How lovely on a workday to have a virtual tasting with Hernan Parra, the Master Blender for Dictador rum, and Marc Larminaux the Creative Director of Lalique.
The new Dictador Generations En Lalique rum had been delivered in a sublime package just in time for the on-screen meeting, plus a lovely video.
I was prepared. Deep leather armchair, check, Zoom screen set up, check, Cohiba Maduro 5 Magicos cigar, nope, gave those up decades ago, but it was a nice thought.
The Dictador Generations En Lalique decanter is Lalique’s first collaboration with a high-end rum brand and the bottle is a masterpiece. Designed by Lalique’s Artistic and Creative Director, Marc Larminaux, the decanter is inspired by the magical and mysterious beauty of the Caribbean Sea. Marc incorporated water patterns on the design and crystallised Caribbean spirit.
Lalique only ever select one brand in any category to work with, so this was a marriage made in heaven, or maybe a bar called Heaven.
The Dictador Generations En Lalique, including the proof bottle #0, achieved the exceptional price of £30,000 at the Sotheby’s auction launch. The highest ever for a bottle of rum.
The decanter auctioned by Sotheby’s also toasts Dictador’s collaboration with Lalique- the very first time that the French crystal maker has created a decanter for a high-end rum brand. It was offered in a one-of-a-kind gift box and accompanied by an illuminated presentation stand. With rare wines and spirits reaching increasingly large values and attracting global investment, Dictador is pioneering aged rum for collecting connoisseurs.
The brand owns the world’s largest stock of aged rum, up to 45 years old, allowing Dictador to release a range of innovative, yet fine and rare editions unrivalled by competitors – creating an entirely new luxury category for prestige rums and distributing its award-winning products to more than 80 countries around the world. Dictador Generations En Lalique and the incredible auction result achieved are once more testament to the growth of the fine & rare rum category.
A strictly limited series of 300 uniquely designed crystal carafes, filled with a golden liquid treasure of remarkable, aged rum blended from a singular selection of 1976 vintages. A blend created by Hernan Parra, Dictador Master Blender together with his father Dario Parra. Aged in American Oak and Port casks, 43% ABV. International collectors, experts and investors of luxury spirits will recognise that this emotive, exquisite crystal carafe designed by Lalique for Dictador is as much a work of art as a vessel for fine rum. Each bottle is engraved with its unique number.
Interestingly enough the rum is moved over from one barrel to another of the same age as the angel’s share depletes it. They lose a vast amount over the years, so it’s not only a labour of love but very expensive to produce. The rum they could have sold in the seventies not only reduces down but is costly to store, maintain, preserve and nurture. Take inflation and opportunity cost into account and the 1976 collectors edition is a bargain.
Another point of interest his that Master Blender Hernan and his father are solely responsible for the final blend of the barrels. The first time ever that father and son have created an expression together. It must have been a privilege and pleasure to blend this 45-year-old rum, but a big responsibility too. Well, if they need a third opinion for the next collector’s edition, I’m happy to volunteer.
The liquid treasure housed within this piece of art is a special blend of vintage rums produced in 1976, aged in American Oak and port casks. Named Dictador Generations En Lalique, this edition pays tribute to the Parra family who have been distilling rum in Cartagena since 1913. The recipe is soft and smooth, with tasting notes of caramel, cocoa, roasted honey and coffee.
The first hit is Port and Sherry with smokey cinnamon spice. Then freshly polished wood with hints of leather, ripe plums and a touch of clove. Cocoa powder opens up layers of black cherry, nutmeg, cinnamon and a touch of deep mahogany, finishing with griddled pineapple and a hint of rose petals.
The palate opens with a deep note of dark chocolate, a hint of flamed orange peel and clove spices. Nutmeg is next up, followed up oak dryness, rich leather and Madagascan vanilla pods. High-quality coffee and a hint of star anise add an additional layer of complexity. A wonderful balance of ripe fruit sweetness rounded off by earthy spices. The mouthfeel is superb, smooth but with a three-dimensional body.
Smoky toasted cigar tobacco notes are underpinned by oak spices and a light sweetness of plump raisins, rich stewed prunes, Medjool dates and fig leaf. The finish is completed by rich dark chocolate notes, and more dry, earthy oak spices. The balance is exceptional, no flavour dominates too strongly, but each washes over your tongue with rich flavours.
The bottle is set within an exclusive presentation case made of stainless steel featuring a tempered glass viewing window on the front of the case. This showcase piece includes fingerprint technology and includes under bottle lighting to highlight the deep amber of this product.