We aren’t getting out nearly as much as we used to. And there’s the prospect of more of the same for months to come. But fear not! If you are of legal drinking age, have a credit card, and live in a state that allows for the delivery of adult beverages, you too can receive this “vacation in a bottle.”
Ron Zacapa Sistema Solera 23 is an enchanting dark rum from Guatemala. Native sugar cane is used to produce the sugar cane honey that gets fermented with specific yeast strains cultivated from pineapples. After five days of fermentation in open vats, the rum wash is then run through a single column still. The unaged spirit is then barreled in a variety of refill casks that previously contained American whiskey, European sherry, and Pedro Ximénez wine.
The barrels are then transported to the town of Quetzaltenango, nestled in the Guatemalan Highlands at an altitude of over 7,000 feet. The cooler ambient temperatures, approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit, allow the rum to mature and develop in flavor at a slower rate. The 500 year old Spanish Sistema Solera method was originally used to blend sherry but this method and practice allows Ron Zacapa the opportunity to blend a combination of rums that are aged between 6 and 23 years.
In the glass, the rum reflects a rich amber hue. On the nose, aromas of vanilla bean, cocoa, and coffee are readily identifiable. This is an instantly enjoyable rum that highlights the sweet notes of butterscotch, caramel, and tropical stone fruits when tasted neat. The palate showcases bright citrus notes that yield to baking spices like clove and ginger. This is a well-balanced rum that is rich, viscous, and not overly sweet. The finish is long and slightly smoky with hints of macadamia nut and fresh cedar. At 40% ABV, it’s suitable for cocktails but we believe best enjoyed on the rocks or sipped neatly from a snifter.
Enjoy the remaining days of summer—and plan your escape!