Diplomatico Single VTG 2000
Review: Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum 95.5/100
(Finished in Sherry Barrels)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published August 12, 2015
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 to instead 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 this company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in Venezuela 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.
The Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 was produced from a blend of rums which were all distilled in the year 2000. This limited edition rum was created by DUSA Master Blender, Tito Cordero and follows on from his first limited edition rum, the VTG 1997, which (unfortunately for the rest of us) was only released in Venezuela. The distillate from the year 2000 was chosen to be featured in a Single Vintage bottling because of the tremendous sugar cane harvest which was produced that year. Apparently a series of climactic factors in Venezuela combined to produce exceptional growing conditions which led to the bountiful cane harvest. The Limited Edition Single VTG 2000 Rum is a celebration of that exceptional year.
The bulk of the distillate for this particular rum was apparently produced upon copper pot stills, with a smaller portion of the distillate produced upon copper kettle stills. The spirit spent the first 10 years of its aging life in American ex-bourbon barrels, after which it was finished for another 2 years in Sherry casks (Pedro Ximénez). The final rum was bottled in 2012.
In the Bottle 5/5
As you can see from the image to the left, the Single Vintage 2000 has been given a very special presentation. The rum is sold in a heavy glass bottle sealed with a heavy topped cork closure. This closure is additionally sealed with a tightly drawn wire mesh to keep the cork in place. The labeling is simple and attractive lending a touch of masculine class to the overall look of the Single Vintage Rum.
In the Glass 9.5/10
The Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 rum displays itself as a dark ruddy bronze spirit showcasing the rich hues of a rum enhanced by the Pedro Ximénez cask. After a tilt and slow swirl of my glencairn glass the rum dropped medium-sized leglets down the inside of the glass. These leggy drooplets ambled at a moderate pace back into the rum at bottom of the glass.
The initial scents are aromatic and fruity. There is a beguiling butterscotch sweetness underneath a triumvirate of oak spice, dark sherried fruit (raisins and dates) and luscious baking spices (vanilla, brown sugars, nutmeg, and cinnamon). Orange peel and almond scents entwine themselves into the aromatic breezes melding into the oak and butterscotch giving me impressions both of marmalade and marzipan.
As the rum settles in the glass, the oak and baking spices seem to grow into a rich cigar-like aroma. This richness deepens with impressions of both milk chocolate and spicy cloves coming forward alongside a wonderful sherry-like smokiness. The rum appears to be deeply complex with all of these scents and smells working seamlessly together.
In the Glass 57/60
The rum enters the mouth with deliciously melded flavours of lush toffee, rich baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon. allspice and nutmeg) and sherry-like dry fruit (raisins, dates and dry apricots). Orange peel and oak spice build with each sip heating the palate and giving the spirit a vibrant spicy mouth-feel which works very well with the sweetness provided by the toffee and dry fruit. As the rum breathes, the orange peel and oak spice seem to meld further into the toffee bringing about impressions of marmalade. As well, cocoa, coffee and cola flavours all seem to swirl about adding a touch of bittersweet into the flavour profile which I personally find quite delightful. As was apparent on the nose, the rum is deeply complex.
I added a bit of ice to my glencairn and I found myself extremely pleased with the result. A lovely creaminess comes forward, the spiciness is tempered just a little, and cinnamon tainted milk chocolate seems to ooze from the rum. Yumm!
In the Throat 14.5/15
Despite the readily apparent oak spice and orange peel, the rum finishes with remarkable smoothness. The exit practically gushes with impressions cocoa and coffee which lend a bittersweet dryness to the finish which almost forces you to pour another glass just to experience the sensation all over again.
The Afterburn 9.5/10
My final thought after sampling the Single Vintage 2000 Rum from Diplomatico is that I sincerely hope to see more of these special limited edition bottlings in the future. This particular vintage from Diplomatico is outstanding!
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
The only accompaniment which I would suggest with this particular dram of rum is a few ice cubes. It’s a personal choice, but I love the creamy texture as well as the heightened bittersweet milk chocolate flavour profile which each evolve in the glass with the additional of the ice.
The Spanish Diplomat
2 oz Diplomatico Single VTG 2000
Serve in a fancy rocks glass
Please Enjoy Responsibly!
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score 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)