The two most popular posts on my blog are for the Solera 23 and the Centenario XO from Ron Zacapa. Partly because of its contribution to my stats, but mostly because of it’s unbelievably smooth finish, the brand has become one of my firm favourites.
There will be some out there who say the rum is more liqueur than spirit. They will say the mass produced column stilled products of the Caribbean offer a truer interpretation of what rum should be. They might even be right.
Whatever your feelings on the subject of what the best rum in the world is, Zacapa is undeniably very special. This is their most special product. It is Ron Zacapa Centenario 30 Anniversario. Identified by the blue label on the traditional glass bottle with the pecate relief that the XO come packaged in, and delivered in a velvet lined blue box with two custom commissioned Reidel crystal glasses, this bottle is so rare it’s almost a myth.
Most bottles give up a little history when you start down a path of research. Not so this one. Bottled in 1996, 30 years after the brand’s inception, the blue labeled bottle predates the blog powered liqoursphere that holds much of the worlds information of all aspects of things alcoholic. Jason told me it is actually 23 yr old Zacapa, as opposed to Solera aged Zacapa that contains rum as old as 23 years. It does lack a little of the Limousin that the XO carries, so it could potentially be the right answer.
One of the interesting little snippet I found in trying to find definitive answers on this bottle was a fella who’d talked to a company that analysed the Zacapa product and noticed a higher than expected percentage of heavy alcohols, usually present because of pot stilling. The guy also talked about the fine press sugar syrup standing a lower proof run in the still and carrying across more of the flavour (and sugar, presumably) which might be why it tastes a bit more liqueury.
Good luck finding one of these. I’d suggest a standing bar in Tokyo, or the Japanese end of eBay would probably be you best bet.