Ron Zacapa Centenario represents the culmination of several generations dedicated to the manufacture of genuine aged rums. The history of Zacapa rum starts with the erection of a new city in 1876: Zacapa (one of the departments of Guatemala). Nothing out of the ordinary happened until the year 1914, when Industria Licorera Guatemalteca started to produce rum. Between 1914 and 1939 several Guatemalan families individually established their own spirits companies throughout the country. In 1930 Company Industria Licorera Euzkadi opened its doors and in that same year Licorera Zacapaneca also started rum production. Finally in 1939 Industria Licorera Quezalteca opened its doors and in 1944 these four companies begun the merging of the companies. By doing so they were able to create a more modern distillery, which was needed in those fast developing modern times when the liquor industry was a growing factor in Guatemala’s economy. The new group of many companies was named Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala. As time went by new insights grew and a new company called La Nacional, Distribuidora de Licores S.A. was created in 1959 which was dedicated for marketing, distribution and sales as a combined project. Today La Nacional even includes an in-house printing company, regional distribution centres and product transportation services. It took them until 1976 to establish the brand Ron Zacapa. This name was given as a celebration during a festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the town of Zacapa. Ron Zacapa sources its sugar cane from the plantations of Retalhuleu and Suchitepéquez. Now Ron Zacapa encompasses only serious rums intended for sipping. Zacapa uses their own distillery and four different production plants and they invest steadily in the incorporation of technology and have direct operations in the countries of the Central American region. At the moment Ron Zacapa is created in one of the most modern distilleries where nothing is thrown away but all reused.
A deep, noble mahogany-brown color shows beautifully in the bottle and your glass. The aroma is intricate and gloriously rewarding. If rum were perfume, its name would be Zacapa XO. Complementing the aroma are hints of dried fruit (dates, raisin, apricot, apple), vanilla, and spices (clove and cinnamon), all balanced with timeless perfection. As for the initial taste, it is in a word: exquisite. Zacapa XO is completely delicious, one of a handful of rums that forces RnD to re-calibrate our superlatives. Following is a body perfectly gentle and warming to the palate, with a slight essence of vanilla. A long finish works at the back corners of your tongue like the finest light chocolate, slowly and quietly fading, like a whisper “savor, savor.”