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Ron Zacapa XO Rum is produced in the highlands of Guatemala where it is distillled from fresh cane juice. The rum is then aged from 6 to 23 years at 7544 feet above sea level at 62 °F (17 °C) using the solera process. The solera aging process incorporates barrels that previously held American whiskeys, sherries, wines and Cognac
The unique Ron Zacapa XO glass decantur features an impression of a woven band around the middle, which is in reference to the original hand woven palm leaf petate bottle cover that covered the bottle
Since I did not have much luck at all with their Zacapa 23 Solera, I was hesitant to plunk down about $90 US on a bottle of this. I tried to sample one pour at a few rum bars, but they were all out. So I walked into one of my favorite liquor stores this morning and this black box just begged me to take it home. My curiosity can be quite costly at times.
My bottle is of the newer design as shown in the photo. When poured into the snifter, it is a reddish mahogany color. The inside of the black box mentioned all of the different casks that were used for aging, including red wine. It supposedly has 26 gpl of added sugar and it's viscosity in the glass shows. Rums of between 6 and 25 years were used in the blend. The aroma is like a fine perfume. Too many complex flavors meld together in harmony, but are dominated by caramel and wood.
The closest rum that I would compare it to is Plantation XO 20th Anniversary at slightly less than half the price. No surprise here, since both are partially aged in cognac casks. As expected, Ron Zacapa XO is a few shades darker than the Plantation XO. Both have complex flavors, but the Plantation is more of fruit while the Ron Zacapa is of wood. If you blindfolded someone to test them side by side, I doubt anyone could tell which one is more expensive. It looks like I won't be buying Ron Zacapa XO again, but I still rate it as a 8. It is just not worth another $90 from me.
I started out ranking this rum as my third overall favorite, right behind Dictador XO Insolent and Dictador 20. Therefore, it starts out with a rating no higher than a 9 (which wound up back down to an 8). However, since it is heavily sweetened, I expect the flavors to change in the bottle over the next few weeks. Blame Christmas Eve and finishing off this bottle after only two weeks to show me it's excessive woody weaknesses. Never again for Zacapa at these prices!
Definitely something good happening here but I don't see this as the rum to compare all others too. It's kind of like a woman with an incredible body but acts like an asshole. I want to love it but can't.
The smell starts a little aggressive of alcohol and lingers a touch, but is followed by a sweet molasses aroma. Has a nice burnt sugar taste followed by a touch of banana leaf. It carries the burn for a bit longer than I would like. Zacapa XO has a cognac essence and heat. This bottle is for the aficionados who likes sweet with a bite. It's almost dry at the end while still being creamy. I will revisit you again in the future, but only because of those tits.
Extremely smooth sipping. Ordered this from a shop in New Jersey for $79.99 which was a deal.
Very delicate like drinking a nectar from the Guatemalan God's.
Sugar: 26-30 gpl. I had some friends over for a rum tasting and everyone's eyes lit up when they smelled and tasted this one. Comment was that this one fills your nose mouth and sinuses with a wonderful rush of flavors. It's not available in Ontario, but I bought 2 at the Duty Free. Fellow Canucks if you find this rum, buy 2 of them. You might want to keep one as a present, but you might end up keeping it for yourself.
Not really getting all that much for your money. Dense and cloying the 23 is better but that's not great either.
Autant j'ai été très déçu par le best seller Solera 23 de la même maison qui pour moi n'est pas à la hauteur de sa réputation, autant celui-ci est une toute autre histoire. Le sucre est bien mieux dosé et on retrouve une belle complexité entre la gourmandise et les épices. On est dans la veine d'un El Dorado 21 avec une exécution proche de la perfection. On lui reprochera peut être un léger manque de personnalité mais ça n'en reste pas moins une valeur sûre !
The Zacapa XO comes with a large black box and a beautiful bottle (image). On the inside of the box you can read about the Zacapa XO. Very stylish!
In the glass you find a dark coulor, a bit darker than the 23 year old Zacapa. At first it is som alcohol on the nose but if you let it rest in the glass for a few minutes the alcohol disappears and you find toffee, spice and vanilla. The aroma is very smooth and nice. I always let my rum rest for 1 minute per year old in the glass. Makes a big difference.
In the mouth the Zacapa XO is very smooth and sweet at first and after a while I get some spice and oak. All the flavors stays long in in the mouth. The flavor of spice and a little taste of cognac stays for a long time. Very smooth in the throat.
