Until now, I've used rum only as an ingredient in a cocktail. The rum in my home went into strawberry daiquiris and Hot Tipsy Cows, not straight into a glass by itself for sipping. That changed over the past few weeks when I was sent a sample of Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva from Venezuela. I wouldn't want to make a cocktail with this rum because it's so good when its served solo.

This amber-colored rum, aged in oak casks for as long as 12 years, tastes like toffee, raisins, honey and nuts to me. It's warm and creamy and is the type of spirit that has an immediate mellowing effect on my mood as its warmth spreads through the body. It's made for drinking slowly with small sips. An ounce, served in a snifter, can take a very long time to imbibe, a long, enjoyable time.

Rum Diplomatico is one of only six liquor companies in the world to attain the ISO 14001 certification for environmental awareness.

ISO 14001:2004 specifies requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives which take into account legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and information about significant environmental aspects. It applies to those environmental aspects that the organization identifies as those which it can control and those which it can influence. It does not itself state specific environmental performance criteria.

Rum Diplomatico makes protecting the environment one of its core values. Its Maestro Ronero, or Mater Blender, Tito Cordero makes sure that he not only produces high quality rum, but also ensures "perfect harmony between production and the environment."

The distillery uses an ecological treatment process that transforms residual water into a sugar cane organic fertilizer. It also recycles 100 percent of its solid waste. There are 700 workers at the Venezuelan distillery and abroad with sustainable jobs. Rum Diplomatico offers social and healthcare programs for its workers.

Depending on where you purchase it, a 375 ml bottle of Reserva Exclusive will run you between $30 and $40. It's available nationwide.

Wine, beer and spirits disclaimer : I am not paid by any producer of wine, beer or spirits to write about their product, although the company may provide me with a sample of the product. I am not a professional reviewer of wine, beer or spirits. I'll write about the product if it's something that I like and if I think the producer is working toward making the product in an environmentally friendlier fashion.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Sip a tasty rum from a sustainable distillery
Rum Diplomatico has a very rare certification for environmental awareness.