That green bottle.
For many, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, the Venezuelan rum that comes in that instantly recognizable green bottle, is their entry point into the world of premium rum.
It’s a very good value, it’s accessible, it’s drinkable.
That’s made it one of the most important rums on the market — a premium, instantly-satisfying product with a strong marketing team behind it.
It’s a solid rum that teaches the average consumer that rum isn’t just Captain or Bacardi White.
And yes — for all of the growing attempts to premiumize rum in recent years, for all the talk of categorization, classification and the sugar wars — that remains by far the biggest hurdle: people simply don’t know that rum is a premium product.
Now, as neophyte rum drinkers become rum connoisseurs, they typically move on into the broad universe of rum, sometimes sampling some of Diplomatico’s ultra-premium expressions like the Single Vintage and the Ambassador.
They soon look for rums without the added sugar, with more complexity, starting their journeys into the almost impossibly vast diversity of rum from the Caribbean Basin (if they’re really lucky, they get into the world of Rhum Agricole).
But that green bottle is often the entry point, and for that many rum enthusiasts are rightly grateful, especially in an American market whose bars still seldom have any premium rums on their shelves.
The other problem for rum lovers with Diplomatico is that there’s long been a rather large price gap between the Reserva Exclusive and these ultra-premium expressions.
That brings us to the company’s newest rum.
It’s called Diplomatico Selección de Familia, and it’s an attempt to fill that void between the Reserva Exclusiva, which typically retails for around $35, and the company’s ultra-premium rums, which all retail for far north of $100.
But it’s not just a price play — this is a rum that’s targeting those who first fell in love with the Reserva Exclusiva but have since moved on, for rum drinkers looking for something less sweet and more complex.
And that’s precisely what Diplomatico has delivered.
The most notable change is that it’s a 43-degree rum, a considerable jump from the company’s 40-degree standard, and already a terrific sign.
The company says it’s a blend of rums aged for up to 12 years in charred American oak, with an unspecified finishing period in sherry, whisky and bourbon casks. The vast majority of the rum comes from the company’s pot-still (one of three different stills at Diplomatico).
So what’s it like?
On the nose there’s orange peel, pepper, vanilla and a whisper of cardamom.
The flavor profile is marked by dried apricot, chocolate orange, brown sugar, hazelnut, a hint of and toffee.
It’s a velvety, luxurious rum, but far more elegant and delicate than the RE — in other words, it’s a significant step up.
It’s a terrific rum, and it’s a major new addition to the Diplomatico brand: that beige bottle.
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