Dictador 12 year old review

20150619_104829What is it? Well, it’s not 12 years old. It’s Solera aged, between 8 and 14 years apparently, which gives an average age of 12 year old. It’s from Columbia and from sugar cane honey.

40% abv, filtered and coloured (it doesn’t say it’s not so we’ll assume it is).

Sugar? I don’t think so. On-line sugar tests also show is sugar free.

Nose: Eh? Should this smell like the rubbery stuff the bottle is coated in – probably not, but it does. Weird. When the smell of latex catsuit (don’t ask) goes away there is some coffee in there, think roasted beans rather than brewed. Some smoky tobacco and prunes, quite earthy. Caramel and some vanilla too. Smells “manufactured”.

Palate: Let’s hope this is better. Argh! That bloody rubber again, where does that come from?! Well, mouth-feel is pretty good at least – quite oily. Ah, better now; dry actually, I was expecting a sweeter rum. Smoky again, earthy leaves and raisins. Not really much oak. Honey on burnt toast and then some of that coffee (brewed and black this time) as it moves to the finish.

Finish: Short to medium and no rubber, phew. Ends sweeter than the palate and has some bitter oak as it tails off, smoky again.

Thoughts? Minus the rubber and coffee this would be a very ubiquitous rum, and I think I’d prefer that to what they’ve done to it to give it “character”.

Not sold. I’ve been going back to this time and time again because for some reason when I’m not drinking it I want to, but then when I do drink it I don’t want to! No sugar added here, I don’t get that flattening on the finish or a cloying palate, but I’m concerned about 2 things:

The fake rubbery latex and coffee, neither of which should be in rum. I know Colombia produces coffee, but I wonder if they have somehow added the flavour into the rum, as the coffee profile doesn’t quite sit right. We’re not talking notes of coffee here like aged navy style Guyanese rums but actual coffee and it’s all rather odd, like the kind of coffee note found in Old Monk.

Rubber. WTF. This isn’t the kind of rubber ballon or tyre note you get in Jamaican pot still rum, this is altogether something else, and not pleasant. My first thoughts were that this odd rubberised bottle coating (not my thing by the way, gimme a glass bottle) was imparting some unwanted flavours to the rum, but I can’t see that being the case, so I have to assume it’s from the production or ageing process. A bit of research shows that this is aged (at least in part) in sherry casks. I suspect very strongly that some of these casks are duds and are imparting these notes into the rum, whatever the reason I don’t like it.

I wanted to try the 20 “year old”, but given my experience with this I’m reluctant to pay £50 just in case I get a similar experience.

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