Zacapa Rum: Just How Good Is It, Heavently!


From the “house above the clouds”

By Michael Hepworth

Hollywood, CA(Spiritsman)9/24/11/—Rum is a great drink that I have kind of re-introduced myself to lately, and one of the reasons is the increased exposure of Zacapa Rum from Guatemala into the USA market two years ago. They have signed a distribution deal with the mighty Diageo, so look for a lot more exposure for this dark and heavy rum. The prime reason that this rum is different and a bit of a standout from the Bacardi’s and Captain Morgan’s of this world is the fact that it does not use molasses in the production, but uses only the first pressing of sugar cane juice, also known as “virgin sugar cane honey.”

Grown in the high altitude mountain regions 8,000 feet above sea level and an average temperature of 62 degrees the aging process is much slower, and this is what gives Zacapa its color, body, flavor and aroma. Zacapa is an actual city that gave the rum its name in 1976, and in Suchitepequez you can find the sugar plantation that provides the raw materials. The warm climate and humidity produces each reed of sugar cane in about 14 months, and then the harvesting begins, an elaborate process that ends in the sugar cane honey ready for distillation.

The Master Distiller happens to be one of only three female master distillers in the world. Nicaraguan native Ana Lorena Vasquez Ampie has been involved with Guatemalan rum for 22 years, and she is the one who personally selected the “house above the clouds,” home of Zacapa’s famous aging facility.

Jocotan provides the hand made pelate band that is placed around every bottle, and the bottling and distribution is handled out of the well named Mixco. In Jocate, almost 350 local Indian women are employed and produce 20,000 petate bands per month, an ancient ritual that dates back to the Mayan kings.

There are three versions of the rum on the market, Zacapa 15, Zacapa 23 and the ultra-premium version Zacapa XO. Rum experts love this rum and have described it as “smooth and luscious” and“seriously decadent rum.” Try Zacapa in a crystal glass over a single large ice cube to really experience the taste of  mahogany wood combined with fruit, vanilla, almond chocolate, toasted wood and hints of spice.

This is a classy rum that will impress your friends that can be found for about $45 for a 750ml bottle. High quality and good value as well.

Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211