Review: Diplomatico Anejo Rum 86/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted October 2009 (Revised November 2016)
In the late 1950s, the main companies involved in the production and distribution of alcoholic spirits in Venezuela were grouped into one organization called Licorerias Unitas S.A by the initiative of Seagrams who owned 51 % of the new entity until 1992. After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving Seagrams, Diageo, and Pernod Richard, a decision was made to divest in facilities and concentrate on brand commercialization. The result was a group of local investors who purchased the manufacturing assets of Licorerias Unitas S.A and formed Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) on August 22, 2002. Although the company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in Venezuela using the these facilities which is not. In fact sugar cane has been cultivated in Venezuela perhaps as early as the 16th century. Systematic rum production in Venezuela can be dated to 1896.
Diplomatico Anejo Rum is a blend of rum spirits which have been aged in a variety of oak casks (predominantly ex-bourbon and ex-malt whisky casks) for up to 4 years.
In the Bottle 4.0/5
I like the squat bottle the rum arrives in. These squat bottles do not tip easily and they hold true to the bartender’s creed of being easy to store on the bar shelf, easy to grab off of that shelf, and most importantly (partly because of the medium long neck) they are easy to pour without spilling.
The labelling is attractive and easy to read, which also gives the bottle a nice presentation in a retail setting.
In the Glass 8.5/10
The rum has an amber/gold colour in my glass and when I give my glencairn a slow tilt and a twirl I see slender legs forming from the crest which amble at a moderate rate back down into the glass.The initial aroma from the glass is a combination of butterscotch and mixed nuts (hazelnut and walnut) aroma melded with cinnamon and vanilla.
Giving the glass some time to breathe, I start to notice some orange peel scents and a building of fine oak spice and light tobacco. I quite like the aroma which does not carry as much obvious sweetness as the other rums in the Diplomatico line-up. The nose promises a rum which will be nice to sip over ice, and one which will mix into cocktails easily.
In the Mouth 52.0/60
The rum is only lightly sweet (and lightly bitter) and carries a touch of astringency due to its young(ish) age. The dominant flavours are a mild nutty caramel, hints of brown sugar, and baking spices (cinnamon, bits of nutmeg, and vanilla). The nuttiness is manifesting itself as a hint Amaretto, and there is a pleasant bite of spice almost like a sudden infusion of allspice at the end.
I find the flavour moderately complex and engaging, and as the nose promised, I can sip the anejo rum easily with ice. I also found the rum mixed very well in both short and tall cocktails. Being a guy that likes a good rum and cola, I began with that simple bar drink, but on other days when my mood was more contemplative, I did enjoy the Diplomatico Anejo in a Rum Old Fashioned as well.
In the Throat 13/15
I like the finish which whacks my throat a little due to the fine oak spice. (Hence the ice I recommended earlier.) Unfortunately a touch of bitterness is mixed in which acts as a minor distraction. In the cocktails I mixed the light bitterness disappears.
The Afterburn (8.5/10)
The Diplomatico Anejo has a light brashness that really works well when sipped over ice or mixed in cocktails. It is one of the best Anejo-style rums I have come across and I especially like the toned down sweetness which differentiates this Diplomatico from the rest of the company’s line-up.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)