Drink Review: Ron Zacapa Centenario Sistema Solera 23 Rum

November 21, 2020
3 mins read

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An awesome rum – winner of a Platinum medal and ranked in First Place by the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, with a whopping 97 points. Interestingly, now that industry giants Diageo are distributing Zacapa, the ’23 years old’ age statement has suddenly been dropped and replaced with a somewhat more plausible claim – the rums used are aged between 6 and 23 years old and are blended together in a solera.

Ron Zacapa 23 Review:

Let’s start with a short introduction into Zacapa – as it is about the rum that helped to elevate Ron Zacapa from start up bottler into a world renown bottler of rum and producing the top rated, dog-lickin’ sweet and heavenly Zacapa Solera rum. This ’23’ is a special bottling that was present at the Pernod Ricard Global Beverage Conclave last year in London. This is not the normal USD3.75 93 proof Zacapa 23, instead, it is a special bottling. In actuality, this is a special case of a silver treasure doll, specially designed to highlight the ’23 years old’ claim.


A very ultra dark amber coloured rum. No other word to describe it, other than to say it’s very intense!


A very strong raisiny, honey and vinegar profile. Delicious!


A very well balanced rum! I don’t find it to be too sweet, but it is extremely pleasant and drinkable. It reminds me more of a full bodied white chocolate white wine than a white rum. It finishes long and warm with no burn and absolutely no aftertaste at all. There is nothing really that some might classify as a ‘bite’ to this rum, but it is certainly there and if you are a white rum drinker, it could potentially be an issue for you.

Mixed drinks:

Overall I think this rum would be a great rum to mix with white milk-based cocktails such as a Harvey Wallbanger or a White Russian. It would perhaps just work best in the wake of the classic Tom Collins. I think this rum would be best suited as a shot.

Ron Zacapa 23 Review:

There you go folks, a review of Ron Zacapa’s extraordinary 23 year old rum. In my opinion it is a phenomenal rum and I wouldn’t short change this as I would any other rum. I have actually been drinking this rum for some time now, and I find it the most drinkable rum I have ever tried lately. Not that I am being biased – instead, as part of my wide ranging work I have had the pleasure of reviewing some very serious and expensive rums. In the rum section I have tried some special bottlings of the likes of the oldest and most prestigious brand of rum – Zacapa – only to find that this rum is by far the best rum I’ve had yet. I also recently tried the Douglas Laing Caribbean Single Cask, but I found that bottle to be just ok. This is an excellent rum, with an amazing performance in mixed drinks and straight up. A highly recommended rum. Cheers,


An interesting rum from a bottler that had been blatantly stolen by mega corporation. But this rum is for all ages and is surely worth its brilliant value – to me, it is the best rum made in Guatemala for sure. A crucial experience. Cheers,


Ron Zacapa 23 Review:

I was lucky enough to try this rum when it came out, but I will try to be as objective as possible. This is one of the very few ‘upmarket’ rums that I will actually drink on its own. It has great character, really nice balance and a very comfortable finish. I was surprise to find that the 23 year old age statement on this bottle is omitted – the term ‘sistema solera’ is actually used on the bottle which means that, in this case, the rum does not come from a sistema solera but from a blend of rums mixed to optimize the characteristics of each rum. This is a very good rum. I have been eyeing this bottle for quite some time and was quite happy to be able to finally try this rum. I do like this, but it is not for everyone. I drink rums neat, so the fact that I can actually smell the rums is a huge bonus for me. I would like it even more if I went for a sidecar or a Tom Collins, so my flask may not be completely empty.

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