sugar cane honey, molasses
Alcohol by volume:
The legendary Sotheby's auction house brokered the online sale of Dictador Generations En Lalique 1976. The winner paid £30,000 and thus set a rum category record sale.
My reasoning is as follows: if an ultra premium segment producer also offers rums at more affordable prices, it does so in order to stimulate the sale of more expensive variants. The entry-level products should therefore satisfy the consumer enough to make him want to dig a little deeper into the pocket to reach a little more upscale. I finished the thought process purchasing the flagship Dictador 12 years old icon reserve, clever me.
I would call it the usual perception of the spirits category, understood as consumer good. The product remains on the market because it represents more than a competitive product. The process may deepen and over time possibly provide a framework for an investment market where outstanding quality is indeed a necessary but insufficient requirement. The essential factor will then be an extreme shortage making the product truly unique.
There is also the collectors' market. It works in line with supply and demand rules of course, although is less restrictive and more prone to trends and trendsetting. The investment and collector assets overlap but the latter can be artificially created.
Ken Grier - one man institution - explains: "The common factors that define investment grade spirits is: genuine provenance; superb and consistent liquid; scarcity and appealing consumer stories and appropriate aesthetics." However, the following sentence clarifies: "The real danger in Scotch is over hyping of little-known brands that do not have these characteristics." Ken Grier currently runs the consulting firm De-Still Creative and advises the Dictador brand.
The Dictador Generations En Lalique 1976 rum bottle looks fabulous; the edition is limited (300 units) and the price really prohibitive. The offer seems to be aimed at businessmen diversifying their investment portfolios partly into collector's assets. Often to boost reputation.
Let’s hear again from Ken Grier:“it’s about connecting with consumers in a highly distinctive manner: telling stories, making people dream, helping people to feel smarter, cooler and giving them more status. A moment of really special enjoyment where you go, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you’ve opened that’ ”. And I start to wonder - does Dictador indeed address the message to big fishes or rather to the aspiring masses investing in… image.
I came across a warm interview with a master blender (2015); the overtone of which differs slightly from the forced, marketing narrative. Hernán Parra admits that before 1985 the company was importing rum as a wholesaler and has been producing rum since 2006. He mentions a light component ("ein neutrales Destillat mit 96% Alkoholgehalt") composing the final rum in 70% and which may come from external sources. Parra specifies the location of the main distillery in a town 1000 km away from Cartagena, in Ibagué (is there something else besides Fábrica de Licores del Tolima?). Another one positions in the Cesar department and finally bottling plant with a warehouse in Cartagena. Parra describes the solera method as a regular merging of the same vintages throughout the entire maturation period. Next reading causes even greater dissonance. I give up, clever me?
Consumers deserve respect. However, it falls short. They should expect and demand transparency. This universal message should apply even to those how see virtue in conspicuous consumption.