Colombia is a country of many identities and its palm-fringed, sultry salsa, colonial-cobbled Caribbean coastal vibe is one of its best. And anyone who loves the spirit of the Caribbean coast loves its favorite spirit – rum. Colombia is now home to a host of award-winning rums taking the world by storm. Which one takes your fancy?
La Hechicera, billed as the first “quality premium Colombian rum”, translates as “The Enchantress” in English and was brought to the world by siblings Laura and Miguel Riascos de Castro and designer Martamaria Carrillo. It’s a blend of 12 to 21-year-old rums, matured in Barranquilla, which rum experts have praised for the Colombian flavor in its “notes of roasted coffee”. It won double gold at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Dictador rum is famously produced from sugar cane honey, rather than the traditional molasses. This Cartagena-produced rum is named after Severo Arango y Ferro, who oversaw trade between the colonies and Spain in the 1700s. Nicknamed “El Dictador” (The Dictator) he was apparently partial to a spot of rum, trading it and producing it, and this rum is produced by a company founded by one of his descendants. Dictador 20, aged for 20 years, also won double gold at the World Spirits Competition, in 2012.
Parce is Colombia’s environmentally-friendly rum. The company was founded by Jaime Uribe and brothers Jim, Patrick and Brian Powers, from the US, who work with Arthur and Brojen Fernandes Domecq, a father-and-son duo of “master blenders” from Bogota. Parce, which means “buddy” or “pal” in English, swept the board at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, winning five prizes including the much-coveted “Best In Show”. For every bottle of rum sold, Parce plant a native species tree in the Colombian rainforest. (You may also like: 8 ingenious Colombian businesses trying to achieve a breakthrough abroad)
Ron Medellin and Ron Viejo de Caldas
Ron Medellin and Ron Viejo de Caldas represent the country’s interior. Both are among the few commercially-produced rums that are aged naturally (through the naturally occurring process in oak wood barrels rather than undergoing any chemical treatment) Ron Medellin is beloved for its “pure, rich flavor”. Ron Viejo de Caldas, which has been produced at up to 2,200m above sea level in the Andes mountains since the 1920s, is praised for its “complex, extremely smooth” taste. Both have won World Spirits Competition prizes in the past. (You may also like: Traditional Colombian Tipples)
It’s clear that if you’re a rum lover seeking the world’s finest flavors, the answer is Colombia. If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.