Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23 Guatemalan Rum by Jason Hambrey

6-23 years old, American, Sherry, and PX barrels
From molasses
Distiller Zacapa (Guatemala)

This is one of the most popular and available "premium" rums known, and, for a long time, represented the best rum you could get at the LCBO (along with the El Dorado 21). For a number of years, it won the International Rum Festival's compeition for the best premium rum, and was the first rum inducted into the international rum festival's hall of fame. It is distilled from Guatemalan sugarcane, and distilled before being transported to Zacapa's aging facility in the mountains - the "House above the Clouds" where it ages at an altitude of 7500 feet. The key to this rum is the aging - the rums pass through 4 different barrels - new american oak, reused oak, sherry, and Pedro Ximinez - all of these barrels are never totally drained, either, meaning that trace elements of the rums throughout the years are present.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

The nose is dry and oaky, with lots of sherry – apple seeds, molasses, classic oaky spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, raisins, and a slightly sour character. And a bit of earthiness – like a dried out marsh. Becomes a bit vegetal with air. Dried orange peel. Mint. The tannins are present on the nose, and lightly elegant overall. Lots of orange and molasses on the palate, finishing with lots of rancio. Cinnamon, and stewed spiced plums, raisins. Finish of dried fruit and rancio – and slightly sour. The nose is terrific – the palate and finish are only mediocre though.

Assessment: Recommended.

Value: Low.