Help me replace Ron Zacapa Centenario.
September 9, 2007 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a good sipping rum, please.

I was given a bottle of Ron Zacapa Centenario, which I liked a lot and have finished. The information on the bottle says it's "imported, barrel aged rum" from Zacapa, Guatemala. The helpful folks at PA liquor control board say that they've tried to contact the importers (Botran Imports, LLC, Miami FL) several times and have received no response. I found the rum's website but never got a response either. So I'm looking for a good, hopefully not too expensive (under $40) replacement.

Best description: it was very smooth, somewhat sweet...
posted by leahwrenn to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am currently sipping Angostura 1919 over ice. It's a good, if mild, sipping rum. Having never tried yours so cannot coment on it being a good replacement but it is very pleasant. Very vanilla and soft caramel although not as sweet as I usualy like.
posted by brautigan at 2:25 PM on September 9, 2007

I've been enjoying a bottle from Rhum Clement of Martinique in your price range. This bottle might be a bit drier than sweet, but it's enjoyable for sipping on its own.
posted by gimonca at 2:30 PM on September 9, 2007

Good question! I just went and got myself a shot of Santa Teresa 1796, and I am enjoying it right now. Another good one is Ron Barrelito 3 star, it's a little cheaper and you can get it at the San Juan, PR airport for $10. Cheers.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2007

Oh, and here's your rum. I didn't see any prohibition from shipping to PA anywhere.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2007

I didn't see any prohibition from shipping to PA anywhere.

Listed here. PA is notoriously bad for booze imports.

Appleton's aged rums are pretty sippable: the V/X is cheap and probably has decent distribution, even to Blue Law PA.
posted by holgate at 3:07 PM on September 9, 2007

If you weren't in the US I'd recommend you try Havana Club Añejo 7 Años, which is a beautifully smooth-sipping drink.
posted by misteraitch at 3:17 PM on September 9, 2007

St. James, from Martinique, if you can find it. Heavenly!
posted by solongxenon at 3:30 PM on September 9, 2007

A friend of mine really likes Captain Morgan's Private Stock.
posted by mmascolino at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2007

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum is very nice over ice, and apparently won an award once.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:37 PM on September 9, 2007

I love Flor de Caña from Nicaragua!
posted by emd3737 at 4:54 PM on September 9, 2007

Try Appleton Estates V/X.
posted by annabellee at 5:08 PM on September 9, 2007

I'm a big fan of Sailor Jerry. Very smooth and sweet, and considerably cheaper than $40.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:27 PM on September 9, 2007

I'm quite fond of a dark rum called Pyraat XO, that comes in a squat bottle with ribbons around it and, for no apparent reason, a medallion with Hotei on it. It's about 35 bucks. Very smooth, sweet, banana and butterscotch flavors.

For $8, you can find a dark rum called Cruzan Black Strap (Navy tradition, says the label), which is almost as good. For mixing it is every bit as good; it's pleasant to sip too, but a little bit less complex flavor.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:53 PM on September 9, 2007

Ah, good old Zacapita. I actually swilled down a couple of glasses today. Great for sipping, like you said, actually similar to Havana Club like someone mentioned above.

I'm in Guatemala City, and I wouldn't mind picking up a bottle (or as many as you need) down at the neighborhood liquor store and mailing it to you (I've never mailed liquor or liquids before to the US, so there's a little research to be done).

Email's in my profile, if you're interested.
posted by papafrita at 7:25 PM on September 9, 2007

I'm a BIG fan of Ron Zacapa Centenario -- from the moment I first sipped it while dangling my toes in Lake Atitlan -- and quite honestly I've never found its equal.

I'll be revisiting Guatemala soon as I'm able (more coffee farms to tour) but meanwhile I make a bargain with *other* folks who are visiting: I'll pay for three bottles, two for me, and one for them. Purchased duty free in Guatemala City, it runs about $25 a bottle.

Or, on preview, you could take papafrita up on his exceptional offer. ;)
posted by deCadmus at 9:39 PM on September 9, 2007

Rum fanatic here. Ron Zacapa Centenario is definitely incredible. I'm surprised it's proving to be so much trouble finding it in the US tough -- it's pretty easy to come by in the UK and I've found it in Mass and Connecticut.

Anyway, others have mentioned some excellent options: Santa Teresa 1796 is very good as is their "Selecto". Sailor Jerry is also surprisingly drinkable over ice (especially the vanilla and lime variety) and quite inexpensive. It's got a fun story behind it too.

However, my favourite without a doubt is Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti. Their 3-star rum is excellent (and easy to come by) but their 5-star rum -- good lord it's incredible. Do yourself a favour and try to find some.

Some other interesting options -- Pere Labat rum from a small island near Martinique. Holy hell it's strong (130 or 140 proof if I remember correctly) but it's actually quite good and the distillery has a really interesting story behind it. Might be a little tough to find.

Good luck and do everyone a favour and spread the gospel of rum. Too many people view it as simply a cheap mixer; how utterly, catastrophically incorrect they are.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 1:19 AM on September 10, 2007

Pyrat XO Reserve is my favorite rum in that price range, as well.
posted by emmastory at 3:43 AM on September 10, 2007

Ahhhh, my favorite hobby...

I recently attended a fantastic rum tasting, which I blogged about--I think I tasted 32 rums that night. The Zacapa Centenario was one of my favorites, but another big hit was Zaya, in the same price range. The Plantation line is also fabulous, with several types to choose from.

All of these are regularly in stock at my favorite liquor store, Schneider's of Capitol Hill.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:19 AM on September 10, 2007

Yes I'll nth Pyraat XO and Barbancourt...
posted by ob at 8:03 AM on September 10, 2007

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