Appleton Estates Reserve

Appleton Reserve

Product of:  Jamaica 
Aged:  Blend of 20+ rums, most aged 8 years minimum
Price: $24
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:

Tasting Notes 
Appleton Reserve is brilliant in the glass, showing a beautiful copper shade of mahogany.  The various aromas contribute substantially to a complex personality caused by blending so many rums together.  Scents of the higher ester content and dunder associated with distilling rum in pot stills dominate, tempered nicely by orange peel and apricot, followed by some musty wood and mild spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and white pepper) and an oily nutty sensation akin to hazelnuts.  The initial taste is considerably smoother, sweeter and drier than the aromas suggested, with butterscotch balanced by the mild spices, then  pleasant cocoa butter/sugar/coconut combining like white chocolate to create a medium weight body.  The hazelnut flavor appears again as a segué into the dry, medium-long finish.

Appleton rums combine pot and column spirits distilled from molasses that is rended from sugarcane grown on the distillery’s estate in the wet Nassau Valley’s limestone soil.  Appleton commands an impressive 90% share of the domestic market for white overproof rum, and it has a comprehensive portfolio of aged products spanning from extremely affordable bargains to high-priced top shelf collectible rums.  The Reserve reviewed here is well positioned toward the younger side of their aged rum lineup, blended to bring exciting flavors to cocktails versus swirling neat inside a sipping glass.

Appleton has been making rum since 1749.  They got it right.  Their rum portfolio has evolved into a comprehensive suite of pot distilled products that span nicely from affordable mixers to exquisite aged and blended rums.  While Appleton Reserve is intended for mixing, it offers sufficient complexity and flavors to sip gently. Appleton blends 20 different aged rums of varying styles and ages to achieve a consistent flavor profile at a no-nonsense price.  And oh my, those 20 rums certainly do play nicely together. 

Master Blender Joy Spence describes Reserve as a mixing rum, one that is designed to help cocktail drinkers transition to the world of fine aged sipping rums.  Agreed.

Appleton Rum At A Glance

Reviewed: January 2012 at Appleton’s distillery in Naussau Valley, Jamaica.

© Dave Russell 2017