Dictador 12 Year Old

Dictador 12-RG1

Product of: Colombia
Aged:  1
2 years (Solerera)  
Price: $34-$40
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar:  0 g/L (
Context:  Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes 
Extremely Smooth.  Dictador’s 12 Year Old solera rum displays a perfect bright shade of copper-gold color in the glass.  After swirling, legs form slowly, are many in number and long-lived – perhaps meaningless, but pleasant sights nonetheless.

Dictador 12 offers a similarly sweet lavender-like floral bouquet of the older 20 year old only in reduced measure.   Then come toffee-like aromas of burnt brown sugar, caramel, charred wood and a bit of walnut.  Complex scents reminiscent of dried fruits (currants, cranberries), smokey cedar, buttery flour pastry with hints of spice (clove, cinnamon) and mild alcohol are also present in the younger sibling, but to a slightly lesser degree.  The family resemblance is readily apparent and scales with age.

Tasting begins sweet on the tongue with the caramel presence being most prevalent on a medium weight body, followed by the spice and flavors that were suggested while sniffing the aromas.  This is a slightly sweet, well-balanced proportioned rum.  

Dictador is produced in a distillery that has been making rum since 1913, and after 99 years, they’re producing some beautiful aged products. Their near-century of experience shows in the excellent products.  Distileria Colombiana was founded by Don Julio Arango y Parra,   a third generation descendant of Severo Arango de Ferro.  The elder  emigrated to present-day Cartagena, Colombia from Spain in 1751 with the mission of increasing trade between his homeland and its colonies in the New World.  Cartagena subsequently grew to be one of the most important trading ports in Spain’s colonial system, and Arango y Ferro’s power grew with it, such that he came to be called Dictador.  Of course, legend has it that he too, appreciated fine rum.

Dictador 12 year old rum is distilled in copper alembic (pot) and steel continuous column stills from fermented sugar cane honey (reduced sugar cane juice).  Aging is conducted in a solera method employing oak Xerex barrels that were previously used for aging Sherry.

Dictador Model-USE for 12 YO

Dictador sources an opaque black bottle from Japan, one of the few places where the thick “soft-feel” paint treatment is available.  This matte black coating has a non-slip texture like thin rubber, and must be the reason why Dictador’s showgirl models wear those smart black spandex catsuits.  And while the rum’s presentation (and the models) are impressive, the beauty of Dictador is more than skin(tight) deep. 

Dictador 12 year old is a really easy rum to sip neat and enjoy over and over again.  What sets it apart from other nice caramel-forward aged rums is the smokiness that adds a welcome complexity to the other flavors.

Drop-dead gorgeous, covered in vinyl and easy on the lips.  No, I’m not taliking about the models pictured at right, I’m describing the rum.  It’s a beauty.  Dictador has been steadily expanding worldwide sales since 2011.  One taste of their 12 yea rold Solera rum explains their success.

© Dave Russell 2017