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Recommendable to most
Hated to tell my friend I didn’t like it, especially when I found it it’s more expensive than Solare 23 (which I’m not fond of either). I just plain did not like the flavor. Will likely give it a go again but not soon.
Aromas of toffee, cinnamon and smokey oak; the palate boasts flavours of apple pie, vanilla bean and citrus; medium-bodied and a light burn with a moderate finish. $110 at LCBO is overpriced.
At $10 more than Zacapa 23 it's basically the same rum but with 3% more alcohol. Why this has to be 43% with no added body or flavor is beyond my comprehension. Of course it doesn't come close to Zacapa XO, but that's another +$30 in price. That said this is probably better than 70% of the sipping rums available.
I did not think that I would like this heavily smoked rum. but I gave it a try anyway. Many compare this one to their Zacapa 23, but that one is long forgotten by me and will never be bought again. I recently had their much better Ron Zacapa XO which ranks in my top 10 percent of all rums that I have reviewed. This one? Well not quite. It is good, but just not worth it's $62 US price tag. It appears to be made from distilled sugar cane juice and and aged at high altitude in double charred barrels. At first taste, it is like WOW! Then it becomes more smoke than rum, but not quite to the point of being sickening. Dare I say this, but just add a few drops of liquid smoke to your favorite dry rum and save yourself lots of change. For lovers of peat heavy single malts from Islay, I can recommend this rum to those. However, I would much rather spend my money on a bottle of Lagavulin 16 Single Malt than this rum in hiding.
A few weeks later, I tried like hell to find the best way to drink this one and could not. Well, since two wrongs can often make one right, I added the overly sweetened Kaniche Perfeccion to this one. At first, it was a 50/50 mixture. Then I tried 5 parts of this rum to 3 parts of the Kaniche Perfeccion. Voila! That combo suddenly became drinkable. However, I won't buy either one again because one should not have to go through these experiments just to make pricey rums drinkable.
It is more mature than classic 23y and more complex. You can feel more oak and smoke due to additional ageing in burned bourbon casks. Rest of the flavour profile is similar to classic 23y but this one seems to me more balanced.
The Zacapa Edicion Negra is a darker and more full flavour version of the original Zacapa 23 Solera. It has the same spiced treacle-flavour, but it is more intense and full bodied while being less intense at the same time, which makes it feel more balanced and enjoyable.
It is neck and neck however, so either one is a perfect drinking companion.
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