Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

Diplomatico Exclusiva ReservaFinally, I have time to review the last rum that I tasted at RumBa. This one was a bit of a surprise to me since it was an off-hand recommendation from the bartender. The recommendation was a bit unusual, and didn’t carry much weight considering that he sounded like he was just throwing out a name. When I pressed him, asking why he recommended this particular rum, he said something to the effect of “I dunno. A bunch of us tried it and thought it was excellent.”

Wow, that’s endearing. (And that was sarcasm.)

I did have an interest in it though, since I had seen it at Joyal’s Liquors in Rhode Island some time ago. The label caught my eye – it kinda looks like a huge postage stamp, but had an elegant old-time look to it. I was intrigued, but since I try not to allow myself to purchase rum on a whim, I placed it back on the shelf with a plan to do some research about it on the web.

The research was slow in coming – there’s just not much out there about this rum. I did find a few listings of awards they’ve received at various competitions, but little information let alone tasting notes. One person on the Ministry Of Rum forum gave it high marks, saying it found it comparable to Santa Teresa Solera. I have to assume he meant the 1796, which places the Diplomático quite high. I finally stumbled on a review of it over on SpiritsReview.com and Chris gave it fairly high marks. These awards, these two comments and the lack of bad press was all enough to make me feel comfortable spending $28 on it, so I put it on the list to buy and try.

So now when this bartender recommended it I was curious, but I really wanted to start the RumBa trials with an excellent rum. I ended up ordering the Clément XO, and after pouring that he brought over the Diplomático and poured me a small sample on the house. Who was I to refuse?

From Their Web Site
I generally try not to post direct quotes from a distiller’s or importer’s web site, since I find them to have little real information, but rather quite a bit of marketing propaganda. And I don’t always find them close enough to the truth. But Diplomático’s blurb about the Exclusiva is informational and honest.

Copper Pot Stilled, and aged for 12 years in small oak barrels. Exquisite Blend that seduces with it’s intense amber color, product of it’s prolonged aging in exclusive white oak barrels; it’s unique body and extraordinary balance are obtained by the craftsmanship of our master distiller. delivers a full-rich flavor with a silky smooth finish.

Awards: Best of Category and Gold medal Winner, International Cane Spirits, Gold Medal Winner, Beverage Tasting Institute, Medal Winner, International Rum Festival.

12-year-old rum for $28 always seems like a bargain, though I’ve been bitten before.

Initial Tastes
This is a nicely dark rum, a bit beyond gold. It smells a bit sweet, certainly from molasses, and smells a bit of fruit – particularly banana. It also has some touches that remind me of tequila for some reason – not that this is a bad thing, but I was surprised by a rum that reminded me of tequila. Overall though, it smelled a bit sweet and a bit complex, which make for a winning combination to me.

The taste is sweet and rich – it’s very thick in the mouth. The molasses comes out, as do dark fruits, and the finish is spicy with a mild burn. Another sip – the last one, so sampled with concentration – show some butter or toffee tastes, a bit of barrel and vanilla, and again the fruits. The finish on the slow sip is longer with some definite spices making the mouth tingle. Though plentiful with flavors, the balance is imperfect, being strong on molasses and the spicy finish. It’s not a bad balance, just not a perfect one.

Summary
This is a very good rum, sweet and complex, though the mild burn and lack of balance bring it down a notch from excellent. It’s still easy to recommend this rum, especially at a price tag of $28. This almost makes it cheap enough for a good mixer, but I fear it might be wasted in any drink that doesn’t really show off the rum. And since it’s a very good sipping rum I’d be hard pressed to mix it. Overall, definitely recommended.

I have to say though, that this review was done with a small sample. It is most definitely on my list of rums to buy, so I hope a full bottle finds it way to me soon. I’ll do a more thorough review, of course, and may even try it in a cocktail or two.

Advertisements

18 Responses to “Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva”

  1. Felix Leander Says:

    You must try Ron Pampero Anniversario

  2. Scottes Says:

    Oh, I have, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. I have part of a bottle now, and I’ll review it one of these days, but lately I’ve been looking for new things to try.

  3. Felix Leander Says:

    Give Ron Santa Teresa a try – you will enjoy it.

  4. Scottes Says:

    That’s another that I have on-hand, and have tried, but not fully reviewed. The 1796 is excellent, but I just have not gotten around to doing a full review.

  5. Silvio Danté Says:

    This is a rum I’ve been trying to track down for ages.

  6. Javier Says:

    Rigth now, isn´t better rum than Diplomatico in Venezuela, i readed yesterday that Reserva Exclusiva (the 12 YO rum) Reserva (8 YO) and Añejo (4 YO) won at London Tasting Competition.
    Aniversario is good, but is just like Reserva, not Reserva Exclusiva, but Solera yes.

