Appleton Exclusive

Appleton Exclusive Bottle-Blk1p-USE

Product of:  Jamaica 
Aged: 20 years
Price: $250 (purchased at the distillery)
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Sugar: 0-5 g/L (estimate)
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:
9.5 

Tasting Notes
The aromatic display begins soon after the large wooden cap’s corkB is extracted with a Pop!, releasing an earthy bouquet rich with scents of old tobacco.

When poured, the rum shows a color like polished mahogany; reddish-brown  and producing many thick quick legs after swirling.

Appleton’s most exclusive rum rewards careful sniffing with aromas more dignified than the brand’s younger expressions can muster.  I sense the traditional Jamaican charred old wood, fermented molasses, maple sweetness and dundery funk, more of the decayed leafy matter, some black pepper, plus lighter notes of blood orange peel, cocoa, mild roasted coffee beans, and the pungent off-sweet scent of magnolia grandiflora flowers.

Exclusive is equally easy on the palate, the flavors striking a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice (mild oaken vanilla and nutmeg), delivered with a fatty density from the luscious medium weight body.  Especially attractive are the lingering flavors of light-roast coffee beans and salty caramel on the finish.

Appleton Exclusive Presentation case-Document Inside

Anecdotes
In  Appleton’s own words:  “Released in September 2009. Appleton Estate Exclusive is a luxurious blend of rums that were created to celebrate the terroir of the Nassau Valley where the Appleton Estate is located.”

Master Blender Joy Spence offers these valuable words:  “I chose the rums that make up this blend because they reflect the elements of terroir that are exclusive to the Appleton Estate. The Nassau Valley’s rich fertile soil and unique microclimate that features warm days, gentle afternoon showers and cool nights are the perfect conditions for growing sugar cane and tropically ageing rum.”

Appleton Exclusive Presentation Case1

“In addition, the pure water from the Estate’s natural spring; the varieties of sugar cane that we cultivate and our one-of-a-kind copper pot stills all contribute to the unique qualities and distinctive character of Appleton Estate Exclusive Edition. It is a rich, smooth full bodied rum and I would recommend that it be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.”

Appleton Excluisve Bottle in Case 2

Opinion
I’m intrigued by this limited availability rum.  It expresses itself with a different aromatic and flavor profile form the progression of aged rums bottled under the Appleton label, as if this one takes us on a side trip to a special corner in the blending house.  Sure it’s possessed by Appleton pedigree from cane to bottle.  But it drinks as it is Appleton 21’s smarter cousin, and not as infirmed as their 30 year old.  No doubt this Exclusive treasure has much  going on – but  the effect is more like a well choreographed ballet than an impromptu street jump-up. Certainly Jamaican class.  

Are you considering a Jamaica vacation?  Have fun, and make a point of touring the Appleton distillery.  They will take good care of you.  Buy Appleton Exclusive to bring home.  The heavy box alone is a worthy souvenir.  You won’t find it anywhere else, it’s not offered at the acting bar.  So trust me:  Among rums that ask a high price, this one rises above for value.

Appleton Rum At A Glance.001

Reviewed: January 2012 at Appleton Estate while touring distilleries on Jamaica, and again during February 2016 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017