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Rum Review: Dictador 20

Dictador 20 Destillery Icon Reserve Review

Dictador 20

In my review of Dictador 12, I noted my issues with the name, saying:

“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 Cartagena 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.”

While I still question the wisdom of the name, I’ll shelf that issue and move on. The 20-Year expression is called the “Destillery Icon Reserve”, and is bottled at 40% ABV. The bottle is the same as the others in the line: squat and coated in a black polymer.

In the glass, the Dictador 20 is a deep copper with golden hues. A swirl produces legs suggesting a relatively high viscosity. Astringency is virtually nonexistent, and the initial aromas I detect are vanilla and caramel. A second pass yields roasted nuts: pecans and walnuts, along with a hint of citrus. Let’s taste…

The rum enters with a bit of heat and citrus, but is soon replaced by a heavy dose of oak and toasted walnut. As my palate adjusts to the rum, I notice my tongue getting coated with the dusky oak as is often the case with 20+ year-old rums. In addition to the walnut, there is a bit of brown butter along with caramel, dried figs, dates and orange marmalade. Subsequent sips provide more of the same, but I find myself wishing it was a bit drier and had less of the walnut, which ends up dominating the finish until the oak ultimately wins out.

In summary, the Dictador 20 is a fine rum, but the walnut and oak completely dominated both the mid-palate experience and the finish. I think I’ll stick with the 12-Year.

On to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 2/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3/4
  • Aftertaste: 1/2
  • Total Score: 8/10

Buy Dictador 20 online

Have you tried Dictador 20? Please share your thoughts below.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2015 10:55 am

    I’m just discovering your website having stumbled on a few other rum-related sites ( provided the link). Very interesting and thanks for all the work. I have a bottle of the Dictador 20 and I love it finding in it something of a progression from Angostura 1919 through Dictador to something darker like the Angosture 1824 or perhaps FDC 18. I’m sure my impressions are more about the superficial characteristics of the rum, sweetness, and the distinctness of its flavors rather than the flavors themselves. I have some 10 rums now and experience with probably 3 or 4 more from years past. I’m still exploring.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      March 4, 2015 11:43 am

      Thanks for your comment, Matthew! Never stop exploring 🙂


  1. New Rum Review: Dictador 20 | Inu a Kena

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