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Posts Tagged ‘Colombian Rum’

The 2014 Rum Howler Rum of the Year: Dictador XO Insolent Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014This 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 of course included not only the Dictador 12 Year and the Dictador 20 Year Solera Rums, but we also tasted and learned about the Dictador XO Perpetual and XO Insolent Rums.

At that Rum Master Class, I learned that for the Dictador XO Insolent in particular, the aging barrels used are pre-used oak barrels which have a significant percentage of oak obtained from Jerez Spain, as well as pre-used Port Wine Barrels. Near the end of the aging process, the barrels earmarked for the XO Insolent Rum are emptied (and the rum stored of course), and these barrels are subjected to an open flame process which caramelizes the rum soaked oak fibres on the interior of the barrel. These barrels are then refilled with the same rum allowing the spirit to draw the sweet caramelized flavours from the interior of the oak barrel. The final rum is blended and barreled at 40 % Alcohol by volume.

Of course the proof is in the tasting, and this year, the Dictador XO Insolent Rum was the very best that I personally tasted in 2014.

Here is a link to my review for the Rum Howler 2014 Rum of the Year:

2014 Rum of the Year – Dictador XO Insolent Rum

“… The aroma is simply luscious with sweet toffee smells rising from the glass tainted with impressions of butterscotch, vanilla, corn syrup, creme de brulee, maple syrup and peanut brittle. There is a backbone of firm oak sap and spice melded wonderfully into these sweeter butterscotch like aromas with delectable baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and hints of milk chocolate lying underneath …”

The Dictador Insolent Rum is full of sweet and spicy character, and just might be as close to rum perfection as I have tasted. It is one of those rare spirits which I am loath to mix into a cocktail, and from me, that is high praise indeed!

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Note: You may find my full Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

 

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Rum Howler 2014 # 8 Rum – Juan Santos 21 Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014The rums of Juan Santos are produced in Colombia, South America by Santana Liquors. The 21 Year Antigua Reserva is a molasses based rum which has been apparently been aged  for 21 years in used whisky and bourbon barrels from Kentucky. At this time the Juan Santos brand is available only in Western Canada, although the Ron Santero brand from Santana Liquors is available in other markets.

Juan Santos 21 SAM_1397Although the Juan Santos brand is relatively unknown outside of the Western Canadian market I have discovered that these rum brings an astounding level of smoothness and depth to the rum glass.

Here is my review of the Number 8 Rum in my 2014 Top 25 Rum Countdown:

# 8 Rum – Juan Santos 21 Year

“… Soft caramel notes are mingled with light spices, and the whiskey character I noted in the breezes above the glass has in fact melted into the rum creating a buttery praline cream. The result is a well-balanced rum with remarkably deep flavour. Vague hints of almonds and cinnamon are apparent with ghostlike vestiges of caramel, nutmeg, allspice, and rye spice …”

Juan Santos 21 Year Old Rum is one of the very smoothest rum I have encountered. The balance is wonderful, as the various flavours the rum possesses seem to melt and merge into each other such that individual flavours were very hard to discern. This mixing and melting of flavours results in a truly wonderful rum. Just about perfect!

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

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Rum Howler 2014 # 16 Rum – Dicatador 12 Year Solera

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014We have reached number 16 in my Countdown, and this is already the third entry for Dictador Rum. 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 which has been distilled upon a stainless steel alembic, and aged using Dicatador’s unique take on the solera-style aging system.

Dictator’s solera aging system is a cascading process where younger rums are aged in oak casks and then blended with older rums. The aged rum are arranged in different flights with the oldest distilled rum on the lowest levels of the Solera. The younger rums are placed on the upper levels with the very youngest rums at the top. As the rum is pulled from the lowest barrels for bottling, the barrels are not fully emptied, and those barrels (about half full) are then topped up with rum from the levels just above. This marrying of old and new softens the fiery younger rum and provides the final blended rum with a refined smoothness and flavor not found in ordinary rums.

Dictador 12 SAM_1388Here is a link to my full review of the 16th Best Rum of 2014, the Dictador 12 Year Solera:

# 16 Rum – Dicatador 12 Year Solera

“… . The initial nose is very pleasant, full of rich baking spices which include a brown sugary toffee rising from the glass as well as cinnamon, and vanilla. There is a light accent of marzipan which reminds me of toasted almonds and charred marshmallow. I also sense fresh and dry fruit and a complex oak profile that is firm but not too strong …”

I am even more impressed now, than I was when I received my first taste of several of the Dictador 12, a few years ago.  I have been told by the producers of this rum that the average age of their 12 Year Solera Rum has increased by a few years since it was first introduced, which perhaps explains why its score has crept up in this most recent review. The Dictador 12 Year Solera is a complex rum full of oak nuances and dry fruit which achieves a full flavour while maintaining proper balance and complexity.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

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Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 6, 2013

SAM_0956 Ron Marques del Valle 8Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years) is produced in Colombia by Industria de Licores del Valle. I was unable to learn much about this distiller of rum, however, the back of my sample bottle makes the following statement about this particular rum:

“Ron Marques is the result of the most refined sugar cane extract, distilled with the purest water from the Andes and aged in oak barrels for 8 years, this conjunction of events gives this unique Rum an intense amber colour, a fine viscosity, an excellent depth of mature aromas and a smooth taste”

I was given my sample bottle by A&B Canada who are based in Quebec. They have recently began to list and sell the rum in my home market of Alberta.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

“… The initial nose is quite sweet with a strong butterscotch aroma which is tainted with a sweet and sour fruitiness (dry apricots, peaches and pineapple). The aroma reminds me of old-fashioned candied tutti-frutti. There are also some nice wood spices which begin to turn the butterscotch into toffee, and an obvious citrus accent reminds me of one of those citrus juice blends full of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and lime …”

Please enjoy my review of this Authentic Colombian Rum.

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 10 – Juan Santos 21 Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2012

Top 30Juan Santos AntiguaThe rums of Juan Santos are produced in Colombia, South America by Santana Liquors. The Juan Santos 21 Year Antigua Reserva Rum is a molasses based rum which has been apparently been aged  for 21 years in used whisky and bourbon barrels from Kentucky. At this time the Juan Santos brand is available only in Western Canada, although the Ron Santero brand from Santana Liquors is available in other markets. Although Juan Santos is relatively unknown outside of the Western Canadian market, I have discovered that this rum brings an astounding level of smoothness and depth of flavour to the rum glass.

The appeal of this rum is so strong in fact that my judging panel ranked it as the 10 best rum in my The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums Countdown:

 

# 10 – Juan Santos 21 Year

“… Rising into the air, with the smell light toffee and brown sugar, is a light touch of rye spices similar to Canadian rye whisky (wood spice, cardamom and ginger). The whisky like aromas and the rum-like toffee and brown sugar have in fact melted together giving the Juan Santos a very unique character in the glass. Notes of light sandal wood, some dried currants and a light smokiness round out my perceptions of the nose …”

 

The various flavours the Juan Santos 21 Year Old Rum possesses seem to melt and merge into each other wonderfully. This mixing and melting of flavours results in a truly wonderful rum.

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