Ron Zacapa Centenario is a premium rum produced in Guatemala and distributed and marketed by Diageo. Zacapa Centenario was created in 1976 to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of Zacapa, a town in eastern Guatemala. It was the result of the hard work and dedication of a doctor and chemist named Alejandro Burgaleta, who mastered the blending, stabilization and maturing processes of long aged rums to create the first limited production of Ron Zacapa Centenario.
It is made using the concentrated first-pressing sugar cane juice—called “virgin sugar cane honey” by the company—and is aged and blended using the solera method traditionally used for sherries. This Solera aging system is dynamic; as the blended rums pass through four different types of barrels, the last stage includes barrels that previously aged Pedro Ximenez, a intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry from Jerez, Spain. Nowadays, this process is overseen by master blender Lorena Vazquez. The company claims that part of their success lies in the fact that the barrels are stored 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) above sea level in an aging facility situated below the upper slopes of the mountains and volcanoes of Guatemala, with an average temperature of 62 °F (17 °C). After leaving the rum to age in these barrels they are put into large 20,000 liter American white oak casks for 1 more year and then finally bottled.
The rum won first place in the premium rums category 4 years in a row at the International Rum Festival 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. It was the first rum to be included in the International Rum Festival’s Hall of Fame.