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Relaunch Dictador 12 and 20 + new Master Editions


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vomi1011 ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช | 396 ratings Posted 18 Nov '20

Have someone already tasted the new edition of Dictador 20? Solera is canceled and the rum is matured for full 20 years. This site is in German, maybe you can translate it. https://www.spirituosen-journal.de/relaunch-verkuendet-dictador-streicht-solera-verfahren-und-erneuert-look-81535/ We will see also some new master editions soon. Only 350 bottles of each, I think they will be very expensive. https://www.spirituosen-journal.de/neue-kooperationen-dictador-rum-praesentiert-zweite-2-masters-series-86791/
Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 19 Nov '20

vomi1011: Thanks for the info, which really saddens me. Their solera rums have been consistent year after year and these two are both in my top 1 percent of all 346 rums that I have rated. Moving to actual age statements will only increase the price while decreasing the likelihood of consistency. As for the Two Masters series, they start at more than $800 US and go all the way up to almost $2000 US. The prices can be found on their home page under Shop. Those are definitely out of my league as I still restrict myself to $120 US maximum per bottle.
vomi1011 ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช | 396 ratings Replied 19 Nov '20

Yes, I think they want to go into the premium market with these two bottlings, where they can get higher prices. That also means a price increase for Insolent and Prepetual. I'd say it's time to buy some bottles.
kudzey (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ | 38 ratings Replied 19 Nov '20

Right, there is no "solera system reserve" text but the price didn't change when i bought it the last time. I compared the prices from online shops in Poland, it seems that they didn't notice the difference. Did the price increase in your countries? It is a typical Dictador dessert rum, dominated by coffee and chocolate. I didn't taste it back-to-back with the solera one but I think the new release is less sweet. Are the XOs solera rums, by the way?
Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 19 Nov '20

vomi1011 & kudzey: These updated versions have not yet arrived into my neck of the woods, so absolutely I must stock up on the soleras before they are all gone. The company sells coffee and uses the wooden barrels to hold the beans. They also use the coffee barrels along with aquardiente barrels to age these rums, which explains the sweet coffee notes without having any added sugar. On the XO series, they remove the rum from the barrels at about halfway through the aging process and then char the same barrels again before pouring the rum back in. This extra step is what puts their XO series over the top and also jacks up the price. The suggested retail price of any XO is $105 US, but I often find them on clearance for $80. Why so low? No one likes the sticky paint that they use on the XO bottles and having to wrap a napkin around the neck to be able to grab the bottle. The XO series are fantastic rums in terrible bottles.
vomi1011 ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช | 396 ratings Replied 19 Nov '20

@kudzey Your bottle has the old bottle design with the new rum inside. I think they will adjust the price when they introduce the new bottle design. Here we go: https://www.ebay.de/itm/Dictador-Rum-20-Jahre-Icon-Reserve-aus-Kolumbien-40-Vol-0-7-L/133554251263 The old Dictador XO Perpetual was solera. The newest one is not. But there was also a new bottle design with solera on it. I got the new bottle without even realizing it. That's why I didn't get the same impression.
vomi1011 ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช | 396 ratings Replied 19 Nov '20

There was probably a transition period like now with the 20y. This is the newest one without solera on the bottle:
Andy (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง | 118 ratings Replied 21 Nov '20

It feels like there are some rum folks who are seriously anti-solera. (โ€˜solera snobsโ€™?) Have you seen this as well? I think theyโ€™re generally against producers claiming โ€˜up to 20 yearsโ€™ when in fact it might only be a few drops at that age. But I rarely see anyone discussing the actual taste of soleras.

Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 21 Nov '20

Andy: Your first sentence is quite confusing. Maybe replace "solera folks" with "rum folks". I absolutely agree with your last sentence. As for me, as long as solera rums are done very well in the manner that Dictador has done, I am all for them.
kudzey (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ | 38 ratings Replied 21 Nov '20

The rum business would be just better if the composition of every vintage was stated clearly. I heard somewhere that Abuelo mixes their soleras in equal parts of all vintages but the rest of the brands are a mystery.
vomi1011 ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช | 396 ratings Replied 22 Nov '20

