A story full of magic, lasting more than half a century. An ever-growing story, about man and his desire to create beauty and overcome ever-higher limits. As length is not a term in itself, but it is the key to the chemistry behind this rum. In every story there is a key moment, and one of the most important moments for Zacapa is the arrival of his charismatic mixer, Lorena Vasquez, who – creative and far-sighted – chooses to take the aging process towards new challenges, even further. Tradition and physically lifting the vault to a place above the clouds. Here, more than 2,300 meters above sea level, history changed direction again and a new dimension of flavors emerged. Which makes Zacapa what it is today.
The place where the barrels age is Zacapa’s true home, perhaps more so than the distillery itself. House above the clouds. The place where aging in the highlands becomes a reality after a long journey, not always easy given the mountain roads, from the lowlands where sugarcane is harvested and processed, up to the highlands of Guatemala. From the slopes of volcanic craters to places where only eagles dare to fly. And it is precisely the air surrounding this aging center that makes the difference. The mountain air, thanks to it being particularly rarefied, reduces one of the oldest problems of distillation: the evaporation of the liquid in the casks. That part of the angels, as is commonly said, which in this state remains within the panels and rests quietly. And it is during this slow rest, often exceeding 20 years per release, that Zacapa becomes what he is now.
However, the air, no matter how charming, is not enough. Clouds cannot take credit for being the sole creators of this magic. The complex aromatic composition of this rum is given to us by the method of maturation. That is, in this case, the Solera system. An ancient process that involves mixing different ages, characters and maturities in some special barrels; All have previously been used to age bourbon, sherry and Prideaux Chiminés. What time has stolen from these precious liquids it gives, in a way, to rum. However, time must help, and this is where the almost chemical mastery of Mr. Mezcládor (the master, in Zacapa’s case) comes into play, allowing the rum to have the best aromas, the most evocative flavors. There are so many barrels, and being able to choose which parts to use and how many to create the perfect blend, is a truly unique art.
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