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Rum Club: September 2010 E-mail
Sunday, 26 September 2010 21:25

A Night for Diplomacy... 

Diplomatico ReservaOn paper, a rum club featuring Diplomatico Rum should be a writer’s dream – the odd clever little play on words using the brand name dotted throughout the article.  Diplomatico is a great brand; the presentation was fun and informative and the company of friends and fans made for a fantastic vibe.

It seems daft jokes just aren’t required!

Well, perhaps the odd one...

The thing is that I think Diplomatico is a relative unknown to so many in the UK, but it’s a well loved secret to those in the know!  I can tell you that although the crowd was small, the anticipation was immense. 

Declan (of Speciality Brands – the company behind Diplomatico here in the UK) brought several bottles with him and stated early on that he had no intention of taking them away with him.  “Hurrah!” Came the response...

Diplomatico Reserva ExclusivaAfter the intro’s, we were treated to a relaxed, informal presentation.  Declan painted a mental picture of life in Venezuela and the fact that the owners love their rum and seek to engender that love in as many people as possible.  I’m fortunate that I’ve met José Snr. and Jnr. quite a few times over the last couple of years.  Venezuela under President Chavez is an interesting place – the government’s ability to nationalise companies and businesses presents a challenge.  We were told that the nationalisation of the main port meant that a shipment of rum due to leave in January, didn’t actually get going for about four or five months.

It seems that Diplomatico has been a regular part of my life since TheFloatingRumShack.com left the harbour.  Early on in our rum adventure, a comparative tasting saw Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva used to full effect in highlighting the amazing depth to the range of flavours in the rum world.  The exact event slips my mind now, but once tried – never forgotten.

We’ve done our best to spread the good word since and now it seems that Speciality Brands are looking to raise awareness as well.  Fingers crossed you really will be seeing this more and more in the future.

Diplomatic flight!

Tasting GlassesThe tasting mats laid out meant that we were going to experience all four expressions currently available here in the UK.  Starting with the Anejo, we then tried the Blanco, the Reserva and finally, the Reserva Exclusiva.  I’ve been an Exclusiva man since the beginning, but I’m now really appreciating the fine all round rum that is the Reserva.  The bottles brought by Declan were emptied in short order and we were left to pick through the sea of tasting glasses – ever hopeful of finding a glass that had been left untouched... scant hope really.

Too much was covered to write it all down verbatim.  We listened to the tape on a long road trip just before publishing this.  Very funny to listen to a group of people gradually consuming more and more rum: the comments are hilarious!  Declan, if you’re reading this the tape has it all, I’m just holding it back until a more opportune moment...know what I mean?

Keypoints?  Well of course, there are a few worth reiterating here for the benefit of those present:

Ron de Venezuela is the governing body for rum production in Venezuela.  A key standard is that rum must be aged for a minimum of two years.  They don’t control the addition of sugar to the rum.

DUSA control their molasses very strictly.  Molasses are kept underground in vast tanks with a maximum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.  The fermentation time is relatively short in comparison to some other manufacturers: 18 to 24 hours.

DUSA have two pot stills and five continuous column stills.  They age the rum in a variety of different casks.  The majority being the once used, ex-bourbon cask that is almost ubiquitous in the industry.  However, ex-Scottish whisky and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks are also used.

Diplomatico AñejoDiplomatico Añejo: a blend of two to four year old rums which consist of 95% column and 5% pot still.  It is described as being a fairly typical light Latino (Cuban) style rum.  Works well in daiquiris and mojitos.

It’s very easy to overlook this rum: its illustrious big brothers might steal the limelight, but bars always need a cost effective house rum and we are told that this is a great one to have in the rail.  TheFloatingRumShack.com may have to revisit its own stock situation now [i.e. we have none!].

Diplomatio Blanco: an almost unique product in the market place.  The Blanco consists of a majority of six year old pot still rum, which is intensely filtered up to six times to get the absolute clarity required.  The mix of pot and column still rum wasn’t available to Declan as a consistent fact.  Each year the blend will vary a little as the taste profile is maintained.

It’s a big seller in Miami, as TheFloatingRumShack.com can testify, but something of a rarity here in the UK.  We have the tiniest remains of a bottle brought back from Miami in 2009 – the very same remains which were alluded to in the article on the subject we penned back in July 2009.

The UK doesn’t sell a lot and this is in part due to the price.  But I’m also going to suggest that it’s probably down to education of the white rum spirit class.  The more the word is spread on its quality, the more bottles are likely to be sold.

The suggestion on an interesting serve is a White Rum Old Fashioned.  In Venezuela it’s the sort of rum that drunk on the beach: lots of ice, a little mint and citrus and a whole load of rum!

Diplomatio Reserva & Reserva ExclusivaDiplomatico Reserva: A product made from rums of up to eight years old, although the Spanish style is not to put an age statement on the bottle.  The blend may take rums as young as two or three years old – it varies!
The blend consists of 80% column still and 20% pot still and apparently a rum to enjoyed for breakfast! 

Declan tells the group about an educational trip to Venezuela and DUSA in which the Añejo was enjoyed before dinner as an aperitif, the Reserva during dinner with food and the Reserva Exclusiva after dinner.  Later that evening at the night club, the Reserva was back out again, this time by the bottle!

The Reserva could well be enjoyed over ice – a serve that really doesn’t get enough attention.  We’ve tried the Reserva before, but daft as it sounds, the bottle got drunk without really thinking about what was inside the bottle.  It’s time to take a fresh look.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva: A great introductory rum – which was exactly the ‘in’ that was used on TheFloatingRumShack.com.  This rum varies from the rest of the fold as it’s made from sugar cane honey, or perhaps more technically from the remains of the first press of sugar extraction.  Generally the remains from the sugar production are reprocessed up to two more times.  By the third pressing, the resulting ‘black strap’ molasses is low in sugar and not worth processing again.  By working with a first press ‘honey’ of very sugar rich molasses a great deal of the sweet flavour is retained through the distillation process.

Diplomatico Reserva ExclusivaThe Reserva Exclusiva is an 80% pot still and 20% column still rum.  The pot distillation process doesn’t produce alcohol to such high levels as the column still and so possesses so much more in terms of flavour.  Because of its complexity of flavour, it’s not a rum that can be mixed easily, but the suggestions of absinth or Pimento Dram (All-spice) in small quantities sound interesting.

We’ve written about the Reserva Exclusiva before, but I think that it’s time to take a second, deeper look at the rum now that we’ve enjoyed this educational.

The age statement of a min of two year old and up to twelve year old rums in the blend is a little loose, but the majority of the rum in the bottle is ten to twelve years old.  We really love this rum, but we are also becoming fans of the other expressions in the range.


So once again, I’m left ruing the fact that I’ve got to get up early for work the following morning.  Perhaps if I say that I was involved in a Diplomatic incident, I’ll be excused?  No – I didn’t think I would be!







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