|Carlos Nino in London, UK|
|Latinos in London Magazine on 2016-09-23|
La Hechicera – Fine rum from Colombia: ‘The Enchantress’ - exotically Latin with a dash of danger
LA HECHICERA [etch-ee-seh-rah] is a fine, mature rum from the beating heart of the Colombian Caribbean. Launched in the UK [November 2012], the rum is now available in top bars and luxury wines & spirits merchants of the major cities of England, Scotland, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, Russia and soon to be launched in USA. LA HECHICERA is Spanish for ‘enchantress’ and captures the charm, mystery and essence of a spirit that seduces rum connoisseurs and whisky lovers alike. Arising from an intriguing heritage of know-how, LA HECHICERA celebrates the beauty of the exuberant coastal landscape and biodiversity of Colombia.
The Riascos family have produced fine rums in Barranquilla, Colombia, for over two decades. LA HECHICERA is traditionally 'unpolished' rum, proudly retaining the genuine qualities of the oak barrels it is aged in. There is no rounding up with additives or sugar; its smoothness has been mellowing for decades. The family blends gracefully matured rums, aged between 12 and 21 years in American white oak casks, using its own mastered version of the solera method.
Sip LA HECHICERA neat or over a single rock of ice to experience heady scents of toffee and orange peel on the nose, followed by notes of tobacco and roasted coffee on the palate. The liquid itself reflects the brand motto ‘fortiter in re, suaviter in modo’ - resolute in being, gentle in execution – in that it is a characterful rum that goes down smoothly.
The beautiful bottle has been designed with painstaking detail and features a textured label, bold blue wax seal, and an illustration on the bottle glass inspired by the abundant nature of Colombia’s Sierra Nevada. Praying mantises and other creatures are hidden in the landscape.
Since launching, LA HECHICERA has received the most important awards for quality and branding
* The only rum to win a double Master award in the 2013 Spirits Business Spirits Masters series, London, April 2013. It won in both the Super-Premium Rum category and in the Golden Rum over 12 years old category. Gaining a Master award means that LA HECHICERA scored 90 percent or above in unanimous judging. This was the biggest Rum Masters competition so far, with some 70 entries from 30 different companies.
* Gold medals from the Beverage Testing Institute (US) for both graphic design and style 2013.
* Grand Gold in the Monde Selection (Brussels), April 2013.
* Three Golden Stars – over 90 percent for exceptional taste, Taste & Quality Institute comprising Michelin-starred chefs and sommeliers, April 2013.
* Gold medal in the ‘Super Premium’ category for the 2014 Spirit Business
* Gold medal in the ‘Dark over 12 yrs old’ category for the 2014 Spirit Business
* Gold medal for the World’s Best Rum design from World Drinks Awards
* 5/5 rating from Difford’s Guide, the most reputed source of spirits knowledge in the UK
* Master Award in the ‘Dark over 12 yrs old’ category for the 2015 Spirit Business
* Double Gold in San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2015
* Luxury Master award 2016 Spirits Business
In December 2013, GQ Magazine UK included LA HECHICERA in its list 100 Best things in the World Right Now with other important brands like Ducati and the Soho House Hotels.
LA HECHICERA is the only family owned, privately held spirits company in Colombia. Its production is meticulous; raw distillates are chosen from the most seminal sugar cane havens in South America and the Caribbean, and then tested for the organoleptic and physiochemical qualities that will blossom in the tropical microclimate of Barranquilla, Colombia.
Co-founder Laura Riascos emphasises the distinction of using the solera method: “The singular solera method of ageing is a labour intensive process that demands in-depth knowledge of chemistry, and also a great deal of intuition. This is experience that our Maestro Ronero has honed through years of dedication at the forefront of the rum making process."
She adds, “After a very successful first phase introducing LA HECHICERA to key trade outlets, we are supporting new listings and partnering in bespoke ways to attract consumers to taste and buy. We are thrilled that our new rum is being taken up so enthusiastically by bars; the beautifully clean profile of the rum has gained plenty of interest in our approach to crafted production and solera ageing. The many awards won by LA HECHICERA have also helped to win attention from consumers of fine spirits other than rum.”
Siblings Laura Riascos de Castro and Miguel Riascos De Castro, together with designer Martamaria Carrillo, are based in London and Colombia, and are in charge of the branding and distribution. In their launch in the UK they celebrated with top bartenders and spirits experts at an exotic evening of experimentation and heart-warming Colombian food at a breath-taking private house in St John’s Wood London (November 2012). Described as a cross between an 18th century boudoir and a Fellini film set. Such is the style of discovery, adventure and original charm that is LA HECHICERA.
Fascinating experimental multi-sensory tasting sessions are hosted by Laura Riascos and Martamaria Carillo for bar staff. The aim is to provide an easy to remember introduction to the skills of rum blending; the profiles of the raw distillates at different alcoholic strengths and the style of several different Caribbean rums.
How to enjoy La Hechicera
Sip LA HECHICERA neat or on ice, as a classic Manhattan or Old Fashioned style cocktail.