Diplomático Distillery Collection No. 3 Pot Still Rum


Venezuela’s Diplomático doesn’t exactly have the best reputation in rum’s online communities. I’m glad to have first tried this expression as a mystery sample because I wasn’t able to carry any of those prejudices into my initial tasting. With what remains of my sample, I’m giving this an unblinded review. This rum was pot distilled from light molasses* and aged for eight years in American white oak barrels before being bottled at 47%.


On the nose, I get black licorice, old books, cocoa powder, sandalwood, and campfire. It’s a little flat, but certainly not unpleasant.

It’s more of the same on the palate. Old and dusty stuff, bittersweet chocolate, leather, and black pepper. It does introduce some baking spaces and fresh pear which I’m enjoying. In my blinded tasting, I thought incorrectly that this was aged in ex-Cognac barrels, and yet I still taste something resembling ex-Cognac influence in the unblinded tasting. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t particularly sweet. If any sweetener has been added to this, it isn’t much.


It’s really not bad. There are some good flavors swimming around in this, but they’re generally subdued. The dilution, the likely addition of coloring, and the substantial oak influence limit the potential this distillate has. But that’s the thing: the potential is there. Put something like this out at cask strength with no coloring or sweetener and you might be on to something. Until then, I can at least say I didn’t dislike my first Dilpomático. (5/10)

*A long and nerdy tangent about the material from which this was made:

It’s identified on the bottle as “cane honey,” which is a direct translation of the Spanish phrase miel de caña. I believe that cane honey, in the sense used by Diplomático, refers to light (Grade A) molasses, as opposed to cane syrup or something else. I admit I felt a little misled upon finding out that  “cane honey” is a just a form of molasses, but this isn’t purely a marketing trick on Diplomático’s part. “Cane honey” has become a widely accepted translation of miel de caña, and it is objectively different from other grades of molasses like blackstrap. It is, however, a less transparent term for the English speaker.