The Zacapa XO is a sipper that I enjoy neat. I think it is a top quality luxury rum but for me there are some better sippers that I have given 10/10.
Nice ron finished in Cognac barrels taste is good like strong Young man.
The XO is very smooth. It's rather expensive, but well worth it.
Zacapa XO 40% 40% Guatemala
Eye: Deep reddish mahogany
Nose: Starts with whiffs of stable and sty, ammonia and ethanol that numbs the upper inside of the nose. Then hedges like crushed thuja and hornbeam together with hazel. A peculiar fresh and "cool" scent that reminds me of spring. Very unusual in that respect. Moist soil, clear brook, new leather, hyacinths and lupines. Restrained scent that struggle behind a cloud of ethanol. Then a string of green lime. And then back to the flowers again, predominantly hyacinths and tulips now. Very intriguing smell in this one. Finishes with fragrances like Tabac, caramel and black tea.
Mouth: Developments of broad sweetness, much more than on the nose. Spreads honey, coffee, coconut butter and a plethora of very pleasant spices. Appealing exotic- and oriental elements through the whole experience. Beautifully balanced with a toasted and sweet central theme that lingers unexpectedly in a fresh and spirited fashion. It is long and ends with a welcome dry oakiness.
Reaction: What the smell didn´t manage to convey, the taste made up for. The mouth is excellent. It is a lovely rum that the producer must be very confident and content with. The intention is clear and obviously meticulously delivered. Here we have a complex nectar which is engaging, big and elegant at the same time. One has manage to create a rum that is immediately well received and ingratiating without being boring or overbearing. As an old whisky & cognac appreciator I sometimes find rum to be a little insipid and all too sweet but I think this one serve as a good ambassador for the stuff. It is in a good price range and is easy enough to find (at least in the Nordics). The bottle is very "elegant" which I don´t care for, but hey, who cares when it is up there with the classics?
Price: 999 SEK
Tasted: 2016, in a Riedel Sommelier Cognac XO glass at room temperature.
I didn't hesitate to give this a 10. The ONLY way to drink this is neat. The smoothness of this rum was like a Caribbean afternoon. Little bit of bite (I wouldn't call it burn) at the end made this my new, favorite rum. It accompanied my Partagas Series E No. 2. For a little over an hour I was absolutely in paradise sitting on the beach in Akumal enjoying both.
Great value for money, honey nose and complex finish
Af half the price of the Abuelo Centuria (my absolute favoriete rum to date) it get's pretty close in smell and thickness. Not quite as rich in taste but XO still lingers longer than most. Smoother in the mouth than the 23 Zacapa its a must have bottle for a serious rum drinker.
Some days this is my favorite rum in my cabinet. Other days the El Dorado 21 beats it, but most often not.
Love the complex, long aftertaste, with just the right amount of burn.
I think is needless to describe what is perfection for us. The only thing I can say is: taste it and you'll love it!!! I got a bottle for my birthday, and after tasting it, I decided to keep it only for special occasions. Considering the quality, it costs even too little in my opinion! And also, great bottle, great casket...in one word: absolute perfection!
My favorite rum so far. Great bottle presentation and the taste to match. Not too sweet but just right.
While visiting Guatemala all the locals kept tell me to try "Ron Zacapa Centenario" but the labelling is somewhat confusing & it appears that there's several different "Centenario's", typically 15 or 30 years old. The one I had was the 30 year old Ron Zacapa, Solera Gran Reserva Especial & it was excellent. Probably the smoothest Rum I've tasted, but with a wonderful flavour & a slightly spicy aftertaste that makes it delicious.
An amazing rum. The best I've ever tried. Just for special occasions and to share with special friends.
The old Bottle is excellent as a basis for a lamp (when empty!). :-)
Smooth and very well balanced with vanilla, marzipan, oak, caramel and honey aroma. Long aftertaste, a little bit too sweet for me but waiting so long to taste it and it's was great experience. Must be part of your collection ! Real rate = 8,5
This rum has a very nice smell of oak, cognac, and caramel, and the taste follows the nose. It's nice, but to me it's not quite on par with some of other top rums I've had as I think the cognac aging is a bit much and takes away from the rum slightly. But if you enjoy cognac, then perhaps you'll like this even more than I did.
