Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva At its location at the foot of the Andes in Terepaima National Park, the Diplomatico distillery has been producing quality spirits for over 50 years. The distillery was designed with versatility in mind so that, with their 3 pot stills and 4 column stills, they can distill different styles of rum.


In the late 1950s, the largest companies involved in the production and distribution of alcohol in Venezuela were grouped into one organization called Licorerias Unitas SA. This happened at the initiative of Seagrams, which owned 51% of the new entity until 1992. In 2001, Seagrams was acquired by Diageo and Pernod Richard. However, it only lasted until November 2002, when a group of local investors bought the distilleries of Licorerias Unitas SA for their new company Distilleries Unitas SA (DUSA). Although the company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in Venezuela is very old. There is speculation that sugarcane has been cultivated in Venezuela as far back as the 16th century. Systematic production of rum can be dated back to 1896.


The rum is produced on molasses, which is brought to the distillery by tanker. The molasses is poured into underground storage tanks, which can hold a total of 16,000 tonnes. DUSA prefers molasses, which has between 48 and 52% sugar content. Many other rum producers are struggling to get molasses with a sugar content above 45%, but Venezuela's government has set the price for sugar very low. This means that sugar producers earn more by simply selling molasses than by producing sugar with molasses as a by-product.

DUSA grows and maintains their own special yeast strain originally developed by Seagram's. A sample of the yeast is used to start the fermentation in a diluted molasses. Oxygen is pumped into the liquid to ensure aerobic fermentation. As the number of yeast cells increases, more molasses is introduced and the liquid is moved to a new tank. At DUSA, this propagation of the yeast cells takes place over 4 rounds.

Regardless of whether it is a light or dark rum, it is first column distilled. Interestingly enough, the remaining water from the first distillation is processed so that it can be used to fertilize DUSA's own sugarcane fields. That way, nothing goes to waste. Since this is a dark rum, the distillate is distilled once more, but this time in a pot still. Liquid from previous distillations is added to raise the alcohol percentage.

DUSA mainly uses old bourbon casks to mature their rum. According to Venezuelan law, rum must mature for a minimum of 2 years. The light rums that only need to mature for 2 years are placed in the warmer part of the warehouse, whereas the rums that need to mature for 4-12 years (eg Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva) are placed in a cooler part. Due to the heat in Venezuela loses approximately 7-8% of the volume from the barrels annually. Normally it is the alcohol that disappears (Angel's Share), but the high humidity means that the liquid also disappears. Therefore, the rum is stored at roughly the alcohol percentage it should have. In total, DUSA has 21 warehouses, which contain around 260,000 barrels.

Before the Diplomatico rum is bottled, it is cooled to 0 degrees, after which it is gently filtered. Like everything else in the process, the rum is also bottled at DUSA. The rum is therefore produced, from start to finish, in the same area before it is sent out into the world.

Taste and aroma

If you are into slightly sweeter rums, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is the rum for you. The high sugar content from the molasses really comes through, and one is tempted to call it a liqueur.

The aroma is of caramel, vanilla and fruits (maybe orange). There is a slight hint of oak. The combination is not complex, but is extremely pleasant. The same experiences are repeated for the taste, which is sweet and rich. The rum is thick and the taste is slightly nutty and spicy, with a long but subtle aftertaste. Slightly dry nutty finish with good sweetness.