While most drinkers look to the islands for their rum fix, good things are coming out of Guatemala, like Ron Zacapa XO ($50), a delicious blend of rums aged six to 25 years old.
Most rums are distilled from molasses, but Zacapa is produced from first pressed sugar cane juice at its Guatemalan distillery. Once ready for aging, the rum is transferred to barrels that previously held American whiskeys, sherries, Pedro Ximenez wines and Cognac. It’s then aged at 2300 meters above sea level in Zacapa’s aptly named House Above the Clouds. The cool temperatures and thin mountain air create a slower maturation process, which when combined with the blending of rums and barrels, produces a fine sipping rum that’s rich, balanced and elegant.
Housed in a classy decanter, Ron Zacapa XO has lush aromas of toasted oak, caramel, nuts and orange peels. Take a sip and drink in flavors ranging from dark cherries and dried fruits to vanilla, cinnamon and caramel. The palate blends sweet with spice and lingers on the tongue for a smooth, long and luxurious finish.
With rum this smooth, don’t sully the flavors with mixers or ice. Just pour a healthy measure into your glass and soak in your appreciation for Guatemala.
Buy Now: $50