Got it from a friend who went to Guatemala. Love this rum! My collection is not that big yet, but this bottle made it definitely in the very top league.
Wunderbarer Ron mit sehr schöner dunkler Mahagoni Farbe.
In der Nase eine ausgewogene Komposition von süssen Vanillenoten, edlen Hölzern und Früchten.
Im Gaumen spielt das Orchester weiter mit dunkler Schokolade, Trockenfrüchte, Karamell, Holz und noch
viele weitere Nuancen sind zu entdecken, sehr komplexer Ron.
Im Abgang gehen Träume in Erfüllung, süsse Schärfe, rote Beeren und noch mehr Holz.
Ein wahres Meisterwerk !
Wonderful Ron with very nice dark mahogany color.
In the nose a balanced composition of sweet vanilla notes, noble woods and fruits.
In the palate the orchestra continues to play with dark chocolate, dried fruit, caramel, wood and still many more nuances are to be discovered, very complex Ron.
The finish, a dreams come true, sweetness, red berries and even more wood.
A true masterpiece!
Zacapa 23 is one of my favorites and the XO takes it to another level. Smooth and delicious. Can be over priced so look for bargains. Beautiful color, scent and smooth taste.
Zacapa XO, nebo celým názvem Ron Zacapa XO Solera Gran Reserva Especial, je směs rumů starých 6 až 25 let, zrající metodou solera. Nenechte si tedy od heuréky ani e-shopů namluvit, že se jedná o rum pětadvacetiletý. Konečné zrání probíhá v sudech po koňaku, předtím jsou použity sudy po bourbonu i po sherry Pedro Ximénez. Zraje v nadmořské výšce okolo 2200 metrů nad mořem. Jediný rozdíl mezi Zacapa 23 a Zacapa XO je tak v oněch dvou letech navíc v sudech po koňaku. A pak už jen v lepší prezentaci balení a více než dvojnásobné ceně. A vlastně ještě v malé drobnosti, v horší vůni i chuti...
Alkohol: 40 %
Aroma: Hutná, těžká, koženě-medově-dřevitě-mátová. Ale nemohu se zbavit dojmu, že aroma je uzavřené. Přímé srovnání se Zacapou 23 to potvrdilo. Postupně, jak si pohrávám s Glencairn sklenkou, tak se otevírá další vrstva vůně a nastupuje starý nábytek, kadidlo, sirup, trochu i sladkost smíchaná s hřebíčkem. (88 b)
Chuť: Hutný na jazyku, olejnatý. Ale je tak zvláštně jemný, na první napití nijak ohromující. Bohužel ani na druhé, ani na třetí napití, ani na dvacáté.Popisy chutě by byly podobné jako u aroma, snad ještě těžší dřeitost, čokoládová dřevitost a trochu borové pryskyřice navíc. Popsané složky vypadají snad lákavě, ale pro mě je chuť celkem zklamáním, to vůně na tom byla ještě znatelně lépe. (86 b)
Shrnutí: Poprvé jsem ho ochutnal na červnové akci s josém v Hořicích, využili jsme toho, že má josé doma otevřenou Zacapu 23 a udělali jsme i přímé srovnání. Zacapa 23 je bohatší na vůně i chutě, je oproti uzavřené, usedlé a těžké XO svěžejší a zajímavější. Stejné výsledky byly později i při porovnání s mým TOP rumem, Presidente Marti 23. Jen ještě s výrazněji horším vyzněním pro Zacapu XO. Asi není náhodou, že na červnové degustaci Zacapa XO skončila na posledním místě ochutnávky, za Plantation Belize X.O. Single Cask Pineau des Charentes Finish a British Navy Pusser's 15 yo Nelson's Blood. Říkal jsem si, že se nebudu unáhlovat a recenzi sepíšu až po dalších ochutnávkách, třeba jí na chuť přijdu časem. No, nestalo se, dojem je stále stejný. Za ty peníze je to opravdu velké zklamání, za 2000 korun bych si raději koupil tři lahve ročníkových Plantationů a udělal bych mnohem lépe. Ale samozřejmě jde jen o můj, čistě subjektivní dojem.
Ron Zacapa XO rum review by Everyday Drinking
Ron Zacapa XO rum tasting notes by Gear Patrol
Ron Zacapa XO rum review by The Ultimate Rum Guide