It’s not especially common for rum to be appreciated as, say, scotch and bourbon are. But increasingly we’re seeing “sipping rums” appear on the store shelves; premium spirits that are complex, high quality, and perfectly capable of standing up to their counterparts when served straight up or perhaps over an ice cube.
I recently sampled (extensively) from a bottle of Zacapa XO, a premium rum from Guatemala. The Zacapa XO is the top-of-the-line model amongst the lineup of Zacapa rums, and is a blend of rums that have been aged between 6 and 25 years, with an extra aging state in French oak barrels that formerly held cognac.
Let’s be clear: this stuff is good. Very good. But I’m not sure I’ll ever have occasion to drink it again. Premium quality, it seems, merits premium pricing. Go figure.
So, first, the tasting notes: Sweet without cloying; a very syrupy mouth feel for a spirit, some vanilla, almost butterscotch, and undertones of wood and cherry and spice. It lingers a bit in the mouth, not with heat but with a syrupy caramel. It’s an experience. It’s worth concentrating on.
But is it worth $100 a bottle, the suggested retail price?