$$ — 40% ABV — No Age Stated
Diplomatico shows you can have the best of both worlds. Comprised of 80% pot distilled rum made from high-sugar miel de caña (treacle) the Reserva Exclusiva also uses 20% column distilled rum made from traditional dark molasses. That puts Diplomático in league with Dewar's blended Scotch — a majority of full-flavor spirit, smoothed out with rectified spirit — however Dewar's splits more like 60/40.
The pot distilled rum is a 12-year-old, though the age of the column distilled rum seems unclear, which means it may be as young as 2 years.
Like many rums, the Reserva Exclusiva is slightly sweetened with cane sugar — and it shows. Some will no doubt argue this is an adulteration, and it doesn't seem like this bottling especially needed extra sweetness. At any rate, cut back on the sugar if you use Diplomático in a rum old fashioned.
The line was inspired by famous 18th century Venezuelan spirits collector Juancho Nieto Meléndez, no doubt as a bit of marketing to make the brand seem older than it is. People love a good story, but the Diplomático line is made worthwhile by good distiller's sense and that's what's most important.
If you can find it — and can afford it — Diplomático Ambassador is the obvious best offering from DUSA: made entirely from pot distilled miel de caña, it is unfiltered, unadulterated and cask-strength. A very rare rum in the style of a single malt.