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Looking for a bottle of dark rum to for cocktails? Read our expert review of the Seleccion de Familia rum by Diplomático to see how it stood up to our taste test.
This is a premium Venezuelan rum with a cult following. The distillery, situated at the foot of the Andes, is as connected to its surroundings as it is to its rum, and that shows in the freshness and complexity of the product. It's a gentle rum, but punchy in the right places, with vanilla and exotic fruits blanketing a layer of baking spices and muted white pepper.
This Venezuelan delight has achieved cult status with bartenders and rum enthusiasts across the globe. Diplomático is an independent, family-owned distillery at the foot of the Andes mountains in the Terepaima National Park. But when the company was founded in 1959, it was formed under the Seagram international umbrella. The firm was sold in 2001 and again in 2002 – this time to a group of Venezuelan entrepreneurs known as Distilerias Unidas S.A.
The distillery prides itself on a field-to-bottle operation – the family-owned firm takes full control of the process, without interference from global conglomerate interests. Authenticity, sustainability and social responsibility are at the heart of the Diplomático ethos. In fact, the distillery achieved ISO 14001 certification, which recognises the implementation of strict sustainability standards.
The distillery works with 10 varieties of sugarcane, but three strains in particular are used most frequently: Romana, Venezuela and Canal Point. In line with the company’s community ethos, the firm supports the Fundcaña Venezuela, a non-profit organisation that researches sugarcane farming methods, helps develop effective pest control, and discovers new varieties of sugarcane. After 10 years of research, the Fundacaña named a new variety of sugarcane 'La Diplomática' to honour the company’s commitment to the terroir.
A variety of distillation methods are used during the production process at Diplomático, depending on the desired outcome. Lighter rums are made using continuous distillation in column stills, while more complex rums are made in pot stills. There's also a variety of casks employed during maturation – Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks are particular favourites.
The Diplomático Selección de Familia is the crème de la crème of the Diplomático distillery. The expression is a blend of rums, matured for up to 12 years. The rums used have been matured in ex-bourbon and American white oak barrels, as well as sherry seasoned casks.
The nose is gloopy, thick with toffee and bashed dried fruits, painted over with creamy vanilla. These notes follow through to the palate, which is supplemented by coconut, baking spices and a hushed but punchy white pepper.
This review was last updated in January 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.