Ron Zacapa Centenario Systema Solera 23 Review

20150619_104738What is it: Rum from Guatemala made from sugar cane honey. Solera aged with the maximum age of rum in the blend being 23 years old (and probably not much of it); average age is estimated at around 8 years old. Sherry and bourbon casks in the blend. This is the previous bottling, not the new curvy one.

Coloured, filtered and 40% abv.

Sugar? Yep, around 20 grams per litre (according to on-line sugar tests), so not too bad actually.

Nose: Sweet, dark fruits, some sherry and some cola syrup/cola bottle confectionery, maybe cherry cola. There is some nice runny honey and milk chocolate too. Deep down there is a smoky element, maybe some cigar box or pipe tobacco and some roasted nuts.

Palate: Sweeeet. Thick and big mouth feel, but very sweet – more than I was expecting given the sugar tests. Brown sugar, oranges…no, marmalade and some banana. There is a distinct taste of Pint Pots/beer bottle sweeties that you used to have as a kid and a bit of cola. Once the sugar coating goes there is actually a little depth to this; musty, forest floors/rancio and maybe some aniseed, just about.

Finish: Quite long, more long than medium. Still some sweetness and a bit of banana/orange combo, but there are lots of spicy prickles. Oaky buzz and bitter flattening of everything. Maybe some aniseed, mint, and that tobacco at a push.

Thoughts? It’s too sweet for me really, way too sweet. There are some nice flavours in here for sure, but its totally over shaddowed by whatever has been added. This isn’t challenging and I wouldn’t pick it up when I wanted to engage my brain or senses, but for those switch off moments or after a meal or something it’d be ok. Fully aimed at people who want to drink rum in a pub and have no idea what rum tastes like.

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