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Endangered Rums: Fully Wrapped Zacapa

Dave Russell discusses another endangered rum, the fully wrapped Zacapa 23 Años that disappeared in ’07.


imageZacapa rums are delicious, distilled carefully from sugarcane miel and aged high in the mountains of Guatemala. They use a modified solera aging method that employes a variety of used American bourbon barrels – some still exuding slight whiskey characters whereas others are recaharred – then aged for a few more years in Spanish Olorosso Sherry barrels and finally ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry barrels, a fortified wine known for its incredibly deep, sweet taste.

The result is a complex blend of aromas and flavors that’s a definite crowd pleaser at rum parties, or in the privacy of your own tasting room. One sip and you realize you could nurture a glass of the rum forever, satisfied in the knowledge that when you do get around to another sip, your taste buds will be amply rewarded. The finish lingers, as sweet honey flavors hang onto your lips and tongue seemingly forever.

Around 2006-7, Zacapa updated the packaging for Centenario 23 Años. Gone now is the traditional, full covering of woven patate palm leaves. The new replacement bottle offers substantial heft and a narrow patate belt. Despite the packaging update, the rum inside has changed little, and both versions belong in any collection. $44

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