray.com

You can head out on the following links


Posted in 2008 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My bottle of Siglo De Oro with tasting notes…before going to my all inclusive

Posted by Rishiray on August 20, 2008

So after the long night of drinking and what not, I made a nice little breakfast with Diane for everyone. The plan was to go see a bunch of caves and the beach, however in the aftermath of the previous night, we decided to chill out and just go directly to the All Inclusive that Diane had booked for us. Now on a side note, of course I managed to find the best rum that the DR had to offer. It is a wonderful nectar of a rum called Siglo de Oro. It is the top product from Brugal which is the main rum distillery in the DR. Of course, I had to check with the Ministry of Rum before truly looking throught this rum http://www.ministryofrum.com/rumindex.php . Siglo de Oro is only sold in the Dominican Republic and hard to find – so I paid a handsome premium for it.

I have included a couple reviews of this rum


I poured the spirit in to my tasting glass and did the requisite swirling.  The rum is a warm amber color and has very strong legs.  The legs are a tad bit runny (no pun intended), but watching the glass, you almost get the impression that you’re watching syrup run down the sides instead of rum.


The eyes having been appeased, it was time to turn to the nose of the spirit.  I swirled the rum in the glass while I kept my nose several inches above the rim.  There are a lot of different scents that jump right out.  Hints of orange peal and leather come to the forefront, with woody notes and a bit of a surprise with the scent of banana floating on top.  The nose was cool and earthy, evoking images of the rain forest.  I was suddenly more interested than ever in what flavors I would find trapped inside my glass.


As the nose foretold, this rum has a woody flavor to it.  The immediate flavor on the tongue is that of the barrel with a mellow sweetness.  There is a hint of leather which is blended nicely with notes of orange and coffee.  Despite the syrupy legs, the Siglo de Oro has a very light but earthy body to it.  The finish was clean, leaving a slight tingle on the tongue.  The most dangerous aspect of the rum is probably the burn – which is non-existent.  If a person didn’t know what they were drinking and how hard and expensive it might be to replace, they could easily finish the entire bottle in a single sitting without realizing it.

I was a tad surprised at the fact that I didn’t taste any of the banana that I had detected in the nose.  I rechecked the nose and, sure enough, it was still there; but no amount of searching revealed the flavor to go along with the smell.  The mental imagery, however, was still intact.  If you close your eyes while drinking this, you quickly find yourself standing amidst the calls of birds, standing on a mountain-top under the shade of the rain forest canopy…broken shoots and branches behind you where you cut your path with your machete…you old companion Pedro and his ever-trusty horse standing next to you.  You remove your hat to wipe your brow as you glance around, trying to determine where next to search for the lost idol of – wait, what was I talking about again?

Siglo de Oro is impressively packaged in a blue box.  The rum itself is contained in an attractive blue pottery bottle with a cork stopper.  Some of the purchase price for this rum clearly goes on the flash packaging.  Would the rum itself live up to the hype? Of course, I have nicely tucked away in high end liquor cabinet at home now.

I removed the stopper and poured a little into a glass.  It poured with a deep gold color and a rich, almost syrupy, consistency. The following tasting notes, are copied from Bunnyhugs (http://bunnyhugs.org/2008/08/16/brugal-siglo-de-oro-tasting/) – why bother typing the tasting notes out when someone else has done it for me.

On sniffing my first impression was that it was awfully like the Brugal Extra Viejo.  I even wondered for a moment if I had not been sold some kind of fake.  I am finding this is the case with rums though.  The differences between different products from the same company can be fairly subtle.

Without analyzing the nose much beyond thinking “smells like Brugal”, I dove in for a taste.  Differences between the Siglo de Oro and the Extra Viejo immediately became apparent. Incidentally, a little later I put the two rums side by side and their differences became even clearer.  The Siglo de Oro is just far smoother than the Extra Viejo, and has less alcohol burn and tannin bitterness.  The Extra Viejo, a very smooth rum, tates rough in comparison.  Still, while the palates lean in different directions (as described below), the overall character of both products is similar.  I would characterize Siglo de Oro as a refined version of the Extra Viejo rather than a totally different rum.

The Siglo de Oro leans towards a gentle honeyed character, versus more of a caramel profile in the Extra Viejo.   While sweet, the palette is complex.  The honey evolves into a hint of waxy honeycomb on the tongue, and there is a little bitterness in the finish. The wood and tanin tastes you would expect in a fine old rum are present, but lingering behind a wall of sweet and pleasant flavors.  Sipping on this rum you enjoy a complex medley of dried fruit like figs, bananas and apricots. The spicy notes in the Extra Viejo are moderated to mere subtle hints in the Siglo de Oro.  While the flavors in this rum tend towards the sweet of the spectrum, their highly concentrated form and the exceptional balance prevent the impression of sweetness.  The finish is dry enough to prepare you for another sip.  At the same time though, the taste lingers in your mouth and you feel you can afford to wait before actually taking that next sip.

