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Ron Zacapa 23 Solera Rum was created in 1976 in the highlands of Guatemala, where it is distilled from fresh cane juice before aging at 7544 feet at 62 °F (17 °C).
The 500 year-old Spanish Sistema Solera method is used to age Ron Zacapa 23 in white oak casks. This results in a combination of rums aged between 6 and 23 years.
The current Ron Zacapa 23 bottle features a woven band around the middle, which is in reference to the original hand woven palm leaf petate bottle cover that covered the bottle.
I consider Zacapa 23 to be the best way to get outsiders into enjoying what aged rum can offer. It's approachable, affordable, and has many other appealing qualities.
Very dark, with a full flavor. Is sweet but it taste great and please never ruin it by mixing it with cola. This is a premium straight up rum.
There's no doubt, Zacapa 23 is great for the premium rum industry. I'd guess its the most prevalent aged rum out there, and brought many newcomers to rum.
I like Zacapa 23 but not as much as Diplomatico, El Dorado, an others. It has a great rush of initial spice that dissipates quickly and leaves the mouth with a slightly oily sweet molasses finish.
For a 10+ year aged rum, I wanted more subtle notes. I get a little nutmeg and maybe even an olive note - but generally a little bland
Overrated overly sweet liqueur-like rum. Sweetened with sugar, distilled product shouldnt have sugar left
Was really looking forward to this as it has all the attributes to be a great rum. Then you open the bottle and it smells lovely and fruity. then take a sip and its very very sweet. Not sure on the sugar content but im guessing very high. I know its a solera so its not a full aged rum but for the price in the uk you can get aged rums for that price. To be honest i found el dorado 8 beat it hands down and the 12 is in a different league. Nice for just one or two but to much sugar for any more. Couldnt bare to think of the hangover after a night on this haha.
Sampled this rum but the sweetness Seems to hide any resemblance of a true Rum. Obviously enjoyed by many but this is not for me.
This rum is as much the base line to critic a lot of molasses rums as well as maybe the easiest entrance to the world of rums.
This isn't rum. Oh, wait, it actually IS rum because pretty much anything can be sold as rum since rum consumers are apparently too ignorant/lazy/naive/easily parted with their money/etc to demand the kind of regulations that would exclude this cheap sugary swill from being labelled rum in the first place.
Besides the diabetes-inducing levels of sugar in here there is almost certainly a boatload of other additives, chemical flavourings, and artificial adulterants added as well. And yet, after all that, after having forsaken all their integrity and craftsmanship, the producers still failed to make it taste good. I mean, if you're gonna add sugar, artificial flavours and god knows what else then at least make it delicious! Otherwise what's the point? This is just extremely sweet (so smooth!) booze water that has a bunch of very flat, artificial-tasting rummy notes, eg, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, orange etc. I did my own simple sugar test by placing a few drops on a plate and letting it evaporate. Several hours later an obscene amount of sticky residue remained, so much so that you'd think almost half of the rum was sugar and glycerol. Try it out yourself. By the way, the bottle claims the rum is 40% ABV, but it doesn't taste like it, even with the added sugar taken into account, and I have seen (admittedly amateur) tests that put it around 28-35% ABV... So, yeah, this company sucks so much.
Anyway, on to the more important aspects of this rum. First, it has the number 23 on it, which is a good high number to have written on a bottle of alcohol. Second, it is wrapped in a kind of twine band - very fancy! Third, on the label there are some gold medals denoting some kind of awards. From these three facts alone you immediately know that you're getting a quality product...
Okay, okay, I know I'm being kinda snobby and pretentious, but if people were a little more discriminating and demanded the kind of transparency that would allow one to know exactly what it is they're consuming then perhaps we'd all start getting the quality we're already paying for. The price for this dreck is absurd. Look, I don't want to stop people from drinking this shite, I just want it labelled correctly so that brilliant, fascinating, handsome people with exceptionally refined tastes will only ever see it where it belongs - on the bottom shelf in the liqueur aisle.
