DiplomÃ¡tico is a line of rich rums from Venezuela, which includes a blanco I’ve never seen. More than likely, you’ll easily get your hands on a bottle of the Reserva or Reserva Exclusiva. Reserva Exclusiva is a molasses based blended rum made of rums aged up to 12 years in former American Bourbon barrels. 12 years seems to be quite the sweet spot for good rums, and I think this definitely does well in the “12 spot”. It’s made in a “Southern Caribbean style” , intended for sipping, and is bottled at 80 proof.
Venezuela has been producing some exceptional rums, which I’ve really grown quite fond of in the past few years. Some will tell me Pampero tastes like lighter fluid, but I beg to differ (or perhaps I like lighter fluid), but anyhow. Onto the Rum!
Appearance: The rum has a nice ruddy amber color when held to the light, its legs stick to the sides like any spirit of its proof.
Nosing: The nose on the Reserva Exclusiva is particularly powerful, leaping out of the glass, though without any strong alcohol punch. The first things that comes to the nose is maple sugar, followed with a light honey, some sap and marshmallow. Giving it a few minutes to sit leaves it with an almost floral quality.
Tasting: This rum has an incredibly smooth palate entry, without any initial burn. The nose and flavor match perfectly, with the maple, honey and sap being the first initial flavors coming forth. It’s not a particularly viscous rum, but does have a nice texture, staying readily on the tongue. The smooth envelope soon becomes a bit harsher as the alcohol evaporates into the nose. There is quite a bit of oak to the mid-palate, and a lovely creamy butter feel on the swallow. It’s a sweet rum, for sure, but not sugary in any sense, and has a very gentle heat to it. The aftertaste gives a bit of burnt wood in the back of the throat, which I’m not sure I like. There’s something in the aftertaste that is not entirely appealing, but is easily remedied with another sip.
On Mixing: This rum is intended as a sipper, but as a mixocolologist, I have to think about what this would go well in. Perhaps with some maple syrup and Fees Barrel Aged Bitters in an Old-Fashioned style cocktail. I don’t see citrusy drink pairing particularly well, though in my opinion, that’s true for pretty much any Ron out there. A nice rich cigar definitely accompanies well, particularly my favorite, a Partagas Black.
Score: I’m giving DiplomÃ¡tica Reserva Exclusiva a 4 out of 5. It’s an exceptional rum, that’s for sure, but the bitter/burnt note on the after taste leaves me with… well, a bad taste in my mouth. It’s a lovely South American Ron that I place highly in its class, but it is just missing that extra special something for the fifth “star”.
Other Information on DiplomÃ¡tico Reserva Exclusiva: