It feels like there are some rum folks who are seriously anti-solera. (‘solera snobs’?) Have you seen this as well? I think they’re generally against producers claiming ‘up to 20 years’ when in fact it might only be a few drops at that age. But I rarely see anyone discussing the actual taste of soleras.
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. 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.
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 coffee 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!
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. I just wrap a napkin aroung the neck. I already tried removing the sticky film, but nothing worked.
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. 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!
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
Yes, the only bottles here are the old ones. Patiently awaiting the new arrivals!
Vomii1011 & Paul,
your discussion above made me think of Flor de Cana getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar!
Being a newbie, I'm assuming you've discussed this plenty last year or the year before.
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. 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.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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