We had the chance to attend a rum masterclass organised as part of the promo for the new La Hechicera bottle and the launch of the brand’s new partnership with Mangrove, who are now looking after the distribution of La Hechicera across the UK.
Miguel Riascos, the co-founder of the brand and third generation rum maker from Colombia was our host for the night. The Riascos family has been involved in the rum making business for a few decades, and as part of continuing this tradition, Miguel and his sister Laura created La Hechicera rum, which was first launched in the UK in 2012.
Miguel started by taking us through the history of how it all began, and in order to appreciate the final product we were each given a small bag containing 5 bottles of distillates of various ages and ABV, which ranged from a neutral spirit at 96% to a cask strength 12-year-old rum that goes into the final La Hechicera blend. Tasting each of the distillates helped us appreciate the evolution of flavours and the complexity of blending the very different flavour profile of each distillate required for the final blend. Some lucky ones also got two very unique bitters, made from local Colombian woods/plants.
There is a sole La Hechicera product, which Miguel was keen to emphasise is to reflect the craftmanship that goes into the blend. It is a blend of 12 to 21 year old rums aged using a solera system.
The company doesn’t actually distil itself, it blends different rums from a few distilleries in Colombia and central America, but the master blender (born of Japanese parents and known as the Mr Miyagi of rum) ensures that the rum they receive are consistent and of high quality.
Flavour-wise it was very different from the solera rums we have tried in the past. The rum is not sweet and there are no additives. It is quite a dry rum, with some floral notes, and a slight oakiness and smokiness coming through from the white American oak barrel.
The rum has a light and smooth mouth feel with no after burn, and with a medium finish. At 40% ABV, the blend’s complexity and distinctive flavour came through very well. We think the rum is a very flavourful, unique, well-balanced and well-presented rum, which retailing around £45, it is not a bad price. If you like Santa Teresa 1796 rum, like we do, you might also like this one.
The new bottle design is even slicker than the previous one, giving it more of a premium feel. They have chosen to go with the oldest solera age (which seems to be common practice when it comes to aged solera rums) on the front of the new label, which indicates a 21, without being in your face, like other similar age solera rums.
Unlike claims from people of some rum forums, the label on the back of the bottle indicates that the rum has been aged between 12 and 21 years and Miguel was keen to emphasise they are being transparent. Like nearly every solera rum, unfortunately, it is hard to get information of what blends the rum is actually made up of. As rum enthusiasts we always wonder how much of the oldest rum is actually in an aged solera rum. We know it varies from one brand to another brand and even from one batch to another.
It was a great event and would like to thank Miguel, Su-Lin and team for inviting us. La Hechicera is definitely another rum that we will add to our wish list, we like it and we don’t have any Colombian rum in our collection yet.
Until next time, keep rumming!