Ron Zacapa Centenario

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Ron Zacapa Centenario
Type Rum
Manufacturer Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala
Distributor Diageo
Country of origin Guatemala
Website Ron Zacapa website

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 blending, stabilization and maturing processes of long-aged rums by doctor and chemist named Alejandro Burgaleta. [2]


Bottle of Ron Zacapa XO
Ron Zacapa Centenario 23

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

Early Zacapa bottles came in a bottle covered in a petate[3] - a handwoven matting made from palm leaves which dates from the Mayan period made 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.[4]

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.[5]


Zacapa 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. The blended rums pass through four different types of barrels, the last stage includes barrels that previously aged Pedro Ximenez, a dessert sherry from Jerez, Spain. The 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).[4] 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.

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.[6]



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.[7]


  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. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b "Frommer's Guatemala". Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Kaarlas, Tatu. "Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Rum Review". 
  6. ^ Finnish ALKO additive findings &
  7. ^ Rum Zacapa. Polished Palate

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