Dictador 12 years

"A sweet coffee-flavoured sort of rum. Not my favourite, but we can't like every single sample that we taste, right? Others might just love this"

(Photo from Dictador)

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Dictador rum, named after the 18th century tax collector Severo Arango y Ferro nicknamed “the Dictador”, is produced in the Columbian city of Cartanega de Indias from light molasses or “miel de caña” (sugar cane honey). These light molasses come from the first round of heating the sugar cane to produce molasses. Most rums are made from heavier molasses formed after the second or third round of heating, but Dictador is forced to use the lighter variant due to governmental regulations that dictate a high percentage of heavy molasses to be used as bio-fuels. The Dictador spirit partially come from a copper alembic and partially from stainless steel columns. The distillate is matured using their “unique” method of solera. I like to quote one more sentence from their website: “[the rum is] …finally bottled under the highest quality control to ensure all the secrets are contained in the liquid flavour”. We will come back to that later in this review. The age is an average age (you know, no rules in rum) and apparently varies between 8 and 14 years. Others have measured no or little added sugar in the rum (see for instance here). 


At first, sweet, but not too, herbal and slightly floral. Almost instantly, the sweetness becomes more pronounced with caramel, muscovado sugar and cough sirup. There is something stronger there, which I could not lay my finger on, until I realised it was coffee. Or better, coffee liquor or those coffee flavoured Merci chocolates. Maybe also some cold coffee and in the background herbal tea. There are hints of liquorice root, aniseed, toffee, cane sugar, but most of all coffee liquor.


After the nose, I must say I am not overly enthusiastic to taste this… But we have to be brave being a whisky taster and all. Her we go then. It is sweet with lots of caramel, sweet liquorice, cough sirup, aniseed, fennel, and you might have guessed it, coffee flavours. Slightly disturbing. I almost checked my sample bottle and called my friend to ask why the #%&^ he spilled his coffee in the rum. It is light and drinks easily with hints of cane juice and some vegetal notes. No, I will strike easily. Let’s just write, it drinks.


Not my favourite style of rum, you might have guessed, due to its sweetness and, most of all, its artificial coffee smells and flavours. In my opinion this does not really resemble rum. However, if you like those caramel-flavoured Nespresso’s, you might just dig this. To come back to the statement on their website (see the introduction of this review), there were indeed secrets in its flavour. Big secrets, I presume, which should have been kept there [oh J. that’s bad]. Let’s move on to the next rum. We still have plenty others.

What others say

Rumratings: 7.0 (207 votes) * @Therumhowlerblog: 92/100 * @Thefatrumpirate: 3/5 * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 62/100
Read for yourself

Thanks for the sample,


these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
Nose 62%
Taste 68%
Balance 70%
Depth 64%
Finish 60%