Dictador Ortodoxy Aged Gin
Review: Dictador Ortodoxy Aged Gin (87/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka the Rum Howler)
Published July 28, 2014
This past May, I was invited by Thirsty Cellar Imports, to attend a Rum Master Class hosted by Hernan Parra Arango, Rum Master for Dictador Colombian Rum. At the event, the attendees were given the opportunity to taste the entire Dictador line-up which included not only the fantastic Dictador Rums, but also two unique Colombian premium aged gins.
These premium gins are the result of the passion of former President of Dictador, Dario Parra, who had during his many travels in the United Kingdom developed a tremendous love for gin. Dario studied many gin recipes and back home in Colombia he developed his gin for his own personal use, utilizing traditional ingredients in conjunction with berries and botanicals native to Colombia. Dario Parra’s passion has resulted in the creation of two special aged gins which are now sold internationally, Dictador Treasure, and Dictador Ortodoxy.
The subject of this review is Dictador Ortodoxy Aged Gin, which as the name implies has been constructed to have a traditional, or orthodox, flavour profile which will be familiar to gin enthusiasts. This gin is produced from sugar cane alcohol which is distilled 4 times to 96 % alcohol by volume. During the 5th distillation each botanical is macerated and distilled separately before being blended. The blended gin is then aged for 35 weeks in previously used rum barrels, and then filtered clear to be bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
The folks at Dictador provided me with the nice Jpeg of the Ortodoxy Colombian Aged Gin which is shown to the left. (I would have snapped my own picture, but the white bottle is tricky to photograph, and so I stuck with the press photo.) I like the bottle because it is distinctive and proudly shows its Colombian heritage for all to see. The cork topper adds a nice touch of class, and I (like everyone else who sees the bottle) am intrigued by both the name and the fact that the gin was aged in rum barrels.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When I poured my Ortodoxy Gin into my glencairn glass, I saw (as I expected to) that the spirit had no residual colour from its 35 weeks of aging as it was indeed crystal clear. I gave my glass a quick tilt and a slow twirl and was a little surprised at the stubborn crest which slowly released equally stubborn droplets which moved slowly down the inside of that glass. Thirty Five weeks of aging will impart a very light oily quality to a spirit; but I believe I am witnessing something more here. Perhaps a small amount of aged rum has been drawn into the gin as well, giving the spirit some added body which the filtering has not completely removed.
The initial breezes from the glass bring forward light juniper and alpine forest scents with a touch of cotton candy whispering in the background which gives the air above the glass a lovely hint of sweetness. This aroma seems gentle and relaxed as there are also enticing floral accents with hints of citrus zest and lemon balm.
As the glass sits however, I begin to sense a crisp but delicate bitterness coming forward as it appears that the juniper and some bits of Angelica Root are slowly pushing their way upwards through the light sweetness of the gin and asserting themselves. There are hints of fresh mojito mint, and a few unfamiliar sensory impressions which carry the promise that this Ortodoxy Gin may hold a few surprises for me.
In the Mouth 52.5/60
As I took my first sip I noticed a very light flavour impression of sugar cane which was followed by a lightly bitter somewhat crisp and piny juniper. Although the flavour was crisp, the gin itself is soft on the tongue and has an almost buttery texture. I tasted a strong underlying earthiness as well which I believe reflects a firm presence of angelica root within the botanical mix (or a local botanical which provides the same effect). Some peppery citrus zest adds a little bite to the gin which is also enhanced by impressions of spicy coriander, cardamom and ginger. Somewhere in the flavour stream are light floral flavours that remind me of lilacs. Finally, a vague flavour of dark fruit rounds out the flavour profile of the Ortodoxy gin, which despite its lightly bitter, and crisp flavour is nonetheless quite easy to sip neat in the glass.
In the Throat 13/15
The Dictador Ortodoxy Gin finishes with the crisp taste of juniper combined with a light ginger-like spiciness. This is accompanied by sharp citrus zest and light warm fruit (lemon and orange) flavours. An ebbing sweetness of sugar cane tempers the exit and provides balance.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
As I always do when I examine gin, I decided to mix a few cocktails during the review process, and I began by mixing myself a moderately strong Gin and Tonic (see recipe below). Frankly, I was blown away by the mixed drink, and I spent the rest of that evening enjoying it, and then making another. The next day I decided to try a new recipe mixing gin with grapefruit juice (again see recipe below). Again I was very pleased with the resulting cocktail, and based upon my examinations I have no qualms about recommending Dictador Ortodoxy as an outstanding mixing gin as well as a decent sipper (for those who are incline to sip gin once in a while).
The Dicatdor Ortodoxy Gin is soft in the mouth, yet it has a nice crisp, lightly bitter juniper flavour running through it which any traditional gin enthusiast should enjoy.
You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Orthodox Gin and Tonic
1 3/4 oz Dictador Ortodoxy Gin
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup
2 oz Q-Tonic
Add the first three ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber
2 oz Dictador Ortodoxy Gin
1/2 Grapefruit Freshly Squeezed
1 tsp lime juice
5 Large Ice-Cubes
1/4 oz simple syrup (or to taste)
Add all the ingredients into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside frosts
Pour into a cocktail glass
Garnish with some orange zest.
And please remember to enjoy responsibly; my aim is to help you choose better drinks not to help you choose more drinks!!
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)