Solera is not a traditional way to produce rum, many do not understand that an age cannot be given using this method. Most of the numbers on the label are interpreted as age statement. But they are not, or not anymore. As an an example the number 23 on the Zacapa bottle is not an age statement. There is no Anos or "23 years old" on the bottle anymore. An tropical aged rum with 23 years would develop heavy flavors and tastes very intensive or strong. It would be the complete opposite of what people expect. A rum that has matured for such a long time doesn't just turn out mild. Some don't understand this even after more than 1000 rums. Then that's just ignorance.
Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 22 Nov '20

From my days of trying different sherries decades ago, I was pleased to find the solera system being used to produce rums from the Spanish speaking Caribbean. This was a way to guarantee consistency while keeping the price down. Dictador is one of the more truthful companies when it comes to labeling their bottles. Zacapa happens to be the most dishonest and sneaky in their labeling. I knew this when I bought my only bottle of their "23" about three years ago. I chose to forget the lies on the bottle and rate it for how it tastes. It started out just okay and then tumbled down to my rating of a 5 due to it having 44 gpl of added sugar. I refuse to buy that one ever again. Many new rum drinkers come from a whiskey or single malt scotch background. They are accustomed to seeing numbers on bottles as being the actual age and this is true. Then they get to solera rums and buy based upon the number on the bottle without reading the fine print. First off, eight years is optimum aging for rums in tropical climates. Single malt scotches take much longer to reach optimum aging because of the colder climate. Knowing this, any spirit aged beyond it's optimum level of years often deteriorates the taste while adding snob appeal from jacked up prices. Those that rave about rums aged beyond their optimum level probably do not want to admit that they paid way too much for it. Granted, there are a few exceptions to this rule and it is up to us reviewers to differentiate between the really good rums aged longer than 8 years and the ones that are only created to get our money. One example from me is the Flor de Cana 12 Year as their optimum aging. Their 18 year was a failure for me and I did not dare waste money to try their 25 year. Aging at higher altitudes certainly allows for more than 8 years as optimum aging for tropical rums.
kudzey (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ | 38 ratings Replied 22 Nov '20

Paul B, Let me disagree with one of your points. There are rums aged over 8 years which are considered excellent by many revievers. These are for example premium cask strength rums like Skeldon (aged 27 or 32 years in tropical climate) or Caroni. Appleton old rums (21, 25,30,50 years in the barrel) also score good ratings. You mentioned Dictador, they also produce their "best of" series (I think these are not soleras but not 100% sure), aged around 40years. On the other hand, I respect solera system rums, this is just anotgee type of spirit and should be thought of in different categories. Of course, as long as the brands remain honest and don't use cheap tricks. I got my Zacapa 23 as a gift, my friend saw it at the shop and it was relatively expensive, my girlfriend adds it to desserts and cakes like tiramisu or brownie, works completely fine there.
vomi1011 ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช | 396 ratings Replied 6 Dec '20

I did a cross tasting of Dictador 20 Solera and Dictador 20 aged. The nose is the same, not much of a difference. The solera is creamier and has younger flavors like white oak and vanilla in the taste. Dictador 20 is just a little heavier and the cocoa is more present. The Dictador Perpetual (aged) also lost that creamy mouthfeel. The difference isn't that huge, but I like that creamy mouthfeel. I'll try to get some old versions. I would recommend you do the same.
Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 10 May '22

Well, both of these new rum bottles with age "statements" finally made it to my neck of the woods. Both of the bottles are now dark translucent, which is a good thing to be able to see how much is left in the bottles. And as previously stated by others, the word "solera" has been removed.ย  The words "aged" and "years" are placed in very fine print on either side of the large print for actual number of years. And below each of the numbers are large letters for "COLUMBIAN RUM". The back of each bottle only gives a brief rum history of Cartagena and how all of those "secrets" were handed down to these two rums. As for price increasess, the 12 Year stayed the same and the 20 Year went up by $5 US. Both of the fancy cardboard gift boxes are now gone. So how does each one taste? I will know sometime tomorrow since I am now studying for a blood test first thing in the morning.

