There’s brands within a certain category that create a consistent buzz. Brewdog does to ale what Hendrick’s does to gin and Grey Goose to vodka. But to have a portfolio that not only creates a buzz from birth, but also wins time after time is something of an achievement, something that Diplomático have down to a tee. I say this with enthusiasm and excitement as the hype of this brand was rewarded with what can be described as a sell-out tasting at The Liquorist’s HQ #22Redbank a few months back. Literally packed to the rafter with bartenders coming from all over the North West to try not only the Diplomático portfolio, but to shake hands and listen to the words of the Rum Master Tito Cordero.
So why is Diplomático regarded so highly to have bartenders willingly travel far to hear this story?
Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez had a passion to explore and source flavours for the traditional beverages that were known back in the 18th Century, particularly interested in the artisanal production methods that could produce a huge variety of interesting and unique flavours. He also took notice of a commonly forgotten variable in climate. Understanding variables such as weather, humidity and altitude that can drastically effect the rum-making process, as well as sampling many a flavour liqueur and rum to truly experience what the land offered, he used his knowledge to refine his own product.
In the 18th Century, Jamaica was at the forefront of manufacture, which Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez studied alongside the distillation secrets from the islands of Antilles. With this he came across the sugar mill – a traditional method of crushing sugar cane. This tool became a staple to Nieto Meléndez as he was able to create variations of combinations in the different cane juices available.
With this knowledge and understanding, he was able to create a rum that he thought was the perfect craft. Ron Diplomático was born.
Production of Diplomático started in 1959 and produced in La Miel, Venezuela. Chosen due to its unique climate conditions of being 173 metres above sea level, its fresh nights and high humidity which influences both the sugar cane growth and the rum aging process.
Fermented for 24 hours, and using a total of seven stills (three pot stills and four column stills) with a minimum aging process of 2 years in ex Bourbon American white oak barrels, for 45 years the rum has been perfected for consumption, and the Diplomático range is testament to this.
So how does it all fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes on each –
Diplomático Blanco – 40%
Six year old white rum. Slightly heavy on the nose with aromas of soft fruit and coconut cream. Soft chocolate notes on the palate, slightly sharpened mid-way but mellows quickly into a long offering. Leaves a slight burn but again mellows.
Diplomático Añejo – 40%
A mix of continuous still and pot still rums aged for an average of four years. A fruity nose with a sweet aroma dominating, but a slight light wood scent. Very soft on the palate with flavours of tropical fruits creating a warmth during its long experience.
Diplomático Reserva – 40%
A higher proportion of pot still rums aged for an average of eight years. Sweet and rather thick on the nose with notes of vanilla, wood and dry fruit balancing well. Again very soft on the palate with a mouth-watering sweetness of chocolate and spice structuring well.
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva – 40%
Blend of copper pot still rums aged for twelve years. An orange zest on the nose with bold, dark sugar aromas dominating soon after. A long offering of toffee and tropical fruits blend to create a silky texture that’s soft and easy-going. Sweet.
Diplomático Single Vintage 2000 – 43%
After a fantastic sugarcane harvest in the year 2000 in Venezuela, this particular batch was aged in the best single malt and bourbon casks the distillers could find for 12 years and finished in Spanish Sherry casks.
Thick vanilla notes on the nose, with sherry and sugar balancing nicely. Soft and sweet upon the palate, with the sherry oak coming through to create a slightly dry, yet long finish.
Diplomático Ambassador Selection – 47%
Finished in Pedro Ximénez barrels. Bold, deep dry fruit aromas on the nose with notes of vanilla and slightly smoked wood. Dark chocolate flavours on the palate creates an incredibly smooth texture that includes coffee and traces of port. Very long.
A fantastic range and experience, one that can be shared on its own or in a sophisticated mix –
Gimlet / Coupette
15 ml Ruby Port
10 ml Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
2 bar spoons Diplomático Reserva
3 bar spoons Muscovado sugar
1/4 Fresh lemon juice
3 dashes Grenadine
Shake well and strain through a sieve into a chilled cocktail coupette. Decorate with an orange twist.
Elegant and luxurious – both the drink and the rum. Diplomático have also won recognition – 56 overall and counting. These include such titles as Ministry of Rum’s ‘Best Premium Gold Rum 2011’ and Spirits Business Rum Masters Competition ‘Master Medal 2009’ for the Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, Silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007 and Gold at the 2007 International Rum Festival again in 2007 for Diplomático Reserva, San Francisco World Spirits Double Gold Medal in 2007 and 2011 for the Diplomático Añejo and Gold Medal at the 2009 Ministry of Rum and 2009 Monde Selection Bruxelles for ‘Grand Gold Quality Award’ for the latest addition of Diplomático Blanco.
Not bad for a family of rum. A family of rum that you really need to experience.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.