Rum from above the Clouds.
Ron Zacapa is named after a town in eastern Guatemala. Their plantation is located higher on the volcanic plains of Retalhuleu, 1148ft (350m) above sea level. Most Rums use molasses as their base, Zacapa, however, to impart a sweeter and smoother flavour, uses only the concentrated first press of sugar cane, known as virgin sugar cane honey. When it’s time to start the fermentation, a strain of yeast extracted from pineapples is used, which produces unique ‘Zacapa’ aromatic compounds.
The Rum is then distilled at sea level in continuous column stills and moved higher into the mountains where the maturation takes place. In the highlands of Quetzaltenango, 7544ft (2.300m) above sea level, lies The House Above the Clouds. This stunning location – one of the highest ageing facilities in the World – is where Zacapa slowly develops its complex flavour and character over time. After the initial three years of maturation in a solera system, the Rum is transferred to large American white oak casks for an additional year, before they're finally bottled. Rums between 6 and 23 years old are used in the blend of Ron Zacapa Solera 23.
Smartass corner: The lower atmospheric pressure helps intensify the infusion of flavours from the barrels. Barrels previously used for ageing Bourbons, Sherries and Pedro Ximénez wine are used.