Cartagena-based rum company Dictador has announced the array of global partners who will collaborate with the firm to create a collection of new unique, high-end Colombian rums. Known as the ‘2 Masters” project, the initiative will task a third-party expert — including master distillers, cellar masters, or master oenologists — from internationally renowned houses to finish barrels of long-aged Dictador rum.
Photo: Hernan Parra, the master distiller of Dictator, celebrates the 2 Masters alliance with Mickaël Bouilly, cellar master of Hardy Cognac, and Bénédicte Hardy, owner of Hardy Cognac. (Credit: Dictador / PR Newswire)
2 Masters is the brainchild of Hernan Parra, master blender at Dictador, who according to the company “resolved to create a truly remarkable and wholly unique collection of sipping spirits by uniting with top producers in the wine and spirits community.”
Each master from outside the firm will take rum that has been aged for at least 40 years and design a custom finishing process that may take up to three years to complete. This is the first time that Dictador is allowing “an entity outside the brand” to have “influence over their rum” in a history that dates back more than 100 years, said the firm.
“Allowing complementary Masters to finish the liquid that my family has nurtured for decades is not only a leap of faith, but a form of art,” said Parra. “Choosing the correct houses to participate was incredibly important in that there had to be a symbiotic relationship between myself and the other artisans who would agree to craft a version of our rum that would not just be liquid art, but an eventual masterpiece.”
The following houses and individuals will be among the first group of masters to participate: Mickaël Bouilly of Hardy Cognac, Callum Fraser of Glenfarclas Distillery, Hervé Jestin of Champagne Leclerc Briant, Jérôme Cosson of Château d’Arche Sauternes, Thibault Despagne of Vignobles Despagne, and Cyril Laudet of Laballe Armagnac.
The first product is expected to be finished in the second quarter of 2018. The dates will vary from three months to three years due to differences in the various masters’ “creative intent, aging, and resting process.”
Further collaborations are planned for the future, including rum finishing efforts with masters in bourbon, tequila, mezcal, sake, port and baiju.
“We believe that the result of these alliances will ultimately create a unique product that will transcend traditional categories and labels,” said Parra.