You always need that wingman...and the ZR23 does not disappoint. I agree with most reviewers about its slight sweetness, but it is well worth it. It's a go to at most bars that only have your regular house rum and regular mix Bacardi/Capt Morgan.
I'm no rum expert but for me it was too sweet in a weird way, With no real taste and the smell was horrific
Nice color and aroma but nothing compared to the smoothness of the XO. It's quite drinkable but isn't my first choice. Just a little to much alcohol bit for me. The XO is worth the extra price.
Dominant flavors: Chocolate covered cherry/Dr.pepper
I wasn't sure that I would, but I like this. In the past the bottle didn't explain that this was a blend of rums so I think buyers had different expectations for a 23 year old rum. If you know what your buying (a solera rum with some added sugar after distillation) then you won't be disappointed.
Prices on this stuff can be way too high bc of its popuIarity but once again Total Wine has great deals and this was $37. US in NJ.
Lately I've been interested in mostly more natural style rums like Doorly's, Mount Gay, or Don Q but I always keep at least one sugary rum around for when I want something really sweet. My last two sugar bombs have been Diplomatico RE and El Dorado 12. This rum is notably less sweet than both of those.
The nose is kind of bland and smells mostly of alcohol but not harsh.
The taste however is really nice like dried fruit, vanilla, and chocolate. I recognize some flavors in here that are much like Diplomatico RE but on a milder level and I appreciate that bc Diplo-RE is arguably overkill with its sweetness/spicyness. I have lowered its score by a point after tasting this bc I realize it could be less syrupy sweet and more balanced out.
Update: Zacapa 23 really isn't that sweet like some reviews say. It's definitely smooth but as I continue to drink a little each night this week I'm finding that I wish it had the same flavors but just a bit bolder. Or maybe I'm wanting a stronger finish?This is good beginner sipping rum to get used to some of the flavors found in darker/aged rum on a mild level.
Update 2: it's almost too smooth for its own good and because of that there's nothing that really pops. If too much ice melts in it, then it's reminiscent of FLAT CocaCola. Still enjoyable rum but it's something I wanted to note. I also noticed that this tastes like the base flavor of Diplo-RE b4 they bomb it with vanilla & sugar or whatever they use in there. Possibly why I think the finish is a little flat.
I've tried Zacapa 23 on many occasions. It's loaded with extra sugar or something and it's not at all a 23yr aged rum. I'm not easy to please and this falls short. Way short. I do give a great deal of credit to Zacapa for opening the eyes of buyers vs products like Bacardi and Capt Morgan. Notice that most people put coke in those. I just want to sip neat.
Ron Zacapa 23 Solera Gran Reserva 40% (Guatemala)
Eye: Light amber with green lip
Nose: Very sweet, round and even nose with a fine mix of marzipan, dark and light chocolate, butter scotch, honey, treacle, dates, apricot and lots of embrowned butter. A veritable fat sugar chock! At next nose there are a faint gun powder scent and vanilla, new cut tobacco and oiled teak. Very smooth, very sweet.
Mouth: Again, very sweet, sticky and rather short. Appealing ethanol at the end. Honey, marzipan and quince. A tad unrefined, on the verge of being simple. It´s not without its´ point but tend to appear as simplistic with a clear taste of pure sugar.
Reaction: Very difficult to define the nuances apart from what has already been said. It tastes alright and I am certain there are times it suits well if something sweet is needed, but really, that´s it. At the same time I pour again and again. It´s very drinkable but for the same reason I eat too much candy. The price is affordable and the access very good. It was one of the first rum I tasted and at that time I found it to be delicious so maybe I just had a bad day grading it.
Price: 499 SEK
Tasted: 2016, in a Riedel Sommelier Cognac XO glass at room temperature.
