Meeting with Jose Rafael Ballesteros, Distillers United Group (DUG)

Team RFP: Long time no see Jose. How is it going for Dusa in Venezuela? Could you present yourself in a few words?

Jose: Dear team, it’s quite nice to see you again. My name is Jose Ballesteros Jr. and I am currently in charge of the export department for DUG (Distillers United Group). Venezuela continues to be a source of inspiration for our products and it is also the heart of our company, where we have the distillery (DUSA).

Jose Rafael Ballesteros

Team RFP: Can you explain to us the nature of your deal with Brown Forman (Jack Daniel’s) for Diplomático?

Jose: Brown-Forman acquired the Diplomático Rum brand and related assets. DUG will continue to produce and age the unique Diplomático Rum in its original distillery.

Team RFP: The Dusa distillery doesn’t only produce rum as you are now a proud gin producer but you guys are launching a new rum? It seems that your deal allows it but what kind of rum is that?

Jose: Our distillery is the largest and most complex industry in Venezuela, so it only made sense to showcase our versatility. As you said, we’re the proud producers of Canaïma Gin, a small batch gin, born in the Amazon, that has been in the market since 2019 with the beautiful mission to really help the environment and the local communities of the Amazonian rainforest. Now we’re adding to our portfolio Cocuy Saroche, an agave distillate made with 100% cocui trelease agave, a beautiful family legacy. And of course, rum is at the heart of what we do and will continue to do. When time comes we will certainly let you know.

Jose Rafael Ballesteros

Team RFP: Is the master blender the same as the one creating the Diplomático series?

Jose: At our distillery we have a team of master blenders who guarantee the production and blending of the highest quality distillates. The master blender of Diplomático Rum is fully commited to Brown Forman.

Jose Rafael Ballesteros

Team RFP: Do you plan to do a launching event in Paris? We know it is a city you like for having lived here?

Jose: Paris is always the place to be, I have very good memories with many colleagues and friends in this beautiful city.