Diplomatico Ambassador

Diplomatico Ambassador rum review by the fat rum pirateDiplomatico Ambassador was launched in London, England in 2011.  It is currently the most expensive of the various rums available under the Diplomatico brand.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is regularly cited as being one of the best rums in the world.  In all fairness it isn’t really but what it does offer is a soft, easy and very sugary entry into “sipping rums”. Having said that many will stay loyal to rums such as Diplomatico.

Which as it happens is not a bad thing for reviewers like me.  As one of my rum comrades very kindly secured me a sample of this (and a few more of his pricier rums), as he is fond of the sweeter end of the spectrum.

At just under £200 for a 70cl bottle/decanter it was unlikely I was ever going to buy a bottle.  It seems the presentation has changed slightly since 2011.  From what I gather the picture at the top of this review shows the most recent presentation.  Needless to say at £200 you get quite a lot of presentation for your money – expensive thick glass bottle, huge stopper, wooden lined box and some hand engraving.  It all looks very impressive. But you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

The actual rum comes in at a very respectable 47% ABV.  It is a blend of Copper Pot distilled rums which are then casked in American White Oak (Bourbon) casks for 12 years before being treated to another 2 years in PX Sherry Casks.  Age wise this isn’t much of a step up from the £40 Reserva Exclusiva (12 year old).

It has been stated that this rum has no sweeteners, caramel or other addtives by the marketing people at Diplomatico.  I think myself and Johnny Drejer would beg to differ. (Check my Hydrometer Test page for a reading)

In the glass the Ambassador presents itself as dark reddish brown.  It shimmers in the light and is very vibrant.Diplomatico Ambassador Rum Review by the fat rum pirate  Moving onto the nose it is as I was expecting.  Very rich, reminiscent in some ways of Ron Zacapa, rather then DRE.  It has that same sugary syrup note with a hint of something vegetal beneath it.  It is very rich and the Sherry finish is very evident.

A hint of aniseed and licorice.  There is little by way of aged oak notes or any real rum like character.  There is no trace of any alcohol on the nose – something which -when you consider this is 47% ABV is frankly a little ridiculous.

It’s clear producers are creating rums which are seen by many to be “rich and smooth” and we know how that is being achieved, despite claims to the contrary.

From nosing this rum I can understand the appeal of drinks such as these – it does smell very nice.  Just not really very much like rum!  Anyway, lets not labour the point and move onto the tasting.  In fairness the Ambassador is not quite as sweet on the nose as I was expecting.  It’s not as sweet as DRE.

The tasting notes I’ll use still describe a pretty sweet rum – wine soaked raisins, even chocolate covered raisins, brown sugar, some slightly sharp red wine notes, a little bit of orange peel.

There is a little tiny hint of spice and warmth in the finish – maybe a little allspice and Cinnamon.  The finish is long though in reality your mouth is covered with this rum rather then the flavours remaining the rum does! Sticking to your mouth.

DIPLOAMBYou don’t feel like you are drinking something which is almost 50% ABV.  In many ways I don’t really feel I’m drinking rum.  Which is where the Ambassador really runs into trouble with me.  It’s too much like liqueur – a nice warming after dinner treat but NOT rum.

It’s easy to consider a rum like this to be rich and complex.  It does have a few tricks up its sleeve and it does have more than one note.  For me the notes it does have all add up to sweetness and there really isn’t enough oak and evidence of good ageing and barrel management.  It’s another rum I would love to try without the additives.  I suspect it would be extremely poor.

This is a very smooth and enjoyable drink.  However, at £200 you could have yourself some cask strength Velier Demerara or any number of other rums.  I’d be just as happy drinking DRE as I would this.

You could buy just about the entire Foursquare range for the price of this and that is proper rum. This is just an overpriced imposter.

2.5 stars




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4 comments on “Diplomatico Ambassador

  1. I will have to disagree, This is a great rum after doing a 5 or 6 rum flight. We always end with the Ambassador…… As would our friend Ian Burrell

  2. Rum drinkers who enjoy a sherry note in their rum should try Dos Maderas 5+5. Sweet but not as sweet as DRE and at about $45 in California one of the best “dessert rums” IMHO

    • Another nice rum that falls on the other end of the price gambit. For what it is Dos Maderas 5+5 is a great value. I always have a bottle in back stock to replace the bottle that we finish.

  3. I agree, big price and big disappointment!!

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