Dictador has been producing quality aged rum since 1913. The third-generation rum producer is based in Cartagena, on the northern coast of Colombia, which is famed for its high-quality sugarcane.
The distillery was founded by Don Julio Arrango y Parra, a direct descendant of Severo Arango y Ferro after whom the brand is named. In the 18th century, Ferro earned the nickname Dictador (literally translating as “dictator”) for his forceful nature while improving tax collection in Colombia (or Cartagena de Indias in Nueva Granada, as it was then known). Ferro had a deep appreciation for rum and played a pivotal role in the sugarcane spirits trade. Today, Dictador is produced by third generation Master Blender Hernan Parra.
Dictador rums are famously made from virgin sugarcane honey, rather than molasses. The honey, which they feel is the purest part, is distilled in copper and continuous column stills before being aged in high-quality oak barrels.
The angels’ share is considerably higher in the Caribbean than in Scotland – approximately 10%, in comparison to Scotland’s 3%. To reduce this evaporation when producing its oldest rums, Dictador tops up the cask with distillate from the same vintage.
The Venezuelan producer has trailblazed with its high-end rums. In 2021, a Lalique decanter of 1976 Dictador sold for £30,000 making it one of the most expensive rums ever sold at auction. The 2 Masters series is a collaboration with wine and spirits producers around the world. Dictador sends between 10 and 20 casks of rum to the chosen winemakers and distillers (which so far has included Glenfarclas, Royal Tokaji and Niepoort) for a second period of maturation in their respective country. From there, the partners have the creative freedom to choose, in conversation with Dictador Master Blender Hernan Parra, which age and style of rum to use and what to do with it.