Diplomático Rum Tasting

 A few weeks ago MMTM was invited to an intimate Rum Diplomático rum tasting at the ultra luxe Villa Azur on Miami Beach. The exclusive tasting, led by Diplomatico Rum’s Master Distiller, Tito Cordero, provided an opportunity for a select few (us included!) to get a first taste of the newly-released-to-the-South-Florida-market Single Vintage 2000, as well as the brand’s flagship Reserva Exclusiva and the top-of-the-line Ambassador Selection.

The history of Diplomático began in Venezuela in 1959, with the establishment of the distillery where all of its rums are produced, but nearly 50 years later, the brand and distillery were purchased by a group of Venezuelan entrepreneurs, making Diplomático a 100% Venezuelan owned company. Since 2002, the company has grown to become one of the largest rum producers in Venezuela, is now distributed in 50 countries, and is recognized as one of the finest rums in the world.

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Up first was the Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, 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. The result is a marriage of a unique body with excellent balance that is highlighted by an amber color, scents of maple syrup, orange peel, brown sugar, and licorice, and a sweet toffee fudge taste with a seductive and elegant finish. Reserva Exclusive is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but can also be used in sophisticated cocktails like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Savoy Daisy.

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Next was the new Single Vintage 2000*. Diplomático Single Vintage is crafted from a selection of exceptional rum reserves, which have been aged since the year indicated on each edition. The rums are distilled separately in ancient copper pot stills using a batch kettle system and then are subsequently aged in bourbon and single malt whisky casks, providing the rum with exceptional characteristics. After the ageing process, the Master Blender (our friend Tito) carefully blends the rum in order to obtain the structure, body, personality, flavors, and aromas that he is looking for. Finally, the rum is placed into Spanish sherry casks, giving it the perfect finish.

Similar to the Reserva Exclusiva, the Single Vintage is amber in color, just deeper. On the note, you can sense slightly spicy, vanilla, and rich caramel notes, combined with with almonds and dried fruit aromas. In terms of mouth feel, the rum is rich, silky, and incredibly flavorful with hints of caramel, golden syrup, vanilla oak, nutmeg spice, tobacco, and dried apricots. Due to its complexity and long lasting finish, Single Vintage is best enjoyed neat.

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Finally, the créme de la créme, the Diplomático Ambassador was ready to taste. An exquisite rum crafted from the distillery’s best rums, the Ambassador Selection is aged in white oak barrels for a minimum of twelve years until optimal maturity is achieved. Afterwards, the rums are aged for two additional years in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, contributing to this its complex sensory profile before being bottled directly from the barrel to preserve the full expression of its organoleptic properties.

This time, the rum’s color is a darker amber and its aromas are a well-balanced combination port wine, cigar box, dried fruits, and chocolate. On the flavor side, the rum is extremely complex, with raisin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and toasted oak notes leading into a long and pleasing aftertaste.

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Well, if you thought that was it, you would be wrong. After tasting those three delicious rums, we would be remiss not to try Diplomático in cocktail form. Tito and his team were kind enough to prepare an Old Fashioned for us (one of our favorite cocktails) using the Reserva Exclusiva. Combined with simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and orange zest, this classic cocktail is served over ice to provide a surprisingly crisp and refreshing drink – perfect for a warm summer evening in Miami.

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*For those of you wondering where you can find Diplomático Single Vintage for a taste of your own here in South Florida, check out the list below:

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