From 19th century railroad to 21st century rum

In eastern Guatemala, 751ft above sea level, lies the town of Zacapa.

Founded in 1876 as a bustling railroad stop, the resident population was soon joined by travellers from around the world, leaving a legacy that can still be seen today in local surnames.

In 1976, the town reached its centenary. To celebrate this historic event, Guatemala’s premier rum-producing company decided to create something special.

By harnessing expert knowledge gained over many years, a unique premium spirit was born: Ron Zacapa Centenario.

A symbol of pride on every bottle

As the heart of the ancient Mayan empire, Guatemala’s history stretches back thousands of years. We’re proud to say the Mayan period continues to influence Guatemalan art, culture and language.

This heritage is intrinsic to the craftsmanship of Zacapa, which is why we adorn every bottle with a petate band.

A royal Mayan symbol representing the unity of time and space, earth and sky, each petate band is traditionally hand-woven in villages of the Departments of Chiquimula, El Quiché and El Progreso.

Coolly aged to perfection

In the highlands of Quetzaltenango, 7544ft above sea level, lies The House Above the Clouds.

This stunning location – one of the highest ageing facilities in the world – is where Zacapa Rum slowly develops its complex flavour and character over time.

Here in the mountains, the cool temperature slows the ageing process, while the thinner air and lower atmospheric pressure helps intensify the infusion of flavours from the barrels.

Only in this precise spot can Zacapa’s exceptionally deep aroma, full colour and rich palate emerge to reach perfection. 

Lorena Vásquez, Master Distiller

The luxury of time

Once the barrels of distilled Zacapa are in place at The House Above the Clouds, it’s time to start the complex, finely balanced ageing process.

We use a unique Sistema Solera, based on a Spanish tradition developed over 500 years ago to age sherry.

Our Sistema Solera involves blending rums of various ages in casks that once held robust American whiskey, delicate sherry and fine Pedro Ximenez wines.

Every drop of rum passes through each type of cask, allowing each one to share its aromas and flavours with the maturing liquid. The result is a remarkable rum of exceptional quality.