Diplomatico (or Botucal in Germany) Mantuano – meaning nobleman and also a cocoa producing town in Venezeula. Which is where Diplomatico rums are produced.
Diplomatico Mantuano was showcased at the London Rumfest in October 2016. It is a direct replacement for the companies Reserva rum. It has retained the orange parts of that rums colour scheme and the ornate rounded stubby bottle. I always feel these bottles look smaller than most 70cl bottles. Clearly this is an optical illusion as they hold the same amount of liquor.
Diplomatico have three dark rums in their core range – Anejo, Mantuano and Reserva Exclusvia. The Reserva Exclusiva is the most popular of these and the sweetest.
Presentation wise we get the familiar Diplomatico bottle which is a very dark brown for this release. A white, black and orange colour scheme sets the rum apart on the shelf. Unlike the Reserva Exclusiva, Diplomatico have opted to put the familiar face of Don Juancho more prominently on the bottle (I think this is a wise move on their part). Don Juancho was a much heralded spirits collector in Venezuela.
Diplomatico tell us that this rum is “Aged for up to eight years, Mantuano is a blend of Column, Batch Kettle and Pot Still rums and made from molasses and sugar cane honey”.
A 70cl bottle of this rum should set you back around £30. Only slightly cheaper than the Reserva Exclusiva. Which I think was the real issue with the Reserva. Not sure how this rum will change things? I rarely heard the Reserva talked about or reviewed. Most seemed to be drawn the Reserva Exclusiva and seemed to stick with that.
A few years ago Diplomatico’s Reserva Exclusiva and Ron Zacapa 23 were regularly held up as the “best rums in the world”. I’ve noticed a slight change in opinion lately – more and more enthusiasts seem to be becoming more interested in learning what is actually in the bottle. I hope in my own small way I have helped with this.
A hydrometer test shows that this rum has 8g/L of additives. This compared to the Reserva Exclusiva is pretty low. The Reserva which preceded Mantuano was measured between 7 and 12 during its life cycle.
In the glass you get a very dark reddish brown coloured liquid. For an eight year old rum it is likely that it has been coloured with caramel.
The nose is familiar it reminds me of other Venezuelan rums such as Pampero Anniversario and Cacique. It’s sweet with scents of brazil nuts and some butteryness like shortbread. There is a distinctive mix of coffee and caramel to the overall nose.
It’s light and approachable. It has an average complexity in keeping with the rums age. If you enjoy easy drinking uncomplicated sippers you will be reassured by the nose.
When sipped the rum isn’t as sweet as the nose suggests. In terms of flavour it doesn’t really have anything too distinct coming out when sipped. Overall it is a sweet rum but it exhibits a sweetness which is more common to a naturally sweet rum rather than a sweetened one laden with additives.
There is a little spice on the palate and a tiny slither of oak. The finish has a little coffee and a touch of caramel. It is smooth and very easy to drink. It does have a very slightly “grassy” vegetal note but after a couple of glasses that seems to fade away.
Its just not very exciting. Much like Cacique 500 it is all just a bit too soft. Too light, too fluffy. There are a few thngs going on with the rum but its like the elements are only half trying to get noticed.
I can’t really get too excited about this rum as I feel I’ve been here a million times before. As £30 there are a lot of other rums I could buy instead and enjoy a lot more.
Which is a shame because this rum does show that Dilplomatico do have a decent base product they just maybe need to up the Pot Still elements within to make it more complex and less safe.
It’s slightly above average but its overall “safe” profile means it is a bit of a disappointment. When I saw Diplomatico had re-issued their White Rum (Planos) at 47% ABV I though they might have done something a little more exciting with this.
It will no doubt sell well and lovers of this light Spanish style of rum will enjoy it. However, I’m not convinced many will opt for this over the Reserva Exclusiva. This has more “real” rum character but I don’t think many people buying the Reserva Exclusiva care too much about that.
It’s certainly more worth its price than some of the other rubbish they’ve pumped out, such as the dreadful Ambassador.