Kevin ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 43 ratings Replied 11 May '22

I've tried both the 12 & 20 recently. The 20 is outstanding and was gone in a NY second so I went to the 12. Well the 12 is basically an immature 20. Not bad but also not quite there. I also have previously posted a question about this coffee barrel technique they state. As far as I know coffeeย  beans are ONLY put in burlap bags, not barrels. Is it possible that they are going through the trouble of storing beans in barrels? Or, are they purposely brewing coffee to put into barrels to obtain this coffee note? This seems to be a waste of good coffee. Not a bad idea but confusing to say the least! The end result is fantastic with their 20 so if I find more I'm buying a case for sure next time. That was $60 per bottle last month!

Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 11 May '22

Kevin:

It is my understanding that Dictador stores coffee beans in their barrels to be later used for aging their rums, since they sell both. They also use barrels that held aguardiente to obtain sweetness. They never use any additives.

Notice in my picture that one can see the hot colors of the tropical print appearing through the bottoms of the bottles. The old bottles were flat black and one could see nothing through them.

For their two XO's, the rum is removed from the barrel at a certain point. Then the barrel is charred again followed by the rum being replaced into those same newly charred barrels. Brilliant, but is this worth almost twice the cost of their 20 year old? This is up to each fan of their rums. Now and then, I can find any of these XO rums on clearance for only $80. Fantastic rums placed in terrible sticky bottles that few want to lay their hands on.ย  I just wrap a napkin aroung the neck. I already tried removing the sticky film, but nothing worked.

Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 11 May '22

My verdict is in on these two new versions of Dictador. In a side by side taste test in Glencairn glasses, I could honestly not tell them apart! They are also the same color. That was never the case with the old flat black bottles labeled "solera", whereby the 20 year was much better than the 12 year. This is no longer the case and is a sad day for this rum lover. So, if anyone sees the old flat black bottles labeled "solera", grab them before they are all gone. I will continue to buy the 12 year aged one, but there is no point in me wasting my money on their new 20 year aged rum. I have also lowered my ratings for both.ย  So glad that I only bought one bottle of their new "20 Year Aged". I think that they pulled a Zacapa on us. This whole new experience was almost as frustrating as being stuck in an internet chat session with a damn robot!

bar la moura ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท | 95 ratings Replied 18 May '22

nice review Paul B, i m waiting to see those bottles, very curious to try them, dictador always available in specialized stores here, but for now i see only old bottles

Kevin ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 43 ratings Replied 19 May '22

Yes, the only bottles here are the old ones. Patiently awaiting the new arrivals!

RonRumHead (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 29 ratings Replied 20 May '22

Vomii1011 & Paul,

your discussion above made me think of Flor de Cana getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar!

https://truthinadvertising.org/class-action/the-age-of-flor-de-cana-rum/

Being a newbie, I'm assuming you've discussed this plenty last year or the year before.

Paul B ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 426 ratings Replied 21 May '22

RonRumHead:

Most of us on this site already know that the Spanish speaking countries surrounding the Caribbean use the solera method for aging, just like with sherries. Since this may not be specifically printed on the bottle, this clown sued Flor de Cana.ย  If the word "solera" is used on the label, then he has no case at all. I have no idea at all if he won or lost. My only bottle of their 18 year is long gone. It slowly detiorated in the bottle for whatever reason. Zacapa from Guatemala is also one of the worst offenders in making the number of different rums appear as the actual age.

bar la moura ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท | 95 ratings Replied 22 May '22

is it possible that dictador also removed solera term but it is solera like the old versions ?

i think it s possible because almost same price as old versions of 12 and 20 yo ?

i really like if we have some rules of what you can and cannot put on the label ...

ย 

bar la moura ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท | 95 ratings Replied 22 May '22

is it possible that dictador also removed solera term but it is solera like the old versions ?

i think it s possible because almost same price as old versions of 12 and 20 yo ?

i really like if we have some rules of what you can and cannot put on the label ...

ย 

Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช | 316 ratings Replied 22 May '22

RonRumHead,

That was bad by Flor de Cana, but they have at least written the average age on the label.

Zacapa 23 for example has just an average age of just over 6 years not written on the label.

When it comes to Spanish styled rum I don't really trust any company.

bar la moura ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท | 95 ratings Replied 22 May '22

found a nice distillery ranking, maybe someone will like to read this ...

really spanish styled rum is a big no if we read this article ...

https://singlecaskrum.com/2020/03/19/14482/

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