Here at the Lounge we always have a certain kind of sadness when we decide to buy something that’s a little more ‘top-shelf-y’ than our usual quest to find those spirits great for value. We know spending $50 or so might work out one way, but even then – at what cost. This is what makes seeing spirits like the below for under $30 seem so intriguing, and while overall it falters – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Particularly that light is from your freezer when you open it, grab some ice, and put it into this drink like you are supposed to do. While you can certainly sense it’s smoothness, and the prospect of an exotic cocktail is intriguing – do not be tempted by the demonic light of mixology science. Here we know that depending on the spirit ice can be a foe or a friend, but here it’s practically a lover.
What they Say: “Don Juancho Melendez, whose portrait graces this bottle, was the inspiration behind Diplomatico Rum. He was also a “mantuano”: a local nobleman. Don Juancho would have been proud of this creation, an extraordinary blend of rare rums aged for up to 8 years. With traces of dry fruits, wood and vanilla, it is the ideal ingredient for sophisticated cocktails, and can also be enjoyed by itself.”
Taste: 3.5 – It starts off almost sickeningly sweet, and while not sugary in the sense of syrup it is not great.
Aftertaste: 3.0 – An almost overwhelming clash of caramel and vanilla here. It’s carried on a bit of that sweetness from the overall taste as well, and is honestly not desirable straight.
Burn/Smooth: 7.0 – A hint of burn there, but not since Old Monk has there been a rum that went down this smoothly.
Aroma: 3.0 – There’s a twinge of ethanol, and it’s very sweet almost diabetic. Frankly there is only a tiny bit of nice rum smell here.
Honesty: 6.5 – There are two problems we have. The first is the idea that a local nobleman is something worth celebrating, and this might be an American thing – but that’s rarely true. The second is the that they say this is an ideal ingredient for sophisticated cocktails. Now at HBR we don’t do those in reviews because if you can’t find 80% of your mixers at a dollar store – then you are catering to a high-class bar clientele. At the Buffalo Lounge we have every mix of weird and esoteric mixer or spirit, but when it comes to a review for the people we have to judge on what it is in simple drinks. (of which just throw this on ice – spoilers) The overall South American feel and name does help it along though.
W/ Rocks: 8.5 – Holy shit. Where the hell was this rum hiding? It must be that this rum was always meant to be on ice as you rule over a country. Honestly this becomes almost sensual in how great it is over ice. The last time we had a rum that was this good on the rock was Capt Morgan’s Private Stock, and that was already fine neat.
Rum and Coke: 6.0 – After the above showing it felt naughty to pour coke into this. All that can be said though is that this does make a good rum and coke. However because of how good it is on ice, if you pour coke into this knowing how good it is on the rocks – you are a bad person.
Value: 7.0 – Here’s the easiest value score we’ve ever done. It costs you 26 dollars and some ice (Which with a tray you can make infinite off for $1) so $27 dollars. For your $27 you can have this on ice, and that is worth every penny and more.
Google Shop Average: $26
Metric Score: 37.25/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.32 |+| Reviewer Average: 7.0
Final Thoughts: Again the scores seems wildly off between metrics and opinion, but when the value is this good, and the spirit (on ice) is even better – what’s not to love? Sure having this straight is awful, and it’s likely meant to be a hipster cocktail bar spirit, but who cares? So it has it’s faults, who doesn’t? We are here for honesty, and honestly – this is at least in the top 10 for sipping rums on the rocks.