1976 was the 100th anniversary of Zacapa (which means "On the river of grass" in the Aztec language), a Guatemalan city of 20,000 souls, located on the banks of the Rio Shutaque river. For the occasion, many great local families came together to decide how to best honor their hometown. As they all worked in the world of spirits and liquors, for the "Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala" company, the idea of making a commemorative rum quickly came up. That's when the Ron Zacapa Centenario was born.
Aged between 6 and 23 years (using the famous Spanish "Sistema Solera"), at 2,300 meters of altitude, above the clouds where the weather is cool and damp, the Zacapa rum is among the premium rums. It's made with concentrated cane juice (known in the region as "mel de caña") fermented using pineapple yeast. This is what gives this rum such a unique taste.
The distillation process is entirely supervised by one woman, Lorena Vásquez. In 2015, she was named one the 25 most influential women in the world, and is responsible for the incredible flavors of Zacapa. The brand has actually done a lot for local women. More than 700 of them are working full time at weaving the "petate", a band of dried palm leaves that surrounds the bottles of rum, historically made by the Mayan people. Zacapa helps these women by offering them a stable revenue and better work conditions.
Today, Zacapa is seen as the "cognac of rum", for its taste and its prestige. It benefits from the Denominacion de Origen Protegida (or DOP, the equivalent of the French IGP) "Rones de Guatemala". The brand produces four cuvées in total: Zacapa 23 Sistema Solera, Zacapa Edicion Negra, Zacapa XO, Zacapa Royal, as well as one special edition: Zacapa 23 La Doma.