Dictador Cafe (100 Month Aged) Rum
Review: Dictador Cafe (100 Month Aged) Rum (76.5/100)
Review by: Chip Dykstra (Aka the Rum Howler)
Posted October 06, 2016
Dictador is produced in Colombia on the Caribbean coast at Cartagena de Indias City. Rather than being produced from molasses, the rum is produced from the virgin honey of sugar cane. Interestingly, the choice of the distillery to use sugar cane honey rather than molasses is based upon a peculiarity of Colombian government policy. It seems that the country has mandated that automobiles in Colombia must use a certain percentage of biofuels in conjunction with gasoline as their fuel source. As molasses is the most readily available source of biofuel, almost all molasses produced in Columbia is earmarked for biofuel production. This means that the folks at Dictador Rum have little choice but to produce and use their own sugar cane honey for rum production.
Recently Dictador released what they call their 100 Month Series which includes four new rums all aged for 100 months. Unlike the more premium Dictador Solero Aged Rums, the 100 month series is meant to be a gateway series consisting of spirits which are meant to be embraced both as entry-level sipping rums as well as cocktail spirits.
The Dictador Cafe 100 Month Aged Rum was created to be a discerning spirit for the rum and coffee enthusiast. The base rum within the flavoured spirit is a continuous column still rum which was aged (for 100 months) in ex-bourbon oak barrels. At maturity the rum was filtered through Colombia’s most well know agricultural product, 100 % pure Arabica Coffee beans.
The final flavoured rum was then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
I was very critical of the bottle presentation for the Dictador Amber when I reviewed that rum a few months ago. The single thread which sealed the cap had stripped and the closure just turned and turned without releasing. One of my guests finally took out his large jackknife to cut the metal perforations which would not release when the cap was turned. It was annoying to say the least, and as indicated in that previous review, knives and/or screwdrivers should not be required to open a bottle of rum. Fortunately I received word from the media folks at Dictador that the bottle closure was being redesigned to address my criticisms.
On the positive side, I like the actual bottle and the labeling. A nice touch is the graphic of the Condor of the Andes, the National Bird of Colombia which is pictured on the long neck of the bottle. A company which shows pride in their heritage is always welcome.
In the Glass 8/10
When poured into my glencairn glass the cafe rum displays itself as a dark bronze liquid which immediately throws the aroma of arabic coffee into the breezes. When I tilt my glass and give it a twirl, slender legs form which run down the inside of the glass. They are perhaps a little thicker than what I noticed when I reviewed the Dictador 100 Month Orange Rum, which means that perhaps a light touch of sweetness has been added to compliment the coffee flavour. (I could very well be wrong about that as the skinny legs are consistent with a rum of this age.)
The cafe aroma from the glass is inviting; although it does mask to a large extent the rum-like scents of butterscotch toffee, vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves). The absence of a cloying sweetness within the breezes is refreshing. I am concerned to some extent though that the firm coffee aroma may translate across the palate with a touch of bitterness. We shall see.
In the Mouth 46/60
I am definitely of two minds as I sip the rum. On one hand, I am happy that the firm coffee flavour is front and center, and that the rum has not been tainted by undo amounts of sugar. On the other hand, a touch more sweetness would be welcome as the cafe rum does bring a certain bitterness across the palate. This makes me suspect that the spirit will divide opinion among those who try it. Those who drink their coffee black and unsweetened will probably love what they taste. However, persons who have a bit of a sweet tooth (like me) will yearn for a touch more sweetness and will find the sipping experience challenging. I am not suggesting that the flavoured rum should be sweetened to the level of a coffee liqueur, but a tad more sweetness would be welcome to combat the underlying bitterness of the coffee bean.
As far as mixing cocktails goes, the cafe flavoured rum has me somewhat flummoxed. We can certainly add it to our afternoon coffee and sweeten the mixture to our own particular taste; but beyond that I am not sure what to do. I added a touch of cola and the result was nice; but I would prefer a regular rum and cola without the coffee twist. I do not know where to start in constructing a short cocktail serving. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to provide a few recipes for the Cafe Rum upon the back label.
In the Throat 11.5/15
The exit is medium length, and it is here that I can most clearly discern the more rum-like features of the Dictador Cafe Rum. Some oak spice heated the palate and a few rum-like baking spices linger. However it is the cafe flavour that dominates, and it is the cafe’s lingering bitterness which knocks the score down.
The Afterburn 7.5/10
I sampled this particular serving to a few friends and acquaintances as part of my review process. None of my guests were fond of the serving neat or with ice, but we all found that adding a bit to our coffee cups was welcome.
My score of 76/100 represents a flavoured rum which I found limiting.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the 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 rum or whisky. 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)