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Recommendable to most
I had this at Rumba in Seattle as at the time you couldn’t get it here in Canada. I have a bottle now. It’s very good as good or better than the 23 but has that charcoal hint to it.
If you like the regular expression of Zacapa Solera 23, this edition will also hit you in the right places. Not as sweet as the regular 23, but very smooth and tasteful. A must in your collection.
This is a great Zacapa. Much better than the 23. It's more matured, more intensive and heavier.
It's between the old Zacapas and the XO. It's not as balanced as XO, but it's very intensive .
The taste is like a sweetened Ron Botran 1893 because of the mandarine. There also the typical Zacapa herbs. It's a good edition, I like it very much.
Smell: oak, caramel, date, mandarine, some herbs, dry fruits (plum), some smoke
Taste: caramel, barrel/wood, dry fruits, tropical fruits, some herbs
Finish: spice, date, wood and some smoke
Value (47€): 4/5
Experience level: professional
My top 10 Zacapas:
Royal (too expensive)
This Zacapa Edición Negra is more balanced than the Zacapa 23. Less sweet! Although stronger in alcohol percentage, you hardly taste that.
it has a pleasant nose that hints of a little sweetness but has some bite. Taste is strong and smooth with a little tangy bite but not very sweet. Not much heat, but the tangy bite stay quite long in the aftertaste and has just a little heat that builds really late after swallowing. Late in the aftertaste I'm getting a little bit of fruity taste after a long fade. Tried this one neat. After the initial 2 tastes, the nose became even more pleasant and a little sweeter. Letting it sit a little longer allowed it to be dryer with a more complex flavor and heat that my palette is unable to define.
Purchased this to complete the trilogy of 23, XO, EN. I'm not a fan of smoky whisky's and this being aged in double charred barrels has a quite distinguishable level of smokiness. If that's your thing I'm sure you'll love it.
Sadly, it seems this Zacapa hasn't been subject to one of the many hydrometer tests, but given their propensity for loading their rums with sugars and whatnot, I wouldn't be surprised.
I rated Zacapa's 23 Solera quite highly, not knowing that that taste I loved wasn't, in fact, a fully natural taste (I do intend to go back and change my rating). Now that I know, premium rums that almost certainly have additives like sugar without any kind of labeling automatically lose three points... meaning I will never rate them more than a 7, even if I otherwise enjoy them.
Sadly, even with the likely additives, this one is not amongst their best. It is smokey, which technically I should enjoy because I love a good peat bomb scotch (Octomore 08.3 is a holy grail of mine), but this is missing another aspect of that flavor. In a scotch, a peat bomb isn't just smokey... it also has umami. That is, there's a savoriness to it. (I wonder if peat is another natural source of MSG.) This is missing that completely. It isn't peaty... it's just smokey... like what the smoke from your fireplace might taste like if you (hopefully accidentally) inhaled it.
Then there's the expected sweetness that you always get with a Zacapa rum, but in this case it kind of clashes with the smokiness rather than works with it.
If you're going to get a Zacapa, their 23 Solera is much better. If you want to try this one, then go for it, but hopefully you can find it at a much better (lower) price...
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