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Drink Review: Ron Zacapa Centenario Sistema Solera 23 Rum

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.

Zacapa Rum Review:

The addition of aged rums to the Zacapa Solera 23 Rum is an altogether more sophisticated plan. While most Zacapa Rum reviews describe Zacapa 23 Rum as fine rum, it is only one of the rum blends that is housed in a special solera. That blend is made up of two aged rums aged in oak barrels and a younger red rum.

OUR DISTILLERY: Ron Zacapa, grows in a beautiful mountainous area in Central Guatemala, surrounded by the best vintages all steeped in humid mountain air. The distillery is a seven story, 36,000 square meter distillery, built by hand from mortar, stones, and brick. The structure of the building, dating from 1920, resembles the Tower of Babel. Today, the distillery sits on 8700 acres of land, which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and well-known vintages in the world.

SMITH AND SONS: Horns on Cyprus and Costa Rica.

TASTING NOTES:

A great example of a well-made, consistently well-balanced, premium rum aged in what many believe to be the most unique rum cellar in the world.

The Zacapa 23 is a tremendously fine rum, with a smoky, full body and distinctive tropical fruit notes, a rum that tastes like it is aging in the cloudiest, sweetest, vacation spot on earth.

SPICE BOTTLES

Number of bottles Tasting Notes 11 5% B+ (weighed on scale)

leather, sweet, caramel, vanilla, orange, plums, peppery

Grandiose, complex, spicy, fruity, leathery, oily

A rich and balanced rum with strong yet delicate aromatic and flavor notes created by an unusual combination of the different ages and bottlings of Zacapa rum.

MAKES A GREAT SIPPING RUM WHEN TRADITIONAL RISK FREE, NO STAKES NEEDED

A great example of a choice rum, for the lover of fine aged rum and aged rums in general.

The Zacapa 23 has a great medium body and quite a bit of body and alcohol. It’s also a very sweet rum, almost syrupy in that it is so sweet.

PORTUGUESE RHUM

The Premium Quality of the Zacapa Distillery

Ron Zacapa has been producing rums since 1966, the same year Ron Zacapa 23 was born. Today the original distillery is located on the outskirts of Guatemala City which and offers more than ample room to grow.

Zacapa Rum Review:

Ron Zacapa has a surprisingly small web presence and very little guidance as to what they produce. They are owned by Diageo but produce various BOTTLED brands that are distributed in different markets such as UK, Germany, Canada, Japan and Australia. None of these brands offer any sort of purchase information, age statement or distillery info.

Ron Zacapa Solera 23 Solera 23 is created by blending the recipes of two aged rums, aged in barrels, with the Red Wine.

Zacapa Rum Review:

Aged in oak barrels, a Solera is a barrel that has been used for coopering, where brine is added, and the barrel is thus artificially aged in a controlled environment.

The liquid ingredients, aging spirits and red wine will be added to the solera barrel. It is very important to remember that the aged rums are blended together in the “solera” both being from an “aged” barrel.

Originally, there was an age statement of 23 years on the 23 years old, part of which was aged in a Solera. Diageo has since discontinued the age statement and the most often quoted age for the rum has become the 6 to 23 years age statement.

The bottles were sealed, with an ingredient list, in the early 1980’s.

Zacapa Rum Review:

The results from the aging are visible immediately, the Zacapa 23 is perfumed with the delicate aroma of oak barrels. In the glass, the rum varies in color from straw yellow to a delicate straw color. It shows the opulence of the spirit in all of its flavors. The aromas are vibrant, with notes of ripe fruits, apple, apricot and fresh peach.

Zacapa is the most popular rum around the world, and it is produced in a large number of denominations. It is marketed in 19 international markets in various departments. Recently, more expressions have been released to international markets.

Zacapa Rum Review:

The bottling creates a residual, somewhat sweet aroma, of both vinous notes and aromatic spirits, either wet or woody aromas.

Written by Mark Adams

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