Rum Review: Dictador 20
Dictador 20 Destillery Icon Reserve Review
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
Have you tried Dictador 20? Please share your thoughts below.