Age: 23 y/o (sort of)
Note: Solera style aging, non chill-filtered (?)
Appearance: Chestnut brown with thick, slow, sticky legs (coloring is allowed)
Nose: Alcohol, old oak, XO brandy, punes, sherry, mace, allspice, ginger.
On the palate: Muted upon entry, but slowly opens up. Heavy, chewy mouth feel. Brown sugar, sweet cherries, raisins, dried figs, prunes, Chinese five spice.
Finish: Sweet. Caramels, toffees, very little heat, just pure sweetness.
Parting Words: Ron Zacapa is the first sipping rum I’ve reviewed. It’s the one most people tell me to try when I ask for a recommendation of a fine sipping rum. It certainly fits that category. It’s hard to imagine a sipping rum finer than this. I enjoy Zacapa 23 neat, or with a tiny squirt of lime juice just to cut the sugary sweetness.
It claims to be aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks using a solera method. This method is used frequently for brandy and sherry. It involves refilling casks as the spirit evaporates out of them. So while there is 23 year old rum in the barrels that go into Ron Zacapa 23, it would not qualify as 23 years old under the rules for whiskeys. At any rate, this is a very well-done, fine whiskey suited for after dinner (or lunch I guess) sipping. Ron Zacapa 23 is highly recommended.