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Old 11-15-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
Hank Koestner
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Default 20 year old Zacapa

I have a good friend, whom over the last year or two, I have introduced to the delights of rum, and one of his favorites is Zacapa 23. I spoke with him yesterday, and he was going through a cabinet that had a bunch of bottles in it, and in the back he found a bottle of Zacapa 23 that he purchased on a mission trip with his church in 1988! The bottle is unopened, and still completely full, no leakage. It has the full weave covering. He had purchased it not knowing anything about rum, and it got shuffled to the back of the cabinet. I hope to open and taste this rum with him very soon, and I am really looking forward to what Zacapa may have tasted like 20 years ago.
I will, of course, post my observations as soon as possible. Any comments on what I might expect?
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Koestner View Post
I have a good friend, whom over the last year or two, I have introduced to the delights of rum, and one of his favorites is Zacapa 23. I spoke with him yesterday, and he was going through a cabinet that had a bunch of bottles in it, and in the back he found a bottle of Zacapa 23 that he purchased on a mission trip with his church in 1988! The bottle is unopened, and still completely full, no leakage. It has the full weave covering. He had purchased it not knowing anything about rum, and it got shuffled to the back of the cabinet. I hope to open and taste this rum with him very soon, and I am really looking forward to what Zacapa may have tasted like 20 years ago.
I will, of course, post my observations as soon as possible. Any comments on what I might expect?
Certainly before my time - I didn't realize Zacapa had a 23 year old product way back in 1988.

Was rum that old in demand back then?
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:11 AM   #3
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Great story, Hank. I am looking forward to hear if what we buy now compares favorably.
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matusalem View Post
Certainly before my time - I didn't realize Zacapa had a 23 year old product way back in 1988.
Zacapa goes back to 1976 though I am not sure it was the solera 23 back then. Anyone have any idea if it was the 23 or something else?

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Originally Posted by REFINED VICES
In 1939 Industria Licorera Quetzalteca, S.A. was founded and it began producing rum but it was not until 1976 at the town of Zacapa in Guatemala when Ron Zacapa first emerged from its cocoon at a festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the town of Zacapa in 1876, which gave the rum its name as a celebration.
From the review.

Last edited by Count Silvio; 11-16-2008 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:22 AM   #5
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Well, my friends, according to the bottle, which was purchased in 1986, this is the Solera 23. And of course, it is the full weave covered bottle. Another interesting note: no cork. It was a plastic twist off cap. So, in order to be fair, I had to taste it next to a current bottle of Zacapa, opened about a month ago. I will post the exact comments on the bottle later.
Well, there certainly is a difference. The old bottle was the newer blend on steroids. The aroma was almost overwhelming when the bottle was first opened, with a strong smell of alcohol. We used medium sized snifters, and let the pour rest a few minutes after a first sip to settle down. In one word: Delicious! If this blend was available now, I can guarantee we would be drinking Zacapa 23 by the gallon. It was rich, complex, perfectly balanced and had one of the best mouth feels I have ever experienced. The newer Zacapa was sweeter, and, for lack of a better word, thinner. There was quite a few similarities in taste , but the old blend was more robust and intense in its presentation. We drank a few good pours, and will finish it off for the Holidays. I can not thank my friend John enough for sharing this with me.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for confirming this for us Hank. Good job.
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Old 12-20-2008, 03:45 PM   #7
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Yes, very interesting indeed...

Do you think the differences are a result of a different blend alone or do you think the extra age plays a role in these differences as well?

If age plays a significant enough role, what if I stored away a bottle of today's 23? Do you all think it would compare more to John's aged bottle or would it have different traits?
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:21 PM   #8
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Following Rum 101:

"Once the spirit is bottled the benefits of age are arrested and little change occurs."

(Click the Rum 101 link at the left and then question 5).
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Following Rum 101:

"Once the spirit is bottled the benefits of age are arrested and little change occurs."

(Click the Rum 101 link at the left and then question 5).
Yes but wouldn't the fact that it was sitting around so long change it at least a little bit? I suppose if it was unopened, the effects would be minimal, but I'm guessing there would still be some effects. Forget if it was already opened, as we all know that makes a pretty big difference over time.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbon View Post
Yes but wouldn't the fact that it was sitting around so long change it at least a little bit? I suppose if it was unopened, the effects would be minimal, but I'm guessing there would still be some effects. Forget if it was already opened, as we all know that makes a pretty big difference over time.
Yes, It would change a little. But the qualities of reduction (bottle ageing) are much less seen in spirits than for wine as an example.

If the closure is not compromised then the age in the bottle would theoretically be minimal upon the flavor profile.
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