Ron Zacapa Centenario

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Bottle of Ron Zacapa XO
Ron Zacapa Centenario 23

Ron Zacapa Centenario is a premium rum produced in Guatemala[1] by Rum Creation and Products, a subsidiary of Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala, and distributed and marketed by Diageo. Zacapa Centenario was created in 1976 to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of Zacapa, a town in eastern Guatemala. It was the result of the hard work and dedication of a doctor and chemist named Alejandro Burgaleta, who mastered the blending, stabilization and maturing processes of long-aged rums to create the first limited production of Ron Zacapa Centenario. [2]

It is made using the concentrated first-pressing sugar cane juice—called "virgin sugar cane honey" by the company—and is aged and blended using the solera method traditionally used for sherries. This solera aging system is dynamic; as the blended rums pass through four different types of barrels, the last stage includes barrels that previously aged Pedro Ximenez, an intensely sweet, dark dessert sherry from Jerez, Spain. Nowadays, this process is overseen by master blender Lorena Vazquez. The company claims that part of their success lies in the fact that the barrels are stored 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) above sea level in an aging facility situated below the upper slopes of the mountains and volcanoes of Guatemala, with an average temperature of 62 °F (17 °C).[3] After leaving the rum to age in these barrels they are put into large 20,000 liter American white oak casks for one more year and then finally bottled.

Early Zacapa bottles came in a bottle covered in a petate[4] - a handwoven matting made from palm leaves which dates from the Mayan period carefully crafted in Esquipulas, near the borders with Honduras and El Salvador, by traditional hat artisans. More recently they feature a band around the middle of the bottle.[3]

The rum won first place in the premium rums category 4 years in a row at the International Rum Festival 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. It was the first rum to be included in the International Rum Festival's Hall of Fame.[5]

Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 used to be known as Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Años. Its name changed due to the confusion it caused, as people thought it was a 23-year-old rum instead of a blend of rums between 6 and 23 years old.[6]


Zacapa is a small town in eastern Guatemala founded in 1876. The rum was named for its 100th anniversary in 1976.[7] Dr. Burgaleta also developed and created the rum Venado, another product of Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala.


Zacapa is aged at a high altitude where the temperature and oxygen concentration are low, which slows down the aging process to allow more time for aromas and flavors to combine. Zacapa 23, the key variant of the family portfolio, is a blend of rums aged between 6 and 23 years using the solera system. Older and younger rums are blended as they age in a sequence of barrels that previously stored American whiskeys, sherries and Pedro Ximenez wines. Zacapa 23 is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. Zacapa rums are heavily sweetened, at the end of the aging and blending process, these rums have between 20gr/L & 23gr/L of residual sugar; mainly fructose and glucose. Zacapa is widely believed to add sugar and other flavoring extracts to its finished rums.[8]


  • Zacapa 15 – A premium rum aged between 5 and 15 years. 40% Alc by Volume.
  • Zacapa 23 - A premium rum aged between 6 and 23 years. 40% Alc by Volume.
  • Zacapa 23 Black Label – A premium rum aged between 6 and 23 years. 43% Alc by Volume.
  • Zacapa 23 Straight from the Cask – A premium rum aged between 6 and 23 years. 45% Alc by Volume.
  • Zacapa XO - A super premium rum aged between 6 and 25 years. 40% Alc by Vol
  • Zacapa Centenario 30 Aniversario - A super premium rum aged up to 23 years. 40% Alc by Volume.


  1. ^ Sangster, Rob. Traveler's Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America. Menasha Ridge Press, 2008. ISBN 0-89732-984-8
  2. ^ "Zacapa Centenario Reserva 23 Años Copas Riedel (Guatemala)". Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Frommer's Guatemala". Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Rum Zacapa. Polished Palate
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Retrieved 4 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Finnish ALKO additive findings &

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