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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.
I first spotted this at an airport duty free some years back. Afterwards, I asked a local liquor store to order in a couple bottles for me - and got them for a little bit cheaper (~US$45) even than Zacapa 23. It was a delightful find - the added smokiness and whisky-like character elevated a great sipping rum base even further, and over a few years I went through two bottles of my own, and gifted an additional bottle to family.
Lately I've started looking into buying a new bottle - and right now I can only find it very sporadically, and then at a much higher price point (~US$80). So at the moment I'm not about to re-stock this one unfortunately.
Rich caramel color, sweet nose, smoky and sweet flavor. This rum has a bit of a bite at the end and a lingering flavor, but solid flavor profile. Probably best served neat or on the rocks.
This is a great Zacapa, a little bit smoky. 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 intensive .
Smell: oak, caramel, mandarine, some herbs and smoked BBQ, dry fruits (plum)
Taste: Starts with caramel, barrel/wood, dry fruits, then some smoke appear with some tannins. It tastes like BBQ smoke, not like ash or islay finish.
I like this tasty smoked aroma.
Finish: spice, date, burned sugar, wood and some smoke
Value (47€): 4/5
Experience level: professional
My top 10 Zacapas:
Royal (too expensive)
Great aroma with a smooth, lingering taste that doesn’t disappoint. A bit sweet at the onset which keeps this from being rated higher but the flavors come through in the end. Dark color helps to make this a total package of sight, smell, and taste. Another great edition to my collection.
I tried the Ron Zacapa Edicion Negra back to back with the much better 23y Solera aged Zacapa and I was expecting a deeper taste profile and more intense flavors than the 23 year Solera aged Zacapa, but the Zacapa Negra version is actually much more smokier than I expected. I would imagine the Negra version will appeal to whisky fans, but I'm an advocate for proper aged dark rums with deep flavors, not whisky imitations. Struggles to even make a 7 rating.
Wow what a flavor profile it definitely has those chocolate notes I have come to expect from Zacapa and hints of cinnamon any smother and you would be drinking water this is some Great stuff my new favorite go to
No rum collection should be without this one again Wow
I haven't tried the 23, but my understanding is that this is similar but aged in 2 different heavily smoked barrels. It has a very complex set of flavors and aromas, and when I first tried it, I didn't like it much and I even thought it had some kind of a smoked tomato-y hint which I thought was offputting. However as I've tried it more over the past few weeks, I have found many interesting nuances, and the initial impression has given way to a real appreciation. It is a different rum from any I've tried, and that took some time to get used to. Now I look forward to it, it has a beautiful precise sweetness, a flare of smoke, easily and nicely balanced.
I love the color, the smell and most importantly the taste. Fresh, smooth and smoky with just the right sweetness for my palette.
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