Ron Diplomatico Distillery Collection No 1 2 3 Bottles

There’s hardly a Bespoke Unit gathering where there aren’t at least one of Ron Diplomático’s offerings passed around.

Whether it be the decadent Reserva Exclusiva, the balanced Mantuano, or even the luxurious Ambassador, you can rest assured that one (if not multiple) of the Venezuelan rum maker’s bottles is bound to make an appearance.

With this in mind, you may guess that I was more than content to have all three members of the Diplomático Distillery Collection in front of me for review.

In the following article, I’ve provided some details regarding the Collection as well as the individual spirits, broken down into the following categories:

Use the menu above to jump ahead or continue scrolling to read it all.

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Diplomático Distillery Collection

No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum

  • Primary Ingredient: Sugar Cane Honey
  • Distillation: Canadian Batch Kettle Still
  • Aged: 6 Years
  • Casking: American White Oak
    • Prev. Bourbon & Whisky
  • Cask Strength: 47% ABV
  • Pricing:
    • Reserve Bar: 750ml / $82 [Buy Now]

No. 2 Barbet Rum

  • Primary Ingredient: Sugar Cane Molasses
  • Distillation: French Barbet Column Still
  • Age: 4 Years
  • Casking: American White Oak
    • Prev. Bourbon & Whisky
  • Cask Strength: 47% ABV
  • Pricing:
    • Reserve Bar: 750ml /$82 [Buy Now]

No. 3 Pot Still Rum

  • Primary Ingredient: Sugar Cane Honey
  • Distillation: Scottish Copper Pot Still
  • Age: Varied
  • Casking: American White Oak
    • Small Batch
  • Cask Strength: 47% ABV
  • Pricing:
    • Reserve Bar: 750ml / $82 [Buy Now]
Diplomatico Distillery Collection Three Bottles

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What Is Ron Diplomático’s Distillery Collection?

Individual Serial on No 1 Batch Kettle Rum Bottle Label

Each bottle in the collection is dated & serialized.

Diplomático’s Distillery Collection first appeared on the scene in 2017 with the release of the No. 1 Batch Kettle and No. 2 Barbet still rums. At inception, these refined rums were intended to showcase two of the pillars upon which most Diplomático rums, namely Reserva Exclusiva and Mantuano, are built.

But it wasn’t until 2019 when the third and final piece of the puzzle made its way onto shelves. With the No. 3 Copper Pot Still offering, the three rum expressions blended by Diplomático to achieve their globally-distributed spirits were now available for deconstructed tasting.

As with the original No. 1 and No. 2, the No. 3 Pot Still rum is individually serialized with a bottle and batch number as well as a month/year of distillation. Likewise, it is also enticingly packaged; one can only expect as much given the price tag (more on this later.)

Below, I delve into the details behind the individual distillation methods that result in three distinct rums. I’ve also shared some notes on the experience of sipping each.

Distillery Collection No. 1 Review – Batch Kettle Rum

Diplomático’s Batch Kettle Still was shipped to La Miel (Venezuela) in 1959 by Seagram’s Int of Canada who was the owner of the operation until 2002.

Most commonly employed in the distillation of rye whisky, Diplo’s Batch Kettle Still and sugar cane honeys are used to produce the No. 1 Rum. The distillate is then aged in ex-bourbon and ex-whisky American Oak casks for a minimum of 6 years. The result is a strong and flavorful rum that serves as the backbone of most of Ron Diplomático’s offerings.

Diplomatico Distillery Collection No 1 Batch Kettle Rum

No. 1 Tasting Notes

In the glass, the No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum is not unlike what one has come to expect from Diplo. The bouquet is slightly sweet with notes of vanilla and ripe fruit. However, the sugary essence is nicely balanced with spice. Even before savoring, one can tell that there’s something new here.

On the palate, the No. 1 is light and smooth. Whereas the traditional Reserva Exclusiva can be overwhelmingly sweet, the intensity of the No. 1 is what shines through the most, if only at first.

The trademark sweetness of a Diplomático rum is still there, yet it’s much more subdued than expected. Charred wood and caramel linger as an aftertaste, though the surprisingly high ABV is what I find to linger the most.

