Zacapa Centenario Solera Gran Reserva 23 (40%, Guatemala)

If memory serves me correctly, last year we had a pretty good summer. Alas summer is long gone, and to celebrate it, I had some Rum. At least there was some sunshine in my glass, so to speak.

Zacapa Centenario Solera Gran Reserva 23Zacapa is a very well-known Guatemalan brand, owned by Diageo. The Rum itself is made with the Solera system wherein the Rums are between 6 and 23 years old, hence the number 23 in the name. 23 is not an age statement, and although Rums are not that much regulated yet as Whisky, Diageo was carefull enough not to call this Rum 23yo. The Rum is made with first crush virgin sugar cane honey and was aged in American Whiskey barrels and (PX) Sherry casks.

Color: Dark reddish copper

Nose: Very floral, nice wood with a lot of depth. Some acidic winey and red fruit notes. Very appetizing nose. Vegetal and woody. Gravy. Overall, the rum comes across as fresh and lively and even sophisticated. Luckily no cloying sweetness in the nose. Small hint of wrapping paper and dried meat. Good wood.

Taste: Thinner and not as sweet as I remember it from a while back. Sweetish, with vanilla and some red fruits. Definitely has some PX-sherry influence. Very easy drinking rum, but for my tastes a bit thin and, dare I say it, simple. Some burnt Sugar stays on the tongue, but after that the whole experience is rather quickly gone. Funky acidity stays on too long and doesn’t match with the wood in the finish.

This Rum has no real flaws and it sells quite well. It’s a nice sipping middle of the road Rum.

Points: 80

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Rum Week – Day 6: Flor de Caña 12yo Centenario (40%, Nicaragua)

Flor de Caña is made by Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua that is based in Managua. Their first distillery was built in 1890 in Chichigalpa that lies some 120km from Managua. Flor de Cana was only introduced in 1937. The Chichigalpa distillery was modernized three times in 1963, 1965 and 1996, and in 1973 a second distillery was built in Honduras. I’m not sure if distillate from this Honduran distillery finds its way into Flor de Caña.

Color: Orange copper.

Nose: Vegetal, leafy and spicy. Lemons combined with fresh air. Unripe strawberries. Dry and cardboardy. Old books, musty. Hot water with hints of wood. Average balance.

Taste: First cardboard, and decent sweetness, Dissolved sugar cubes in lukewarm water and brown sugar. Quite a lot of wood. Half-firm body. The taste is even less balanced than the nose was. The finish is rather light after the woody body.

This one is not for me, not my style of rum. It doesn’t bring a lot into the fold. Lots of wood and cardboard and a short finish. Do I want to say some more about this? Nope.

Well yes, actually. I come from Single Malt Scotches, so I will most definitively look at these rums with a specific baggage of knowledge that is very different from a rum-buff’s. This Flor de Cana Centenario and The Diplomatico I reviewed first are both multiple award-winning rums. They just don’t seem to match up with my palate. So keep this in mind, when reading these reviews.

Points: 74