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Dictador Solera Distillery Icon Reserve 20-Year is a premium aged rum produced using a Solera method. The company was founded in Colombia in 1913 and currently operates in several countries. The rum is aged for a minimum of 20 years using a Solera blending system and aged in oak barrels before being bottled at 40% ABV.
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This Dictador is priced at about halfway between Dictador 12 and Dictador XO Insolent. So I needed to find out if it is worth the extra money over the 12 and is it almost as good as the XO Insolent? The answer to both questions is "YES!!!". The flavors are much more pronounced than the 12 and comparing side by side almost makes the 12 seem like a bourbon. Since this company also sells coffee and stores the beans in the barrels used to age these rums, coffee dominates the taste. You will either love these rums or hate them. I happen to love them. Great taste with no added sugars.
Since this is the second most expensive rum that I have ever purchased ($65), I consider it and it's older brother XO Insolent at $96 to be reserved for special occasions. I am glad that I bought a whole bottle to test side by side against the 12 rather than try one ounce at a bar and rely on my memory of what the 12 tasted like. These two are not even close in comparison to taste.
After only 5 days of opening this bottle and comparing it to my other highly rated rums, I have no choice except to raise my initial rating from a 9 to a 10! However, if you hate coffee, you will disagree with me on this one. This one for me is a $65 bottle of perfection in a rum. I would not hesitate to buy this one again on a regular basis. Only 25% of the rums that I have rated here fall into this category of repeat purchases being justified.
Update August 10, 2019: I now find myself with all three of my favorites: Dictador 12, Dictador 20, and Dictador XO Insolent. Time for side by side comparisons neat. This one makes the Dictador 12 seem like Angostura 1919. which is a good thing, but still not up to the level of the finest Dictadors. This is still damn good rum worthy of my 10 rating, but it lacks the refined finish of the Dictador XO Insolent. If that finish is worth an extra $35 US per bottle to you, then go for it.
May 11, 2022: This is one very sad day for this rum lover. Both of their rums aged 12 and 20 years were finally released to my area in new bottles with no more solera indication. Normally, I would have no problem with that, but tasting the 12 year and 20 year side by side shows me no difference whatsoever. Since this is an outright deception, I have no choice except to lower this once all time favorite of mine down to a 7. Since I will never buy it again, this would normally have me rate it as a 5 or less. But it is still a decent rum despite now being a rip off, so I will keep my new rating as a 7.
For every rum I've tried up to this point, whether I personally enjoyed it or not, I can understand why one may like or dislike it. Even my top picks, what I consider to be hallmark rums. Phraya is earthy. Perfeccion is medicinal. The very reason I like may be the reason someone else dislikes it. But this one... is just so lovable! The nose gives you cocoa, coffee and sweet mukhwas (those pallette-cleansing seeds you have after an Indian meal.) In the mouth there's flavors of chocolate, vanilla and honey, and a big ol' finish of maple! The flavors are strong. The sweetness is gentle. The alcohol does not burn at all. How this rum does harm by anyone is a complete mystery to me...
Wenn Du dran riechst, fällst Du in ein tiefes dunkles Fass,
einfach nur fantastisch ! Nicht für Jedermann !
in der Nase: Holz, Leder, dunkle Schokolade, wie beim 12 Y, nur intensiver.
Im Gaumen wird es dann schon komplexer, dazu kommt Kaffee mit Gewürzen
und überraschenderweise Curry, gewöhnungsbedürftig, aber um so länger der Genuss
umso besser wird dieser Rum.
Mein Favorit an kalten Wintertagen, im Sommer zu deftig.
When you smell it, you fall into a deep dark barrel,
Just fantastic! Not for everyone!
In the nose: wood, leather, dark chocolate, as with the 12 Y, only more intense.
In the palate, it becomes more complex and comes with coffee and spices and surprisingly curry,
Need of getting used to, but the longer the enjoyment the better is this rum.
My favorite on cold winter days, in the summer too hearty.
According to rum-geek D.N. Bascunan, the reason that Dictador rums all have that weird licorice/coffee profile is because most of the time they bottle Colombian aguardiente, which is heavily anise-infused. When they get around to bottling their rum, that anise flavor is still in the pipes and it doesn't go away. The result: flavored rum...licorice and coffee, to be exact. Hard to take this rum seriously. Weird taste, too sweet, one-dimensional. No thank you.
My son bought this for me for Father's Day (what a great son!). I have never had Dictador Rum before and my first taste I got a rich full flavour of carmel, vanilla and roasted coffee. You don't want to waste this Rum with Pepsi. All this needs is 2 glasses, ice, and my son.
The Dictador rum's really got there own thing going, and the 20 year is no exception. The nose has a darkish profile with notes of liqourice, oak, coffee and a hint of honey. The palate is medium bodied and unfolds with a nutty expression of the same notes found in the nose. Compared to the 12 year, the taste seems a little more subtle. The smooth, but also slightly bitter, finish lingers for a long time and leaves your mouth coated with an oily feeling. It's ok but the 12 year is better value, and to me also more enjoyable and better balanced.
You should say, from its bottle, that it will be very good rum. But that is not true sadly. This rum have a quite good taste, but it longs just a few seconds and it´s gone. That´s a shame, from 20yo rum...
I love to pop the cork on a bottle of Dictador 20 year old and jut smell the aromas wafting upwards. The first you will notice is the strong coffee scent, almost kaluha like that initially greets you. Creamy toffee and banana are interlaced in there as well.
Pouring a glass is a treat with it's dark, rich appearance....swirling the glass produces lovely long legs and more enticing aromas of Coffee, bananas, toffee and tobacco.
A very lovely rum to sip over ice indeed and even mixes very well with coke if you are so inclined.
Alkohol: 40 %
Ochutnán ve srovnávacím testu s D 12, XO Perpetual a XO Insolent.
Aroma: Hutnější a hřejivější verze přímo srovnávaného Dictador 12 yo. Je tu znatelný ústup kávy a vyznění se nám posouvá k hřejivé kořenitosti. Těžší dřevitost, skořice, čokoláda, kakao. (88 b)
Chuť: Kakao, hřejivost koření, lehce se nám ozve mírná nasládlost, ale jen jemně, suchost převládá. Na jazyku příjemně plný, olejnatý dojem, je zrát, že se jedná o vyzrálý rum. (86 b)
Shrnutí: Příznivcům suchého stylu opět velmi doporučeníhodné.
I like this rum a lot, and so does my girl. It's fruity, smooth and has a long sherry-like and fruity aftertaste. I like that there is still that little pleasant burn on the tongue. Very good choice.
There is a hint of tobacco and a touch of tar. Overall though its mostly sweet.
"It has a reasonable amount of alcohol burn to reassure you it is a 40% spirit. It’s more like a kind of sherried flavoured vodka. I’m sure such a drink exists somewhere."
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How can it get worse?! 1 out of 10
Trying to save face for the reps, tried the 20 year after the 12. It is even worse! Couldn't even choke it down.