Celebrate Good Times!
The year 2000 was particularly special. Mrs RumShack and I got married for a start (and I’m very happy about that) and in an unrelated incident several thousands of miles away on the South American continent in Venezuela, the team at DUSA were realising that their sugar cane harvest was particularly special too. They celebrated their good fortune by putting aside some of the rum resulting from it for a special occasion… namely the Diplomático Single Vintage 2000 Rum, which we’ve just been enjoying!
The Single Vintage 2000 is a limited edition created by Master Blender Tito Cordero and follows on from their first Vintage 1997. The ‘97 was only released in Venezuela and allowed Maestro Ronero, Tito Cordero to get a little experience under his belt. Although we never tried the ’97, we are told that it was a sweeter rum than this exciting new expression.
The Single Vintage 2000 is the result of a careful selection of reserves, laid down to age at Destilerias Unidas in the year 2000. During that year a number of factors contributed to rare climatic conditions for sugar cane growth. Firstly there were particularly high temperatures during the day and much cooler nights than expected. This was followed by high humidity and lower than average rainfall, after an extremely wet year in 1999. These contrasting weather conditions played an integral part in creating one of the best sugar cane harvests in Venezuelan history. Tito Cordero comments: "It´s a truly unique limited edition, a vintage that we are really proud of at Ron Diplomático, having let a specific harvest shine naturally and develop its own personality".
The exceptional quality of the sugar cane honey was achieved by the particular distillation processes used in the production of Diplomático Rum. Ancient copper Pot Stills and a kettle batch system combine to give this single vintage an exceptional character, having been aged in bourbon and single malt whisky casks before being rested in Spanish Oloroso sherry wood. It’s worth noting that the production team generally work with as many as five distillation methods and produce a fermented ‘wine’ from both sugar cane honey and molasses normally. Only sugar cane honey with its 48 hour fermentation process was used for this rum.
I’m pleased to say I was able to spend a little time with Tito at the recent German Rum Festival in Berlin and it was there that I asked him what it was that he was hoping to produce when he started crafting this rum. I was told that the goal was a rum with personality and character, but on the other hand it was also to be easy going and therefore easy to drink. He goes on to compare and contrast with the last major release: Diplomático Ambassador: a rum that is wonderful, beautifully flavoursome and complex all at the same time, but not the sort you would be drinking a lot of at a sitting. The Vintage 2000 is something that you could easily spend the whole evening drinking! I only hope that I’d get the chance to find out first hand.
Official Tasting Notes:
Nose: Classic Diplomatico to start, with vanilla and milk chocolate caramels backed up by cinnamon spice and brown sugar sweetness. It develops through creamy chocolate truffles and salted almonds to dried apricot, raisins and earthy leather.
Palate: Golden syrup and dried fruit lead the palate, with vanilla ice cream and oaky flavours - cinnamon, green leaves and tree bark. Rum 'n raisin fudge as well as real raisins, apricots, dates and richly pungent honey round things out, producing a very easy drinking rum.
Finish: Long, lingering and warming, with cloves, leather, black liquorice sticks and polished oak joined by vanilla pod sweetness and rich earthiness.
Packaged in a smoothly tapered glass bottle, with a heavy set base and a cork inset into a weighty high quality metal stopper. The labelling is elegant and suits the colour scheme, although I’m not convinced the shade of blue works quite as well as it could with the rich, deep colour of the rum – nearly – but not quite. That said, I promise I’d not be disappointed with the look of this rum on my shelf. It follows in the same format as the Vintage 1997 release.
Whilst we don’t have a bottle to consider in depth, we have drunk sufficient on a number of different occasions to think it’s a lovely drop of rum, with a whole depth of flavour to savour. No need for ice – it’s neat all the way. The package looks great, but I guess I’d rather that they had spent less on the bottle and brought the unit price down by £10-£15 as it would have made it an easier choice when considering our next luxury purchase.
The Diplomático Single Vintage 2000 has an RRP of £80 and will be available to the UK trade from the end of October. Outlets to be revealed, but the Whisky Exchange is a guarantee of course.
Please note: the above imagery shows Diplomático on some and Botucal on others. Botucal is the trading name for Ron Diplomático in Germany due a trade mark conflict and Germany is where the photo was taken.
Rum Databank: Diplomático Single Vintage 2000
Country of origin: Venezuela