I have tried several times now to determine whether Ron Zacapa 23-year-old is better than the Zaya Gran Reserva. My friend Phil has helped also. No matter what we do, no matter how many times we try, they are equally fantastic.
But, of course, they’re slightly different. The Ron Zacapa is sweeter, smoother, and slightly more complex with different flavors. The Zaya is richer, more on the full-bodied side, better balanced with similar flavors, and has a fantastic spicy finish.
The winner could change from day to day, so it all depends on the mood you’re in. For me, this generally depends on whether I’m in the mood for a sweet rum or not. I almost always prefer a sweet rum, so chances are very good that I’m going to reach for the Ron Zacapa. But there will be some days where I want a more full-bodied rum, and on those days I would tend to reach for the Zaya.
In the end, I would have to give the title to the Ron Zacapa, as I am more often in the mood for a sweet rums with many tastes.
But it’s very, very close.