I’ve stated many times that, for me, rum enjoyment begins not in the glass, but on the shelf. While you can’t judge a book by its cover, packaging matters. Rums like Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva clearly understand this truth – from its squat, frosted bottle to the montone, duty-stamp label this is a rum designed to convey a product that’s traveled a great distance, and a great exapanse of time, to find its way into your eager hands.
This initial impression is only slightly hindered by the plastic screw top and one-way diffuser, an understandable precaution to ensure the bottle hasn’t been refilled and resold by some miscreant, but I always feel robbed of the experience of working the cork for the first time. But let’s move on, as there’s rum to be poured…
In the glass, Diplomático is a deep, rich amber, while to the nose it bears the deeply sweet, syrupy quality indicative of fine, South American rums – less about oak and musk, and more about overripe fruit, vanilla, and clove.
Upon tasting, Diplomático is full and candylike. Surprisingly approachable, it brings a heady, desert-like quality reminiscent of candied fruit, and reminding me strongly of the much hailed Ron Zacapa 23.
Fans of sweeter, more liquour-like rums should definitely give Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva a go. It’s hardly the “in your face gunpowder goes boom” experience I personally enjoy in my favorite rums, but it’s an excellent drink in its own respects.