We’ve been eyeing Diplomático Distillery Collection No 2 Barbet Rum for quite some time, however the price point always leads us to another rum. Our review of Diplomático Reserva left us wanting more from a rum at $40.00/bottle, so we pondered if doubling that price was going to yield different results. We hope that the Barbet Still distillation process will be worth the price.
Diplomático was established in 1959 at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Venezuela. The ecosystem in this area produces a variety of sugar cane with exceptionally high sugar content. This combined with their own non-commercial yeast strain, three different distillation processes, and the diversity of barrels used in their aging process has always made Diplomático stand out.
The No 2 Barbet Rum is part of the Limited Edition Distillery Collection which is aimed to capitalize on their different stills. The Barbet Still was designed in France at the end of the 19th Century. It’s designed with two columns with plates of bubbling bells and two condensers which provides refrigeration to help the separation of the alcohol from the other minor compounds (other than ethanol) produced in distillation. Diplomático says this leaves the liquid with fruity, creamy, and smokey characteristics. The rum is aged in American and French oak bourbon barrels for an unadvertised amount of time.
The nose is very fruity with cherry, orange peel, and green banana. There is an undertone of sweetness coming from molasses. I also get a slight oak note on the nose. The front of the palate presents all the fruits from the nose but it finishes with a strong coconut, which lingers. Once the coconut settles, the oak peeks its head out. For the second sip, the fruit continues to shine on the palate, however the coconut isn’t as powerful. The coconut and oak make an interesting combination of the finish. I quite enjoy this rum.
The rum has a beautiful golden hue that doesn’t hug the glass or provide much lacing. I agree with Clint that the nose is very fruity, but I’m going more tropical with mango, very ripe pineapple, and papaya. For me, the sweetness is coming from the fruit, not molasses. The rum has a hardy mouth feel which provides a slight alcohol burn before presenting the tropical fruits. Here I get the mango, papaya, and a little bit of banana. I’m not sure where Clint is picking up the coconut. My finish is very warming and banana-forward. I too enjoy the finish however, I don’t enjoy the lingering alcohol burn on my palate.
As we poured ourselves another dram of Diplomático – Distillery Collection No 2 Barbet Rum, we contemplated whether it was worthy of the $82/bottle price point. The unique play of fruit and oak kept us coming back for more. When we poured our third dram, we knew it was worth the price.
4.75 out of 5
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 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.