Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23
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In a nutshell:
A superb, full bodied, intense and smooth Guatemalan rum aged in a mix of whisky, sherry and wine barrels.
This super premium rum is blended from rums aged for between 6 and 23 years in the cool air of Ron Zacapa's cellars high in the Guatemalan highlands. Ageing is done in a solera system (as employed in Jerez for Sherry) where young rums are added to the top layer with eldest being drawn from the bottom for blending and bottling. This creates a rum with a great balance of aromas and flavours. It's wonderfully smooth with mature fruits, nutmeg, cocoa and liquorice on the nose while in the mouth it's really warming with smoky and creamy vanilla notes showing among the complex range of flavours. Intense and well balanced it's a very rewarding rum.
Ron Zacapa was established in 1976 to celebrate the centenary of the town of the same name in eastern Guatemala. Under the guidance of their master blender, Lorena Vasquez who, orginally from Nicaragua, has been at Ron Zacapa for many years they've become established as one of the world's premium rum labels. Rather than molasses they tend to make their rums from what they call 'sugar cane honey' which essentially is filtered and reduced sugar cane syrup and has a sugar concentration of around 70-78%. They age their rums at an altitude of 2,300 metres where the cooler temperatures have a significant effect on the maturation process. Their success can be measured by the number of awards they regularly win.