Ron Zacapa 23 Sistema Solera Rum

Aged Rum — Guatemala

4.5 out of 5 stars
Ok. Ron Zacapa 23 has become a very polarizing rum, in that a lot of people don't consider it "rum", rather they think it is a rum liqueur; is that fair? I don't know. I'm not an expert in any way, and while I can read reviews, and comments from "experts", I am not going to pretend that I can add anything to that discussion, I do wish that Zacapa was transparent in their process, I would like to know what is added to the rum. As I am not pretending to be an expert, I am going to simply talk about my thoughts and impressions of the tasting experience. The rum is room temperature in the glass, but smells like warm molasses cookies. Ginger, brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, allspice, cloves, vanilla. A sip brings a different experience than the nose, there is more bitterness and wood flavor than I picked up. There's burnt caramel, vanilla, and yes, molasses, allspice, cloves, brown sugar, all the other things from the nose. The finish unfolds over a fairly long time. The sweetness fades, there is a tingle like cloves, and then the sweet and bitter bite of burnt caramel. I haven't experienced enough rums to know where this stands compared to others, but I can say that I enjoy the experience. This is a worthy rum to sip on, to smell, to taste, to let it linger, to enjoy. If you are in the camp that feels that Zacapa is fake rum, that it has too much sugar added (I've seen as high as 44 g/L, and more commonly 23 g/L), that the flavor is tuned by adding dunder (I don't actually think that is true), and the biggest complaint is the 23 on the bottle. No, it is not a 23 year old rum, it is solera blended rum from 6 to 23 years old, so probably mostly 6 or 7 year old, with very little of the actually old stuff in it. Ok, again, I would like transparency, but I also do like the way this tastes. 90/100
44.95 USD per Bottle