Seems like ages ago that Diplomático Rum announced the release of what they are marketing as the ‘Tradition Range’, which features their flagship spirit: Reserva Exclusiva and two new-to-market expressions, Mantuano and Planas, which are replacing Reserva and Blanco respectively. Their goal to achieve a cohesive look, but with more clear definition of intent across the range. We completely failed to get around to writing this up at the time, but given they have now have the Single Batch Kettle and Single Barbet Column releases, it’s really time to catch up.
Press Release: Diplomático Rum announces the release of its new Distillery Collection with Single Batch Kettle and Single Barbet Column rums. Due for official launch at October’s Bar Convent Berlin, this limited-edition line showcases Diplomático’s diverse distillation processes. Over the years, Diplomático has developed a unique style of merging different distillation methods to produce a wide range of complex distillates. The Distillery Collection highlights these distillation systems with two new expressions, a Single Batch Kettle rum and a Single Barbet Column rum.
A variety of distillates, with their distinctive aromas and taste profiles, characterizes Diplomático rums and allows the Maestros Roneros to create one-of-a-kind blends. The Distillery Collection, on the other hand, offers rum aficionados the opportunity to discover these single distillates in their purest form, featuring each rum’s individual personality.
A Batch Kettle still was brought to Diplomático’s distillery in 1959. This semi-artisanal batch distillation method was originally employed in Canada for the production of American whiskey. The distillate is made from sugar cane honeys, and is aged in American white oak barrels, resulting in a delicious medium-body and complex rum.
The Barbet Column distillation system, originally created in France was also brought to the distillery in Venezuela the same year, 1959. The Barbet column is made of 100% copper, a type of metal that enables the elimination of undesirable sulphur compounds which form in the fermentation process. Aged in American white oak barrels and using high-quality sugar cane molasses, the Barbet Column system produces a distillate with a strong fruity profile.
I’m genuinely looking forward to trying these from a ‘geeky’ point of view, as the notion of understanding more about the individual colours in the master blenders palate is appealing. Alas I’m not going to be at Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) so I’m not sure when that opportunity will be. Hopefully the UK RumFest. The commercial release is limited, but not so dramatically that it will be hard to get hold of them. The release starts in key Diplomático markets in October, continuing through November and into early 2018. RRP is expected to be around €69 each. For those interested in 'sugar' - both of these will be released without any additions (see below for more about the levels present in the range).
With regards to the rebrand/replacements, Mantuano and Planas take their lead from the unchanged Reserva Exclusiva bottle with brand icon Don Juancho, featured prominently on the label to create more of a ‘family’ look. It also helps deal with the confusion over the Reserva / Reserva Exclusiva that happened from time to time. These new expressions have been commercially available for a while now.
Mantuano, 40% ABV, which translates to “a local noble man,” is inspired by Don Juancho who used his position of influence to benefit the development of the region he held so dear. It is a blend of rum aged for up to 8 years, with a cost/taste profile ideal for mixing in cocktails, but also entirely drinkable neat.
Planas, 47% ABV, aged up to 6 years, is an elegant and rich blended white rum, with an intense sipping profile. A complex charcoal filtration process helps to balance its flavours and aromas. This rum takes its name from the Planas valley, the region where the Diploma?tico distillery is located, nestled at the foot of the Andes Mountains. This white sipping rum can also be enjoyed in delicate cocktails such as a Hemingway Daiquiri. The move from Blanco to Planas sees the presentation ABV step up noticeably and is actually quite welcome.
Reserva Exclusiva, 40% ABV, remains their ‘dark’ sipping rum and is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan and remains untouched.
A piece of news that might have already been widely shared, but we’ve only just heard about is the update to the Diplomático website that gives a lot of detail to each of the commercially available expressions (although the new limited editions don’t yet feature) – check out http://rondiplomatico.com/our-rums/ and click on the Nutritional Information link. FYI – this feature didn’t work on my Chrome browser, I had to resort to Microsoft Edge to get it to work. Here you will find a full disclosure statement that is claimed to comply with EC regulation 1829/2003 (I’ve not looked the regulation up). You’ll get an energy kcal and total sugar content (per 100ml) statement.
I’ve been of the opinion that whilst the people who care most about the rum category are quite right to demand transparency, the real impulse to force brands into action is going to be this sort of mandatory nutritional analysis that is everywhere else in the food and non-alcoholic beverage world. The fact that alcohol is exempt is strange in the extreme. I’ll say that Diplomático is ahead of the curve in this regard, and whilst I’ve always found them to be open when asked – they do tend to take some flack and this is probably a good move for them. Best to do it before it becomes mandatory, be open and honest.