We ended up buying the mid-range Selecto because we preferred it over the 1796 Solera at half the price, though price isn't much of a consideration when buying local good. So much for prices dictating tastes. Selecto seems to be a bit rare outside of Venezuela so good luck finding it. We also got an orange blended and a coffee blended rum to try even though they weren't a part of the tasting.
I learned that their basic Gran Reserva rum is blended from aged rum of 2-5 years because Venezuelan law requires 2 year aging for it to be called rum here. The cheap stuff from other countries may only be aged 6 months. If there's one thing you get from living in Venezuela, it's plenty of exposure to rum and opportunities to try it and learn about the differences. So far, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva is our favorite. The funny business with exchange rates and locally produced goods like these rums make them pretty cheap for us.
Pictures weren't allowed in some parts of the active production areas but here's what I got everywhere else.
where it all started but no longer part of their production
a special tasting in the private collection room
private collection including the Los Angeles Philharmonic