On Tuesday I got the opportunity to attend a seminar moderated by Lynnette Marrero and Steve Olson about Rum, specifically Zacapa (Guatemala) and the influence the different cask its aged on affect the flavor, texture and color. This is what I learned:
- Rum Zacapa is made from sugarcane honey not molasses, it is the only rum in the world that chooses to do this process. Getting roasted and caramelized flavors from the sugarcane with out the dryness of the molasses.
- The flavor of this rum is influences heavily by the terroir of Guatemala’s volcanic soil.
- The sugarcane is cut and taken to its distillery, where its crushed, the juice is then filtered and slightly heated, the end result is a condensed sugarcane honey similar to the agave nectar, light on the palate.
- Its a 5 day fermentation using pineapple yeast in order to develop character.
- Produced in a single column distillation with the goal of maintaining the flavor of the rum.
- The first distillate of Zacapa is taken into used bourbon casks for its first three years of its life, then if its ready to move on it goes into charred bourbon casks (Heavy charr Number 4). Its third move is into Oloroso Sherry Casks and finally Pedro Ximenez cask.
- To me the final product is a well balanced rum with notes of honey, cocoa, spiced oak and dried fruit flavours.