In 2016, we introduced you to Ron Zacapa 23, (Is Ron Zacapa Truly the Benchmark?) a rum used as a benchmark at popular festivals around the world. To date, Ron Zacapa has received our only perfect score. Imagine Clint’s excitement when he found Ron Zacapa Edición Negra. He couldn’t get it home fast enough to taste.
Ron Zacapa rums are made in Guatemala using sugar cane harvested in the lowlands of southern Guatemala. The fermentation process uses a yeast strain from pineapples, then distilled in a single continuous column. The rum is then sent 7000 feet above sea level to mature. Here the ambient temperature is lower and more stable and the oxygen levels are lower, aiding in a slower aging process.
Ron Zacapa Edición Negra was launched in March of 2016. It is a blend of 6 – 24 year-old rums with extra aging time in double charred American oak and Pedro Ximénez wine casks.
The tasting notes on the bottle say, “The perfect way to enjoy Zacapa Edicíon Negra is over one large ice cube, which melts imperceptibly. This returns the rum to the temperature at which it was aged, respecting its remarkable flavor.” That is where we began our test.
He Said Rum Review
The nose is very subtle with a floral bouquet, vanilla and an undertone of molasses. A smokey note lies gently in the background. The initial sip is very smooth with the vanilla from the nose continuing on the palate and a little bit of added pepper. Letting it linger on the palate a bit longer allows the finish to open up bringing in a charred oak and some molasses. This rum definitely changes over time. As the coolness of the ice cube fades, there is another layer flavors that come out. The pepperiness becomes more prominent on the finish.
She Said Rum Review
The mahogany and copper color provides deep lacing on my glass. The nose smells like a pack of raisins with undertones of dark chocolate. I let it sit, while Clint samples, allowing the ice cube to do its magic. When I come back to the nose, the raisins are sweeter and the chocolate a bit darker. On the palate though, the ice cube plays havoc with the notes. You are overwhelmed with the coolness which muffles the notes. Once back at room temperature the raisins and chocolate are dominant with a slight hint of smokiness. The finish is smooth but does not linger. That actually makes me go back for another sip.
Overall Rum Review Ron Zacapa Edición Negra
While the ice cube opens up the nose we found it stifled the notes on the palate and finish. Begin your exploration of Ron Zacapa Edición Negra neat. Let the rum speak to you before deciding on adding the ice. At $57/bottle we would hands down stick with the Ron Zacapa 23 at $37/bottle but then again, that is our favorite.
4.25 of 5
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum