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.
The bouquet shows sweet caramel notes synonymous with Ron Zacapa, but along with those notes I was also getting bay leaf and a hint of oregano. Initially the palate showed instantly that this rum was much stronger than the Ron Zacapa 23. A much more complex rum those herb notes were coming through along with caramel, with a subtle hint of wood and vanilla. A great finish on the palate with those herb flavours creating a long finish.