Review: Diplomatico Distillery Collection No1 (Batch Kettle Still)

From 40g of sugar (??) per litre to 0g/litre is quite the jump, and Diplomatico managed to release a (limited) range of unadulterated rums. The Distillery Collection has three releases, each distilled in one of the three stills used in blending Diplomatico’s core range:
– No1 is distilled in a Batch Kettle Still
– No2 is distilled in a Barbet Column Still
No3 is distilled in a Copper Pot Still

The Batch Kettle Still is sort of a larger pot still (I don’t have all the specifications) brought to DUSA (Destillerias Unidas S.A., Venezuela – where Diplomatico is made) in 1959 from Canada and was originally used to produce whisky. Apparently using this type of still in rum production is unique. Sourcing sugarcane grown locally, Diplomatico uses fermented sugarcane honey (molasses with higher sugar content) for the Batch Kettle distillation. Aged for 6 years in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 47% ABV without any additives.

On the nose it’s quite light and elegant, I have to get my nose in there otherwise all I can smell is alcohol/vodka. Quite a bit of caramel/toffee, oak spices, milk chocolate and raisins. A hint of dusty oak, sweet apples with a flowery-kind of aroma that I can’t put my finger on. I’ll be honest, there is not a lot going on. Some marmalade and peach as well.

On the palate you can tell it’s “spanish style”. The usual caramel, vanilla, hints of tobacco, oak “heavy” (for a 6 year old light rum), tonka beans, and a bit of coffee liqueur. Some peaches, mangoes and oranges. It’s only 47% ABV but there’s an alcohol burn to it that doesn’t sit well for me. Earthy notes in the background, pistachios and sprinkles of cinnamon make it a bit more interesting. The finish is quite short with some slightly salted caramely and leathery note.

As expected I did prefer their No3 release distilled in an actual pot still (linked above) – had more character and fruitiness to it. This is a little bit more elegant, but I’d rather have Havana Seleccion de Maestros if I’m looking for a “latin style” rum which would also be a bit cheaper. Happy I tried it nonetheless.

Diplomatico Distillery Collection No1 (Batch Kettle Still) score:
Flavour/taste: 42/70
Value for money: 8/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 65/100


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