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Water of Life - Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Rum is something I am slowly getting into so, well, let’s talk molasses instead of barley and malt for a minute.

A commonality is that not unlike most whisk(e)s, Diplomatic Reserva Exclusive is matured in rather small oak casks for an average of twelve years before being bottled.

With the Diplomatico distillery being located on the northern slopes of the Andes mountains, it does bring a Venezuelan take on things as soon as its aromas hit the nose. The nostrils are tickled with a melange of vanilla smoke, nuts, minor astringency, fruits and sweet caramel, which not only gives a hint of the flavours that are to unfold on the palate but is an accurate depiction of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva’s mellow flavour forward character throughout.

It culminates with an elongated finish that could be described as “hedonistic”: There are dark fruits, cocoa, toffee, hints of spice, tobacco and pineapple, butterscotch and the omnipresence of vanilla.

In essence, one hell of a delicious velvety serenade in liquid form with the thin legs of this cognac and mahogany coloured drop cascading down the glass after swirling and ideal for a desert after a luscious dinner.

Now, for the heathens: Diplomatico is a sipping rum that ticks all the right boxes in the olfactory department, i.e. it is defined by an absence of harshness and it is not something you want to waste by mixing it with cola or other atrocities. Drinking neat is the way to go as anything diluting the warming flavours, oaky nuances and superbly creamy and slick texture would be a crime.

The luxurious presentation of this gentlemanly diplomat with the frosted green bottle and custom stamp is flawless and a feast for the eyes, with ample attention to detail and the adornment of tube it is housed in makes a more than welcome addition in the aesthetic department of your liquor cabinet.

As you might be able to tell, the pleasure I am getting out of a pour of Diplomatico Reserva is not unlike what I get from a dram of good Scotch.

A recent Boilermaker Dinner hosted by the Cauliflower Hotel’s rum aficionado luminaries within the realm of their Tiki styled rooftop bar, with special guest Daniel Hutchins-Read from Baranows Emporium, proffered not only excellent sustenance to go along with Diplomatico’s expressions. The Planas expression, matured for six years was a surprise with an intensity that is not often encountered with white rum, especially ones that have a crystal-clear appearance like this one, yet lands with smoooth finish.

Diplomatico Mantuano took things to the next level – matured for eight years in white oak ex-bourbon casks, a whiskey-esque character resonates throughout, which makes it a favourite of the range.

Needless to say that the aforementioned Reserva Exclusiva made an appearance and accompanied by a Dark Ale and an excellent desert, it unfolded all its strength, i.e. nuances and showcased that rum can be much more than the pirate drink mainstream offerings portray it as.

The expertise of the MC, and seasoned Spirits Ambassador of Daniel Hutchins-Read, gave the event an elegant edge and elevated the event to something that accumulated to more than the sum of great food, fantastic rum and well-matched brews would have you think.

The fact that Daniel can draw on years of expertise not only representing premium brands but also has longstanding experience channelling his alchemy behind the bar, made it for another both enjoyable and informative evening, which the Cauliflower Hotel has become known for with its events.

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