Diplomatico Hacienda Saruro
Review: Diplomatico Hacienda Saruro (Aged Rum Liqueur) 91/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 8, 2011
Hacienda Saruro is an aged rum liqueur produced by Distilerias Unidas, S.A. In case that particular distilling company doesn’t roll off your tongue easily, just think Diplomatico Rum. That’s right, the people who brought us the wonderful Diplomatico Rums are responsible for Hacienda Saruro.
If you are wondering what an aged rum liqueur is supposed to be, then my next suggestion is that you think about Drambuie. Drambuie is the honey flavored scotch whisky liqueur made from aged malt whisky, heather, honey, and a blend of herbs and spices. What Drambuie is to Scotch, Hacienda Saruro has the potential to be to Rum.
I was given my first sample of this elixir over a year ago at a special tasting I was invited to by the local Importer of Diplomatico Rum, PB Beverages. At the tasting, everyone who was there was bowled over by the flavour and richness of this unique spirit. It has taken a year to finally reach the market, but the product has finally arrived in Alberta, and so has my sample bottle from PB Beverages. I guess its time to begin the review.
The Hacienda Saruro arrives in a uniquely tapered bottle which is narrower in the shoulders than the base. The bottle looks oddly elegant on my shelf, and my only real quibble is somewhat minor in nature. This quibble is the gummy residue left upon the red topper after I removed the black foil covering that same said topper. That lingering gumminess bugs me every time I go to open the bottle.
I guess I should also mention my quibble with the labeling. I wish we had a better description of what the product really is on the label. The Hacienda Saruro is described as a ‘Aged Rum Liquor’. (If this Aged Rum Liquor is ever sold in the US, the label will have to be changed as at 35 % Alcohol by volume it would have to be labeled as a liqueur, or as a flavoured rum.) I did not deduct points for the labeling quibble as this seems to have been a result of quirky Canadian Standards as they related to this style of product.
In the Glass 9/10
Pouring the Hacienda Saruro into my glass, I am immediately aware of a sweetness on the nose that certainly places this spirit firmly (in my mind at least) into the realm of being a liqueur rather than a rum per se. This is sweet; but it is also very elegant. Honey scents and oak tannins just pour out of the nose with a healthy dose of vanilla along for the ride. Dry fruit aromas are there too along with nutty aromas and a flair of navel orange.
Fat droopy legs are apparent on the sides of my glass after swirling it, but with all the sweetness it is not surprising. Liqueurs often contain stronger legs due to higher sugar content which gives a more syrupy consistency.
In the Mouth 55/60
This tastes absolutely great!. There is a nice mixture of honey sweetness and sharper oak tannin, as well as a bevy of dry fruit and field berries sitting underneath to support the flavour. I taste a nice ribbon of orange flavour as well as citrus zest riding in the currents. Vanilla, hazelnut and almonds ride in the currents as well although the nutty flavours are not assertive.
The sweetness can get just a touch cloying, but if this is approached as a dessert liqueur rather than as a rum, then the sensations fit well within my expectations. And when sipped with ice the drink becomes even better.
In The Throat 14/15
What the Hacienda Saruro has, that other liqueurs do not, is a nice, long, warm, somewhat spicy oak finish. The flavours from the palate linger in the throat, which feels a gentle burn from the oak spice long after the glass is consumed.
The Afterburn 9/10
The Hacienda Saruro was worth waiting a year for. The comparison I made to Drambuie in the introduction is in my mind a very fair comparison. It is the depth provided by aging in oak which separated Hacienda Saruro from other rum liqueurs I have tried. The spirit is an absolute treat.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
As the Hacienda Saruro is more in the style of a rum liqueur I believe that most persons will enjoy it neat or with ice (or even chilled from the freezer) as a nice dessert sipper after dinner.
1 oz Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1 oz Diplomatico Hacienda Saruro
Build in a rocks glass with ice
Garnish with a lime slice
My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them 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 spirit. 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)