Dictador Distillery Icon Reserve Aged 20 Years Solera System Rum

Dictador Distillery Icon Reserve Aged 20 Years Solera System Rum review by the fat rum pirateDictador Distillery Icon Reserve Aged 20 Years Solera System Rum.  Quite a mouthful but thats what they’ve put on the label.  Quite how Aged 20 Years and “Solera System Rum” works is anyones guess, however.

Dictador are a rum brand from Colombia. They also have lines of coffee, cigars and gin.  I’ve not been around the rum scene for that long but Dictador 12 was one of the first “premium” rums I bought.  I reviewed it in the early days of this blog. As was one of the aims of this blog I have learnt a great deal about rum since then.  I won’t revisit that review until I have completed this one.  I don’t recall being blown away by Dictador 12 though.

Dictador rums are the kind of rums you will find in high end department stores that like to stock designer “gear”.  You’ll find them along side the likes of Zacapa XO, DIplomatico and Don Papa.  Presentation wise the Japanese made squat opaque bottles are very attractive and the black and blue colourway on this particular bottling is striking.  Presentation wise these are very much “designer” rums.  If there is indeed such a thing.

A 70cl bottle of Dictador Aged 20 Years Solera System Rum will set you back around £50 it is bottled at a rather standard 40% ABV.  Dictador rums are pretty easy to pick up in the UK.  They have definitely tapped into the market.  Having said that I don’t really hear that much talk about them in rum circles.  Except when the Solera System gets brought up or we begin talking about the origin of rums…..

Or when we start talking about “Virgin Sugar Cane Honey”.  The Dictador website is as slick as the bottles. Taking the information from the website you would believe this rum is a 20 year old aged in a Solera System.  Which doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me.  Dictador note that is a blend of rums distilled in Copper Alembic (Pot) and a Steel Continuous Column.  Which produces a “medium bodied” rum.  It seems to me Dictador are using the finest Grade A marketing tactics as used by Zacapa and Diplomatico with their descriptors.

Dictador are a brand who claim to have been in existence since 1913. The following slideshow gives you more information on the brand.  The brand hails from Cartagena de Indias.  Dictador Distillery Icon Reserve Aged 20 Years Solera System Rum review by the fat rum pirateInteresting Dictador have a master blender rather than distiller Hernan Parra.

When I originally tried the Dictador 12 I did think it had been adultered in some way.  I still hold this view.  True it “passed” the Hydrometer test but that can be easily fooled by other sweet alcohols such as sweet wine and other less invasive additives.  I’ve not seen anything which explains how the flavour has been produced. They do not mention anywhere I have seen what the rum in the Solera is aged in ie what type of barrels/casks.

My thoughts on the flavour profile of Dictador will be revealed more over the next few paragraphs as I nose and taste this rum.

Dictador Distillery Icon Reserve Aged 20 Years is a rich, dark brown colour. Without knowing the exact age of the rums in the blend (it is not a full 20 years) I’d still be surprised if the colour was entirely natural.

A quick nosing reveals a very sweet, light almost Cuban style rum. It’s slightly floral but it does have a quite surpising hit of alcohol fumes. It’s reasonably spicy but it all seems a little “candied”. Overall the nose isn’t bad and there is quite a bit to come back to and far amount of complexity.  Licorice, cinnamon and some sweet boozy notes – like a younger rum sometimes exhibits. There is a hint of tobacco and a touch of tar. Overall though its mostly sweet.

Sipped you get coffee, a lot of coffee. Sweet sugary coffee. It’s actually a lot more spicy than I had expected. I do believe quite a portion of rum a LOT younger than 20 years is in this blend. I’m not getting much of the pot still rum – its not doing much in this blend. Blind I would have assumed this was all column. It’s light and inoffensive. It has a reasonable amount of alcohol burn to reassure you it is a 40% spirit. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a lot of what I would determine as “rummy” characteristics. It’s more like a kind of sherried flavoured vodka. I’m sure such a drink exists somewhere.

Sweet, light bordering on floral and with that strange coffee like hit especially on the finish. Which is very short. It’s an interesting spirit but I wouldn’t want to be forking out £50 on this if I wanted a bottle of rum.

It’s agreeable and easy enough to drink. Whether it is really a rum I’m not so sure. It didn’t hold my interest. It’s certainly different to a lot of rums on the market. I’m not sure that is a good thing though.






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3 comments on “Dictador Distillery Icon Reserve Aged 20 Years Solera System Rum

  1. […] this to be quite as boring as this. I was hoping it might be a bit more like La Hechicera than Dictador. Sadly that’s simply not the […]

  2. Always a pleasure to read you.

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