Siglo de Oro is a subtle rum, perhaps a bit too subtle for me, but still dangerously good stuff.  Given that they export a little, it is worth keeping an eye out for.

Posted in Dominican Rep. 2008 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

hmmm… what a long weekend in Punta Cana…..

Posted by Rishiray on August 19, 2008

Well the last couple days here have been what I expected. So pretty much some Sand, Sea and tons of good food and liquor. Here were our digs at Amanda’s place

Typical island upscale condos…

So after meeting up Diane and Amanda, we proceeded to polish off a bottle of Mango Vodka with her Amanda’s boyfriend after having lunch of course and we met up with Amanda’s friend Julia










so after that it was a bunch of partying at the local bars…..Amanda’s boyfriend dancing with transvestites and ummm some random drunkeness overall.

Drinking some ridiculous massive beers… what the hell.. who makes practically one litre beers???

and Amanda’s Dominican boyfriend (Ari Mendi) dancing with the trannie


So overall good night, it ended up with the usual:

  • Too much mixed drinks
  • Too many people getting mad at each other
  • Looking for random Dominican night food
  • Scarfing said food and looking for the after party
  • Don’t remember much else after that

However general observations of the day would be that most of the Punta Cana/Bavarro area is rundown and poor aside from the resort areas. However food and drinking are quite cheap by our standards, very cheap, not like in Trinidad for sure.  Oh wait!! I forgot one big thing, Aris Mendi took us to a Dominican Brothel. It looked like something from back home, with the large house a bar inside and a bunch of bored girls just liming around. I dont know how I could forget that one, but definitely it was an insider’s look into the life around. We spent about 10 mins in there before Amanda, Julia and Diane got sick of it, actually I would wager it was even less than that. I definitely didn’t touch any surface in in the place, but it was nice and clean though!!!

So that was the night really…the following day Diane got us a nice little All Inclusive for $110 for the both of us…. so that a pretty fantastic deal. Although all inclusives and me don’t mix philosophically, I’m going to keep an open mind about it for tomorrow.

Posted in Dominican Rep. 2008 | Leave a Comment »

Finally getting to Punta Cana… a day later on transit….

Posted by Rishiray on August 16, 2008

Whew… well I’m finally on the flight to Punta Cana. Note that I am NOT on the plane as yet, but the flight was not cancelled due to weather in the Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Fay seems to be just screwing with me really but it is just one of many travel related delays I have seemed to endure in the last two months since starting this NYCHHC assignment.

But sweet news that a Trini won a medal in Sprinting! Like what the hell.. I knew about Marc Burns but Richard Thompson??? Seriously!?? http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/olympics/2008/08/16/bolt.100gold.ap/index.html Like who knew! Just saw that on the newsreel!

Anyway so back to the string of travel related mishaps, this week coming from Toronto to NYC, there was that ridiculous 18 hour delay in Toronto where lightning and thunderstorms colluded to make a routine one hour flight into a fricking nightmare.

Now I dont know what experiences a lot of other people seem to have when flying Spirit Airlines, but both times flying Spirit and the flight was late or something, but then again when you pay 212$ to go Trinidad for the weekend, once cannot really be too picky about the accomodations.

The rules for flying any low cost carrier should be as follows :

  • Bring your own food at any cost. Buy stuff outside and try and bring it in. Even buy airport food – items like fries and a small sandwich. Do NOT buy anything on Spirit…there is nothing to buy and the items they do have are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced
  • Go to the bathroom before the flight… one doesn’t want to be going on a discount airplane’s bathroom… god only knows the people that are using that bathroom <insert snob here>
  • Find somewhere comfortable and grab a quick nap…. for a 2-3 hour flight, it will set you in the right frame of mind.
  • Did I mention buy your own food, maybe get drunk outside the plane, in the airport bar.

Anyway my flight seems like it will take off successfully and I should be in Punta Cana in about 3 hours or so.  I’m gonna drop all my stuff… throw on the shorts and hit the water for a couple hours…. get some margaritas on the beach and maybe a massage – who knows what I can find on the waterfront.

Its been years since my first foray to the DR…but I should have some good shots going on there. Time to catch that flight!!!

Posted in Dominican Rep. 2008 | Leave a Comment »