Prior to embarking upon our booze infused blogging adventures, we never took rum all that seriously. A mixer is what we called it, and most of our experiences involved tropical drinks made with white or golden rum such as the Pina Colada, Bahama Mama, Mojito, Daiquiri, Painkiller, and Mai Tai. All of these drinks are refreshing and delicious (especially when you have them in a tropical locale, or at the very least, a decent Asian restaurant), but they did nothing to increase our appreciation for the spirit that makes these drinks possible. This all changed when we started exploring the darker side of rum, i.e. the stuff that’s spent some time in a barrel and deserves to be sipped and savored like all of those whiskies that we adore.
Our journey to the darker side of rum began in Nicaragua with a taste of their deep, dark, and delicious Flor de Caña. After that we made stops in Miami for a bit of Papa’s Pilar, the Dominican Republic for some Brugal 1888, Cuba for a bit of rum liqueur called Legendario, Northern California for two super high octane Navy style rums from Lost Spirits, and Puerto Rico for a taste of Facundo. Our next stop is Venezuela for a taste of the Ron Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva…
Before we get to our review, here are a few words about the Reserva Exclusive taken directly from Ron Diplomatico’s website:
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva is an elegant and complex sipping rum, carefully crafted from the purest of sugar cane honeys. It is delicately distilled in ancient copper pot stills and aged in small oak casks for up to twelve years. Marrying a unique body with excellent balance has made it a reference for rum lovers and connoisseurs throughout the world.
Let’s get on with the show…
- Appearance: Really dark bronze or burnished copper color.
- ABV: 40%
- Limpd: A big hit of Lyle’s Golden syrup then some vanilla, toffee, cinnamon, anise and dried plums.
- G-LO: With so much going on in the glass, where do I even begin? I’m getting burnt sugar, cinnamon, clove, licorice, vanilla, dried fruit, and baked apple. Yes. All that stuff is in there, and it’s fantastic!
- Limpd: Not as sweet as I would have thought given the nose. Very syrupy; a bit like the soda syrup without the CO2. I get a little root beer with a soft cinnamon backbone that lingers long into the finish.
- G-LO: At full strength, there is no burn at all when you take that first sip. It tingles the tip of your tongue with a pleasant cinnamon heat that’s firmly backed by that deep, dark sugary sweetness. The middle brings out some herbal notes that remind me of Art in the Age’s Root or maybe Coke Syrup. Gets dry at the finish with more spice and some clove coming through. The flavors coat your mouth and linger for a good while.
Limpd: As G-LO mentioned at the beginning of this review, we never thought much about rum. You took a bottle of rum, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of triple sec and a gallon of Hawaiian punch and you had at it. As we have been gifted some well-crafted rum samples, I have come to find that rum is a serious business. And, the Diplomatico is at the top of their game. This was a really flavorful and really enjoyable rum. Well done!
G-LO: I would never consider myself an expert, but I know when I’m tasting a quality spirit. This Diplomatico rum is fan-freakin-tastic! I know we complain a great deal about whisky with too low of an ABV and too mild of a palate, but when it comes to this Venezuelan rum, 40% ABV is jusssssst right (though I’d love to try a cask strength version!). It’s rich. It’s flavorful. It’s infinitely drinkable. I could get seriously hooked on this stuff. And did we mention that it can be had for under $50 a bottle?