In 2017 Venezuela’s Diplomatico made major announcements about their line dropping their Blanco, Reserve, and Añejo rums and releasing two new products the Planas and Mantuano to go along with the popular Reserva Exclusiva, and premium priced Ambassador and single vintage 2002 rum. Mantuano (noble man) is comprised of a blend of rums distilled from molasses and Sugar Cane honey, using Batch Kettle, Column and Pot Still rums produces at then aging them some parts of the blend up to eight years in used American Oak barrels before blending them to 40% ABV.
The short necked black tinted bottle provides only a ruby hint of the rum within. The labels only provide the basic information about the spirit, but under the iconic portrait of Don Juancho is the words Ron Extra Añejo.
In the glass the rum has a dark golden amber color, as I swirled the liquid a razor thin band that slowly thickens and releases slow moving legs that slowly descend down the glass, some beading up and evaporating before reaching the liquid below.
The aroma of the rum provides notes of cherry, raisins, black coffee, cinnamon, cloves, Malbec wine, with a nip of charred oak.
Sipping the rum reveals a swirl of raisins, lightly bitter dark chocolate, cola, vanilla, tart cherry forming the mid-line. Caramelized sweet vanilla takes the high notes while charred oak tannins and spices of cinnamon, clove, and allspice form the foundation. The alcohol in the rum nips around the tongue as an after thought as the flavors merge and fade in what becomes a balanced bitter-sweet dry finish.
I was first introduced to this rum during a luncheon at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail and it took me a while after the event to track down a bottle to review. (Sometimes it really does feel like Georgia is the last state to get certain products.) Diplomatico designed this rum to be versatile; good for mixing in classic cocktails, (they recommend and Mary Pickford) and as a less sweet sipping rum alternative to their Exclusiva Reserva.