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Miguel Riascos

COLOMBIA - Industry

Miguel Riascos

CEO, La Hechicera

Bio

Miguel Riascos, the third generation of a family of rum producers in Colombia, is the current CEO of La Hechicera. He studied international business at the American University of Paris and Nottingham Trent University. He was introduced to the art of rum production and the business from a young age under the guidance of his father. La Hechicera was launched in London in 2012 and quickly became one of the best awarded rums in its segment. He currently distributes La Hechicera in 15 countries with the promise “from barrel to bottle; nothing more, nothing less.”

"La Hechicera means “the enchantress.” As a brand, it celebrates Colombia’s fertility and diversity."
How did la Hechicera become the premium rum brand in Colombia?

La Hechicera means “the enchantress.” As a brand, it celebrates Colombia’s fertility and diversity. Colombia is the most diverse nation on Earth, and the brand is rooted in that element of enchantment, magic, and magical realism that is Colombia. In Colombia, truth is often wilder than fiction. That is simply our cultural reality. As a liquid, it is ultra-premium rum that comes from the loss of fermentation, distillation, and aged in ex-bourbon American wide oak barrels. A decade ago, la Hechicera did not exist; however, there was a family, my family, making rum behind the scenes in Barranquilla, in a country that has every condition to produce world-class rum. The idea was to share everything we have been working on for two generations in Barranquilla and share what Colombian rum could truly become. Colombian rum, up until recently, mostly had a domestic focus and was predominantly mass-produced generic rum. And yet internationally, super premium plus rum has been carving out an impressive path, and we did not want to miss out on that action. And now we’re seeing Colombia stake its claim in this international trend. What sets La Hechicera aside is that we produce a rum with a full focus on quality as opposed to quantity, which is a completely new approach in the Colombian context.

Can you talk about international plans and Pernod’s acquisition of La Hechicera?

The acquisition opened many doors for us. La Hechicera was launched in the UK, then domestically in Colombia. It was only after 2013 when we launched domestically that we started expanding our small brand into roughly 20 markets before the acquisition itself. At that time, we were targeting one city at a time through independent distributors in all these markets, simply because we had a quality to share that worked out beautifully. The amazing thing about this new chapter is that we found a partner that allows us to continue doing what we do well, making quality rum deeply rooted in Colombian identity and its diversity, while continuing to support our effort and making this brand highly international. Peru is one of our recent launches and we did it entirely with Pernod. It is through the partnership that we handle our international expansion.

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