    Also, i readed that the Diplomatico`s rum makers are the same to Pampero and Cacique, but only produce to Diageo…

    I live in Venezuela and believe me, is the best Venezuelan rum ever!

  7. RUM VENOM Says:

    TO SCOTT PLEASE TRY THE “DIPLOMATICO RESERVA EXCLUSIVA AGAIN IN DEPTH I TRIED IT NEXT TO “ZAYA” AND “RON ZACAPA”
    IT HOLDS ITS OWN !! I KIND OF LIKE WHAT BILGEMUNKEY SAID ABOUT ZACAPA 23 IT IS MORE OF A FRANGELICO TYPE LIQUOR
    I FOUND IT TO HAVE A OVERWHELMING OAK TASTE.. ZAYA IS A MORE WELL ROUNDED RUM TO ME I THINK RUM SHOULD TASTE LIKE SUGAR NOT OAK LEAVE THE OAK FOR WHISKEY’S !!! THE DIPLOMATICO HAD BEAUTIFUL FLAVORS OF COFFEE,CHOCOLATE, AND BROWN SUGAR…I ALSO TRIED THE DIPLO RESERVE NOT WORTH THE $20 DOLLARS TASE LIKE BRUGAL.. GREAT REVIEWS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
    CIAO MATE MY FAV RUMS 1.ZAYA
    2.DIPLOMATICO EXCLUSIVA
    3.GOSSLINGS OLD
    4. RON ZACAPA 23

  8. Jan Roman Says:

    I bought myself a Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva at Isla de Margarita i June and this is the best rum I ever tast. I’m so sad I did not bought 3 bottels. In January I will visit the Dominican Republic. If any can recommend a good rum I can buy there I will be happy to know.

    Thanks!
    Jan (jan@prosoftware.se) from Sweden

  9. Scottes Says:

    Vizcaya is something you should be able to find there. Fantastic.

  10. Drew Says:

    I have to say I really enjoy the cheaper dominican rums, Brugal and Ron Barcelo. However they are not comparable to Zaya or the Zacapa. Dipliomatico just became avalable here and I will be sure to pick up all 3 they have.

  11. Whammybar Says:

    Here in Canada we are limited to what the LCBO [ liquor Control Board of Ontario ] orders so I get my sipping rums over the border in the USA. I found Diplomatico 12 yr. at a discount store I frequent and I now realize I should have smuggled back a case. Lovely sipping rum, all my friends agree

    • Son-of-rum Says:

      Whammybar, I’m an Ontarian as well, suffering from government control. A month ago, in Germany, a bartender bet me that he could give me the best rum I’ve ever tasted, and he won with Diplimatico 12-year. I’m suffering! Where in the U.S. did you find it, I travel there frequently.

  12. JJ Says:

    Thanks to Robert Burr of Gifted Rums, I was gifted a bottle of the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva. I found it to be, on a value basis, one of the best rums I have had the pleasure to enjoy. At under $30 a bottle, it is a very decent sipper. Yet it is not too expensive to use as a mixer for my premium drinks like a Mai Tai. I particularly enjoy Zacapa 23, but at $12+ a bottle savings, the DRE has earned a spot on my rum shelf.

  13. Michael Says:

    If anyone in the Boston area is wondering where to get this, I just bought a bottle from LiquorLand on Mass Ave. A bit overpriced at $33, but they had it! I read a lot about this rum before buying, and it lives up to the hype. I agree is is very similar to Zaya and Zacapa, but both of those can be a bit overflavored. Not that I mind since it is good flavor, but somehow I feel this is a more “believeable” rum if you know what I mean. DRE is sharper in the nose, but extremely pleasant in the mouth and throat. I love the thickness, flavor, smooth finish, lack of any strange aftertaste (Zacapa and oddly enough Angostura 1824 have both let me down a bit in that area). If you smell DRE at a slight distance, that is best for picking up the variety of aromas. I am not very good at placing fruit, coffee, etc, but this is definitely one fine tasting experience. I am eager to try the Santa Teresa and Botran Solera 1893. I have had Botran Anejo, and it is good, but does not come close to DRE in terms of sipping rum. The Botran made for an excellent mixer however.

  14. Subway smoke Says:

    Diplomatico for the money is the best sipping rum out there. I have tried zaya, zacapa, Barcadi 8, mount gay extra old and don Q 1492 500 year anaverserey. All of them range from excellent to very good but they are expensive. In these tough economic no sipping rum beats diplomatico for price point

  15. Jim Matheson Says:

    Where can I buy this Rum in the USA?

  16. Micah Schamis Says:

    This rum was recommended to me as a sipping rum, neat, by the staff at the Brandy Library in NYC. Simply delicious we all agreed. Quite sweet and somewhat thick in the mouth. I want a bottle now.

  17. Bill Deem Says:

    My favorite rum, bar none. Sip it neat or or with just a little ice. Give it a chance — second sip is much better than the first. Wonderful stuff.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: