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Old 12-20-2008, 07:41 PM   #11
bunnyhugs
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Interesting. . .

I was in Guatemala a few months back and found a couple of old Zacapa miniatures gathering dust behind a hotel bar. I bought them and did a comparison with the new Zacapa.

I don't have my tasting notes at hand, but from memory my impressions were similar to yours. It had roughly the same flavor as the modern Zacapa, except it actually tasted like rum. It was drier and more spirituous, but without losing the full mouth feel and richness.

I'm not sure when the miniatures were produced since I couldn't see a date on them.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:17 PM   #12
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Today, I found a very, very shelf worn bottle of the Zacapa 23, full palm frond. The shop owner has had it for at least 15 to 18 years. He has more and is going to find it for me. Tonight, I will put it up against single band Zacapa 23(grey shrink wrapping over cork), single band Zacapa 23(black shrink wrapping over cork), and the newest, current, bottling. My full-wrap bottle has a cap, too. Report to follow.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:44 AM   #13
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That is all good to know. I appreciate the reference to Rum 101. I am ashamed to say that I never noticed the link there but now that I am aware, I will definitely be reading it.

Rumdog, I would be very interested to find out how the different generations of Zacapa compare to one another. I look out for the post/thread.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:58 AM   #14
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Looking forward to your opinions, Rumdog. There has been much discussion about the Zacapa offerings on this forum. All I can say is the Zacapa from 86 was incredible.
As far as rum changing in the bottle, if the seal is air tight there should not be much change. Of course, storage is important, exposure to heat or direct sunlight would have an effect. The bottle we tried was stored in the back of a dark cabinet all those years, without any extreme temperature exposure.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Runner View Post
Yes, It would change a little. But the qualities of reduction (bottle ageing) are much less seen in spirits than for wine as an example.

If the closure is not compromised then the age in the bottle would theoretically be minimal upon the flavor profile.
That is absolutely true.
In regard to bottles we are discussing the Palm weave bottle with the plastic cap would be affected even less (what little change can occur is usually from 'cork conditioning' <for lack of a better term>, and the influence of ultra violet-- both of which would not be considered positive improvements).
The new bottles--well you get the drift.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumdog007 View Post
Tonight, I will put it up against single band Zacapa 23(grey shrink wrapping over cork), single band Zacapa 23(black shrink wrapping over cork), and the newest, current, bottling.
Battle Zacapa begins. . . .

Let us in on the outcome.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Koestner View Post
Well, there certainly is a difference. The old bottle was the newer blend on steroids. The aroma was almost overwhelming when the bottle was first opened, with a strong smell of alcohol. We used medium sized snifters, and let the pour rest a few minutes after a first sip to settle down. In one word: Delicious!
Excellent.. i haven't had the opportunity to try them side by side but from memory that is exactly how i remember it.
THANKS FOR REMINDING ME!!

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Old 12-21-2008, 10:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest View Post
Battle Zacapa begins. . . .

Let us in on the outcome.
OK, I'm in heaven. That last statement refers to the oldest of my Zacapa 23's (around 1990 or 1993). Please refer to Hank's notes for a more intelligent discourse on this rum. I am in total agreement with his assessment. It's more viscous on the tongue. More initial burn than any of the other 3 versions. After that, the spiciness of light/faint cinnamon and nutmeg rises up and then gives way to a much lighter sweetness (by 1/2, I'd say) that hints of apple. The finish has the spice and a kiss of vanilla. Man, this is why people were crazy for this rum. It would still not be a favorite of the drier rum lovers, but would definitely be more welcome on their shelves.

(Hank, there was something of the new Atlantico which reminds me of THIS Zacapa 23.)

The gray plastic seal bottle was from around 2002, or so. Pretty much the same as what they offer today with a tad less sweetness than today's offering and more flavor than the newest. It is related to the old, full palm, bottle but is not the same rum. Thinner, the finish is more about sweetness than taste. Then, the finish quickly dies.

The black plastic seal bottle was from 2006. Almost the same as the 2002 (grey) but it lacks some of it's complexity and, once again, more sweet.

The newest version is from 2008, purchased today. Pretty much the same as the last blend. Count Silvio hits the nail on the head with his review:

http://www.refinedvices.com/Ron-Zacapa-Centenario-23

When compared to the grey seal blend, there is a noticable difference. But, when compared to the old full palm blend....no contest. Is it worth looking for old dusty bottles hidden around in little shops? If you like a sweeter profile, but think that blenders may have gone too far in this direction, YES!


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