From Colombia with Love…and Gin?

Assembly Occasion at Liberty

Dictador isn’t your typical rum from Colombia, nor was this assembly typical for The Rum Collective. A number of weeks after we explored a full line of rums from Peru, we continued this South American tour into Colombia. Now, Colombia is well-known for a lot of of its high quality exports, however rum, and undoubtedly gin, are usually not amongst them. So, what was so completely different, you ask? As an alternative of a full vary of rums, from unaged to aged expressions, we tasted solely well-aged, mature rums and a pair of gins. Sure, you learn it proper, GIN! However, however…it is a purely rum centered society, is not it? True, however these Colombian Gins are usually not solely created from sugar cane honey (diminished sugar cane juice), however they’re each aged, one in every of which is completed in rum casks. So, technically, they’re associated to rum and fairly attention-grabbing to distinction on this context. Intriguing, eh? Let’s transfer on then. Here’s a model that did not wish to produce simply one other Colombian Rum; they wished to vary the best way you consider Rums from Colombia. Their rums appear to transcend custom with out dropping any of its class; from the way it’s made to the way it’s marketed. First, and most significantly, Dictador Rums are usually not authorities run or produced. I am not going to say names, however fairly a number of rums from this nation are. Second, check out the picture (above), their bottles are visually enticing on the shelf. They may have merely used a plain-Jane clear bottle and a paper label, however they did not. They used a squat, tapered neck bottle and added a daring, black polymer coating from Japan giving it a touch of expertise and elegance, to not point out a greater grip for pouring. Its black, matte end concealing the contents inside is not any nonsense and grabs your consideration prompting the query, “I’m wondering what’s inside?” Their age statements highlighted in colour are distinguished. Severely, earlier than you pop the cork, rum lovers may as nicely admit crushing on their bundle (no pun supposed, humorous although:). The compliments paid to the bottles at our assembly had been of that tone. However, let’s get critical, it is what inside that counts, proper?

The assembly began and one in every of Liberty’s slightly quiet and humble bartenders, Andrew Dalan, introduced out the greeting cocktail he created for this assembly. Now, if in case you have had a number of of his inspirational cocktails earlier than, there wasn’t any shock, he nailed it. Here is a have a look at his cocktail presentation and its recipe (see picture under).

Fitzcarraldo Cocktail


by Andrew Dalan

1oz Grapefruit juice

.5oz Honey

.25oz Raspberry Liqueur

Shaken and served up, orange peel garnish

Our tasting started with the gins. The Ortodoxy – Colombian Aged Gin (white bottle) is vibrant, with solely a choose few dominant aromas and flavors, notably, Juniper and mint. Of curiosity, it is created from fermented sugar cane honey, which is then 5 occasions distilled, extracting its fruits, spices and botanicals over the last distillation earlier than ageing 6 months in oak casks. Its extra aged sibling, Treasure – Colombian Aged Gin (black bottle), is rounded, extra mellow in its bouquet possessing a mild sweetness in its balanced aromas. It reveals a smooth lemon zest and orange peel amidst hints of vanilla. It ages for roughly 35 weeks in beforehand stuffed Dictador Rum barrels and its medium bodied mouth really feel is appreciated neat. Keep in mind, we’re speaking about Caribbean ageing, the place spirits age 2-3 occasions sooner than that of temperate weathered England. Whereas lots of the company had been having fun with the Treasure, each out and in of the cocktail, different rum lovers commented on how they simply discovered their go-to Gin for his or her subsequent Caribbean Gin & Tonic!

Now, onward to the Rum!

