We never know where we are going to find our next rum to review! Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva – Ron de Venezuela was sitting on the bar counter at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club the days leading up to the potential landfall of Tropical Storm Matthew. Ironically, the bartenders were using it to make Hurricanes. Clint asked for a sample straight up and thought the rum deserved a review.
Diplomático distillery was founded in 1959 at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela. In 2002. After several mergers, a group of local investors purchased the manufacturing assets and formed Distilleries Unitas S.A. Although the company is new, the traditions of making rum is not. Reserva is made from the highest quality Venezuela sugar cane and sugar cane molasses. The rum is a balance of pot still rums, distilled from sugar cane honeys and light column still rums. It is then aged up to eight years.
And who is the gentleman featured on the bottle? According to legend Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez lived near the distillery at the end of the 19th century. A craftsman at heart, Meléndez sought ways to refine his own product by sampling rums throughout the Caribbean. His impressive rum collection came to be known as “The Ambassador’s Reserves.” Diplomático pays homage to a Meléndez dedication, know-how, gentleman’s manners and authentic personality.
This dark hued rum definitely has a mellow wood nose. I know it should be oak, however I’m getting more hickory or ash with tobacco and a slight hint of vanilla. The longer I let it decant and breath the more notes come out. On the palate there is a rush of pepper which settles quickly. I also get a buttery note. Maybe toffee, if you will. The combination of spice and butter lingers and warms my throat. Second and third sips brings out some orange peel and more of the tannins from the wood.
I love the green, corked bottle with the black and white picture of a distinguished gentleman. The nose is very earthy with a slight hint of vanilla. Oak is the dominant wood note with some cedar undertones. Once on the palate there is a burst of cinnamon. Reminds me of the cinnamon red heart candies I loved as a kid. I get burst of spice, slight heat on the throat then it’s gone; nothing lingers for me. The rum has a syrupy consistency and laces the glass like a nice rum but it doesn’t provide the sweetness one would expect. I’d say it’s hardy without much complexity.
At a price point of $38.00 there are far better offerings that provide more contemplation. We’re not saying to pass it up though. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva – Ron de Venezuela makes a nice rum to share with others when you are simply shooting the breeze at anchor.
3 out of 5
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 31 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.