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Rum Review: Dictador 12

Dictador 12 Ultra Premium Reserve Solera System Rum Review

Dictador 12

It took me a while to come get over the name of this rum. I mean come on, who names their product Dictator? Hardly evocative of the fun, laid back, warm ocean breezes we typically associate with rum, but then again, my most intimate experience with Cartegena was watching Romancing the Stone, so what do I know. From what I can gather, the name comes from a benevolent dictator (a Spanish regent) who traded rum and gave it out to the villagers. Ahh, it’s all coming together now.

The Dictador line is bottled in black. Rather than a frosting, it appears to be a polymeric coating of some sort. While I’m not a huge fan of the departure from the norm, it does make it stand out. The stopper is plastic capped in black (of course) under which is a natural cork. Aside from its coating, the bottle is fairly low key.

In the glass, the color is a bit lighter than bronze and a bit more yellow than copper. It’s bright and inviting. The nose presents almost no astringency, and the first aroma is decidedly of candied walnuts and pecans. Very interesting! Let’s taste.

The first sip is quite pleasant. The rum is assertive in its front palate approach, but smooth and rich in its finish. The candied walnuts and pecans are suspended in caramel and vanilla syrup as are a host of baking spices and citrus zests. Underneath all of this is an oaky base that paints a mental picture of of Solera marrying casks giving up the angel’s share in the Colombian heat.

The striking thing about this rum is the balance—the yin and yang of light and dark, brightness and depth, sweetness and complexity. The finish continues the balanced theme with a kick of spice followed by a dollop of caramel and oak. A few sips in and I’m sold.

The Dictador proves once again that I can’t judge a rum by its cover. I was initially turned off by both the name and the black bottle, but in the end, neither matter when the quality of the product inside is so high.

On to los scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 2/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3/4
  • Aftertaste: 2/2
  • Total Score: 9/10

Buy Dictador 12 online

Have you tried Dictador 12? Please share your thoughts below!


7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2013 7:16 am

    Have you managed to try the Dictador 20 yet? I’d be interested to know how you rank them against each other

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      March 18, 2013 7:55 am

      I have not had the pleasure. That said, your review of the 20 didn’t exactly send me running to the liquor store 🙂

      • March 18, 2013 8:53 am

        It was pretty decent – had it again this weekend with some friends and felt it had its place, a good one. Remember how obscure (did someone say “miserly”?) my scoring system is…a 66 from me is an 85+ by more conventional scoring methods.

        As time goes on I’m gravitating to stronger “full proof” and rarer, older offerings, so my appreciation of softer styles is waning, and this perhaps shows in my verbiage.

        Once you do get around to sampling the 20, let me know how it works for you.

      • Josh Miller permalink*
        March 18, 2013 8:58 am

        Yes, you are a tough one! I’ll definitely give you a holler when I try it. Cheers!

  2. August 19, 2014 9:44 am

    Yes I have tried it. Sipping neat it was interesting, rich and balanced. I even made a Mai Tai with it and blending it with other rums and it was delicious. I favor it over the El Dorado 15 and the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva I have for sipping and mixing.

  3. December 22, 2014 1:44 am

    This rum reminded me of drinking cold sweet coffee. I initially enjoyed it but on revisiting it I found it quite disappointing.


  1. New Rum Review: Dictador 12 | Inu a Kena

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