Buy Diplomático’s No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum

Distillery Collection No. 2 Review – Barbet Rum

Diplomático’s No.2 rum starts off as sugar cane molasses which are then distilled in a Barbet Column (continuous) Still. As with the previous Batch Kettle Still, the Barbet Still was also imported into Venezuela from France in the year 1959.

Once distilled, the No. 2 rum is similarly aged in ex-bourbon & ex-whisky American Oak barrels, though for a slightly shorter maturation period of 4 years.

Diplomatico No 2 Rum Barbett Still

No. 2 Tasting Notes

In the glass, the translucent & golden No. 2 Barbet Still Rum is much more reminiscent of the syrupy Reserva Exclusiva than the No. 1 rum. There are also notes of toasted oak and tropical fruit.

Once savored, one can certainly start to see how a mixture of the previous No. 1, as well as the current No. 2, could be formulated to create Diplomático’s trademark rums. The No. 2 rum is fruity and buttery, also with notes of vanilla, though the finish is both milder and longer-lasting.

Buy Diplomático’s No. 2 Barbet Rum

Distillery Collection No. 3 Review – Pot Still Rum

As with the No. 1 expression, the Copper Pot Still used to create the No. 3 rum are traditionally used to distill Scottish whisky. However, placed in the hands of Diplo’s “Maestro Ronero” and coupled with sugar cane honeys sourced on-site, a decidedly different product is formed.

The No. 3 spirit is aged by Diplomático in small American Oak barrels “until it reaches optimum maturity.” I wasn’t able to find exactly how long this rum is aged, though online reports mentioned as much as 8 years. The bottle I reviewed indicated a distillation date in June of 2010, so this informal estimate appears to be relatively accurate.

Ron Diplomatico No 3 Pot Still with Packaging

No. 3 Tasting Notes

In the glass, the No. 3 Pot Still Rum is a vivid dark amber color. An introductory sniff also highlights a deep fruity aroma, much more intense than any of the others in this Distillery Collection Set.

The first taste of the No. 3 spirit is noticeably dry. Moreover, the fruity essence of the nose takes a backseat to strong citrus and butterscotch tones. Toasted oak imparted by the ex-bourbon casks is also evident, though certainly not overwhelmingly so.

Buy Diplomático’s No. 3 Pot Still Rum

Overall Experience & Value For Money

As a vocal fan of just about anything that Diplomático can pour into a pretty bottle, I was excited to get the chance to try all three segments of this Distillery Collection. I rather enjoyed taking some time to break down what each spirit had to offer and how these individual elements come together to form the final products that I’ve become so familiar with (namely Reserva.)

The experience is unique and compelling, especially for those who are looking to further educate their palate when it comes to refined rums.

Diplomatico Distillery Collection Rums Review

On the other hand, there also exists another concern, that of value. With each of the rums retailing for somewhere around $82, this can be quite a pricey experience. It is likely that this price point will prevent regular Diplo drinkers used to paying $30-40 for 750ml from purchasing the complete set and having the same exploratory experience.

An integral component of the craft that DUSA is trying to highlight by retailing the separate “pillar” rums will be lost to those who can’t bring themselves to purchase & taste all three bottles simultaneously. Yet, perhaps this same exclusivity is what makes the same triple experience so sweet.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, I do believe that this Distillery Collection offered by Diplomático is a worthwhile investment.

It’s true – the price, as well as the flavor profile of the individual rums, do not necessarily lend themselves to be consumed regularly. In my view, these are the three rum bottles you break out when a special friend comes over. The set can also make a thoughtful gift for the rum aficionado in your life. It is in these realms that the Distillery Collection shines.

Diplomatico Rums Family

L to R: Distillery Collection, Ambassador, Planas, Mantuano, Reserva Exclusiva

For a similar price as the entire Distillery Collection set, you could also treat yourself to a bottle of Ambassador, the most prized presentation in the Diplomático catalog. And for everything else, I’d stick to Mantuano or Reserva when looking to satisfy your Diplo craving.

Shop Diplomático’s Distillery Collection
By offering a behind-the-scenes view into the famed distillery's process, the limited Distillery Collection is certain to appeal to those interested in an innovative rum experience, whether they're already closely acquainted with Diplomático's spirits or not."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★

Further Reading

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