The transition from tasting Gins to their Rums required solely an open thoughts and a few hand-to-mouth that was discovered most satisfying, notably when beginning off with their 12 yr outdated Rum. First, a dialogue of Dictador’s historical past and transient orientation about their rum making course of was due. Dictador Rums are made at Distilleria Colombiana, situated off the Caribbean coast of Colombia within the metropolis of Cartagena de Indias. The distillery was based by Don Julio Arango y Parra in 1913, when Colombia was identified solely as Nueva Granada. Legend has it, Don Julio Arango y Parra was the third technology descendant of Severo Arango de Ferro, who emigrated from Spain in 1751 and have become well-known for making Cartagena an important buying and selling submit for the Spanish Armada. Severo’s responsibility there was to “improve commerce” or in different phrases, enhance tax assortment, between Nueva Granada and the mainland. His status grew as did his energy, which aptly landed him the identify, Dictador. This nickname grew to become branded and nonetheless stays at present.
As the thrill to style the rums grew, we paused to expertise Dictador on display screen.

Oh yeah!

We tasted via the primary two expressions and some notes had been taken…

The 12yr, a mix of alembic pot and column distilled rums aged 8-14yr, provided up a pronounced honey like sweetness amidst balanced aromas of roasted almonds, toffee and marzipan. In distinction, the 20yr was chock-full of raisins, vanilla bean, currants, cherry tobacco, oiled leather-based and aged port below the nostril. Each expressions had a silky, medium bodied mouth really feel, nonetheless the end on the 20yr (mix of rums aged 14-24yr) was notably extra prolonged as one would anticipate. These two rums have a sure class; sipping like a nice brandy, little question.
Dictador Rums are created from sugar cane honey that’s pressed from cane grown in the realm’s surrounding fields. Use of sugar cane honey is comparatively distinctive, so why not molasses? In Colombia, molasses is earmarked by the federal government for biofuel making it economically undesirable with sensible challenges. They make use of an alembic copper pot nonetheless and a column nonetheless to distill their 12yr and 20yr Solera System Rums. Their rums are aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry oak barrels in a solera system, as Spanish sherry has been finished historically in Jerez for years and are then blended by their grasp blender, Hernan Parra Arango.
The ultimate two samples we tasted started with the XO Insolent and completed with the XO Perpetual, each distilled utilizing solely alembic pot nonetheless. Rums aged as much as 25yrs had been chosen from their most interesting barrels together with ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry barrels.

Though each XO expressions didn’t have the forthcoming bouquets because the youthful expressions, the XO Insolent introduced refined aromas of candy espresso cake, darkish chocolate beneath oak-driven vanilla nougat and caramelized honey over marshmallows. The XO Perpetual was general extra on the earthy aspect with notes of moist tobacco leaves, new leather-based, charred oak, darkish cacao, vanilla nougat. The silky clean mouth really feel was current in each, nonetheless the end of the XO Perpetual was much less drying and extra pronounced in length than the XO Insolent. These Rums would do nicely in cigar pairings, and regardless of makes an attempt, Dictador’s Cigars weren’t but out there in Washington throughout our assembly. It’s value noting that every of Dictador’s rums are distinctly completely different from each other and could also be tasted individually or in one other order simply as nicely. Total, our small pattern of refined palates had been partial in direction of the XO Perpetual. Nonetheless, each XO expressions are advanced and nicely value one other go to to additional discover their distinctive attributes.

Andrew Dalan’s closing cocktail was served simply after we completed tasting our closing expression. Together with his reported thought of a Cuba Libre, reconstructed for higher (or worse, as they’re very drinkable!), this cocktail far exceeded any thought of simply ‘free’. It is easy, basic presentation, but wealthy flavors embodied residing life in fashion, refined and attractive. Dictador fashion!!

The Rum Gods bless you Andrew Dalan for this considerate gem of a cocktail!

Cartagena Libre

Cartagena Libre

by Andrew Dalan

.25oz Lime juice

.25oz Easy syrup

Construct on rocks, high with soda water

lime wedge garnish

We sipped our Cartagena Libre whereas the following Dictador video started…

The tip.

However should you fancy extra, there are a number of further movies on YouTube

A spherical of applause to Andrew Dalan for a pair of rum-tastic cocktails!

Cheers to Dictador Rum for his or her assist and to American Northwest for making this outstanding model out there to rum-lovers all through Washington State.

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