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Cigar Spirits: Ron Zacapa Centenario XO Rum

3 Apr 2012

As the weather gets warmer, I increasingly find myself pairing my after-dinner cigars with a glass of well-aged rum. Zaya Gran Reserva 12 Year and the Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 are two staples in my liquor cabinet, but recently I picked up a particularly exceptional rum.

Even older and more limited than the Zacapa 23 is the XO. The XO is blended from solera-aged rums ranging from 6 years to 25 years and generally sells for around $90 (though you should shop around because I’ve seen prices range from $60 to $110).

Like the Zacapa 23, the Centenario XO is a blend of rums made from virgin sugar cane juice aged in Zacapa’s “House in the Clouds” distillery 7,000 feet above sea level, in Guatemala. The rum is aged in a combination of American bourbon, sherry, Pedro Ximenez wine, and cognac barrels.

The result is a thoroughly complex, smooth rum that’s dark bronze in color with long legs. The nose is a combination of oak, molasses, citrus, and spice.

But it’s when you take your first taste that you really appreciate what an exceptional spirit the Zacapa XO is. Powdered cocoa, toffee, orange peel, banana, and cinnamon are all apparent in this exquisitely balanced and smooth rum. The finish lingers with plenty of molasses and a touch of spice.

All in all, this is an excellent rum that’s perfect with a fine cigar. (Try it neat or with a maximum of a single ice cube.) Cuban smokes, with their earthy sweetness, go great with Zacapa XO. So do spicier Nicaraguan and Honduran cigars (though really you’d be hard-pressed to find a good cigar that wasn’t an enjoyable pairing).

While I’m not sure the Centenario XO is worth twice the price of the Zacapa 23, it certainly is a fine rum. If you’re a fan of Zacapa 23 or Zaya, you should find a way to try the Ron Zacapa Centenario XO at least once.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

5 Responses to “Cigar Spirits: Ron Zacapa Centenario XO Rum”

  1. Cigar Inspector Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Sounds like a scrumptious rum – I can see those notes complementing a lot of my favourite cigars.

  2. Francis Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Excellent rum! Try it with a Padron Natural from the 1000s series!

  3. Frodo Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Just happened to buy and open a bottle last week while buying mega-millions tix at a local liquor store. Have tried the 23 in the past which is really good as well. Indeed a lot going on in the flavors department, but my palate is not advanced enough to discern singular flavors yet. I find I like the sweetness of rum paired with cigars more so than with whisky or cognac even. It seems smoother to me from the start. Very enjoyable! Great review!

  4. Anne Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Just opened a bottle that i bought on-line, amazing price they gave me by the way! this rum exceded all my expectations, and if you add a slice of orange even better. If someone is interested you can get it here: http://en.mokaon.com/spirits/rum/222/rum-zacapa-c
    Cheers!

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  1. Iowa legislature considering tax hike on loose tobacco | Let's Talk About Cigar - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    […] Centenario XO is worth twice the price of the Zacapa 23, it certainly is a fine rum. Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine This entry was posted in Price Of Cigar and tagged considering, hike, Iowa, legislature, loose, […]