Bottle of Ron Zacapa 23 Guatemalan rum
The Ultimate Guide To Ron Zacapa No. 23 Centenario
Ron Zacapa 23 is a premium, aged rum from Guatemala. The country gained a reputation for rum-making in the 20th century, but the seeds were sown centuries before that.
Sugarcane cultivation arrived in Guatemala alongside Spanish colonization in the 16th century. Sugarcane liquors became extremely popular, and in 1976, Ron Zacapa was born.
The Story
The five Botran brothers — Venancio, Felipe, Jesús, Alejandro, and Andrés — formed Industria Licorera de Guatemala in 1940, one of the country's biggest rum producers.
Eventually, the brothers created a new expression to honor the city's 100th anniversary. With the help of Alejandro Burgaleta, the first-ever batch of Zacapa Centenario was born.
Some alcohol heat to the nose quickly gives way to the sweeter characteristics like brown sugar, vanilla, and caramel up front, with notes of cacao and dried tropical fruits.
The full-bodied butterscotch and dried fruit notes build into a more savory profile. Leather, oak, and tobacco shine through, along with spicy hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Making rum by distilling fresh sugarcane juice became a tradition in Guatemala. Eventually, it was the law that Guatemalan rum be distilled from "virgin sugarcane honey."
Zacapa ferments their "honey" with a yeast strain drawn from pineapples that allows more time for aromatics to develop. At the aging house, it's aged using the "solera system."
How To Drink
Zacapa 23 is extremely approachable as rums go, but if you find the alcohol content too strong, a splash of water or a couple of ice cubes can help.
Zacapa 23's versatility lends itself very well to mixing with drinks like Coke, although its premium quality means you may want to save it for drinks where the rum is the star.