Everyone stop getting your knickers in a wad over the 23 years on the label. If you know as much about rum as you say (think) youdo you understand that there are two traditional camps of rums English and Spanish. English usually list the youngest rume used on the label while Spanish tend to use the oldest. I'll leave it to you to figure out who is in which camp... Enjoy your pour!
This was one of the first quality rums that I have ever had. Had it in the Caymans a few years ago, and just found it in a store here in the US. Being new to quality rum, I did think that this was a 23 year old rum, but that was my fault. (well, mine and genius marketing) I remeber it being less sweet and a little dryer also. Don't know for sure which Ron Zacapa I had down there..... Probably wasn't this one.
It's smooth... It's better than the XO. It's sugared. It's colored. It's probably spiced.
edited to add sugar test results- 20-38g that's why it's so smooth.
I bought a bottle to see what all the hype was about and was left a bit disappointed. My first Solera style rum so maybe its my own fault ?
On removing the stopper and having a good "sniff" , i noticed..... Nothing !
Wheres the rum smell ? I tried again and still hardly any "nose".
My first sip and i thought very smooth and not too sweet as other comments have mentioned.No after burn but a nice warming in my chest a few seconds later. I will try another tasting in a week or two and see if my initial thoughts change any , but for now i feel a bit confused ?
Sugar: 22 gpl. This is a great sipping rum with tastes of vanilla, chocolate, tobacco, and molasses. Very smooth rum that lights up your tastes. Nice long after glow. It's not as complex as the Zacapa XO. It is an expensive rum in Ontario, but worth it if you can't get to the USA where it is half the price.
EDIT: I finished my 3 year old bottle of Zacapa 23 and the new one is different for sure. I am thinking that Diageo may be rushing this product to market. I am re-rating this to an 8 from my original 9.
Not much to say,its the best rum i ever tasted. A must have, it convinced some of my whisky or cognac-lover friends. Its rich in the nose,and even better in the mouth,a fruity-sweety explosion. Banana,butterscotch,brown sugar,toffee and many other delicate aromas share their place on your tongue,completing and balancing each other and not competing or supressing.The afterburn is long and amazing,sweet with the unique guatemalan heavy ,rich taste.
I need to add that this review and experience is 5year old,as the Zacapa 23anos had that octagonal bright brown paperbox. Nowdays,after the new owner Diaego took over the distillery,the design changed and its called Zacapa 23anejo with a black box.I have 2 bottles of this newer design and after finishing one i would give 9 stars only in a recent review.The quality decreased a bit.It's still amazing and i recognize the explosion ,but i taste younger blends,every experience is shorter as 5years ago. I think the rumours are true and to gain more profit,they 'streched' the original recipe with lesser quality,younger blends. I understand that,as Zacapa is probably the No.1 upper class rum brand,still it's a pity. Don't get me wrong,its a fantastic rum,one of the best, but the 23anos was a step closer to rum perfection
This one is amazing, I've had it straight, it's decent, I've had it with coke and Pepsi, it made it taste like some sort of fruit juice, there's a reason you pay $90 with tax.
Not up to the expectations I had for this rum. It works better in a mixed drink than a sipper. Flavors come to me as a bit harsh when I try it straight up or over a big cube. It did hold up well in a rum punch but why spend the money to use it as a mixer.
Nice rum. The flavor is deep and balanced. But possibly, not so bright.
Sweetened spirit with spurious marketing claims and very questionable age statement.
Not your typical Molasses based rum this one. Its made from the first press of the sugar cane only resulting in a much smoother end product. Citrus, spice and cocoa are prominent in this one and a small piece of a nice dark chocolate on the side whilst sipping out really accentuates them flavours. Really long smooth finish, i could drink this all night straight up quite happily!!
Ron Zacapa Centenario Solera 23 review by Mike at Ultimate Rum Guide
Ron Zacapa Solera 23 rum review by Peter from the Floating Rum Shack