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Posts Tagged ‘Jamaican Rum’

Celebrating: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 24, 2011

Recently I was afforded a chance to revisit Appleton Estate Reserve Rum when  the media company representing the brand in Canada asked me if I would like to receive a bottle. Although I have already reviewed this rum, I was not about to turn down a rum bottle which would fit very nicely on the Appleton shelf of my liquor cabinet.

I have found that the Appleton Estate VX and the Appleton Estate Reserve are two of my favourite cocktail rums. The Appleton Estate Reserve has the same signature Appleton flavour and aroma which I noted in my review of the Appleton Estate VX a few weeks ago. However, things seem to be brought up a notch with a higher level of smoothness, and more complexity in the Reserve Rum. The high level of complexity in the Reserve arises because this Appleton Rum uses a large number of  rums in its blend, 20 in all, and because the rums which are used in the Reserve blend are aged for a longer period of time than for the Appleton VX Rum.

Of course, receiving a bottle of Appleton Estate Reserve deserves a Celebration:

The Appleton Celebration

2 oz Appleton Reserve Rum
2 oz  Fresh Squeezed and strained Pink Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz  London Dry Gin
1/4 oz Sloe Gin
1 teaspoon Simple Sugar (or grenadine)

Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with lemon slice

And sometimes I just cannot resist putting the ice from the shaker into the cocktail glass as well.  Sitting on the back deck in the shade with a Celebration Cocktail is one of the best ways I can think of to spend a Saturday afternoon.

For those who are interested, here is my review of Appleton Reserve Rum:

Review: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

Cheers my friends!

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Revisiting: Appleton Estate VX Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 14, 2011

Appleton Estate VX Rum is the entry-level rum in the Appleton Estate family of rums.  It is a blend of up to fifteen Jamaican rums of various styles which have been aged in hand crafted oak.

I was afforded a chance to revisit Appleton Vx recently when the media company representing the brand sent me a bottle. Although I have already reviewed the rum, the company felt I should have some handy to use as a resource for my cocktail explorations.  Of course, the first thing I did when I opened my bottle was to sample a bit while I read my original review.

Here is an excerpt from that review:

” The rum displays an amber colour with orange flashes.  Surprisingly (to me) the rum when swirled left nice long skinny legs in my glass indicating a buttery oil present.  The aroma is very spicy, and full of oak tannin.  I smell a firm and distinct orange peel, and light brown sugar and molasses rising in the tangy oak spice….”

The rum of course has not changed and you may read the entire review here:

Review: Appleton Estate VX Rum

I was supposed to be using the rum for cocktails, and so the next thing I did was to make the original cocktail that I designed for the Appleton Vx called, the Traveller.  One Traveller led to another, and the 200 ml sample I was sent disappeared pretty quickly. Fortunately I have my own 750 ml bottle that will allow me to keep ‘travelling’ with my Appleton VX.

Here is a Link to that nice cocktail and a few nice variations:

The Traveller Cocktail

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Emperor Rum: Appleton 30

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2010

The Appleton Estate Limited Edition 30 Year Old Rum (produced of course by Appleton Estate in Jamaica), is a well aged rum composed of several marks of rum selected by the Appleton Estate Master Blender. These selected marks were originally aged for 8 years in oak barrels. However, once they were blended, they were then placed in oak barrels once more where they were matured for an additional 22 years in an unusually long dual aging process. According to the published information from Appleton Estate, only 1440 bottles of the 30 Year Old Rum were produced, and these were released onto the word-wide market in 2008.

Now this is a special rum and I was determined to get the review right. To that end, my review of the Appleton 30 year Old Rum is based upon 5 independent tasting sessions in my private tasting room. As well I also carried out side by side tastings with several other well aged spirits which included two Scotch Whiskies (Mosstowie 1979 28 Yr, Cask No.s 12771 & 12772, Bottle No. 162, and Bunnahabhain 1978 29 Yr, Cask No. 2584, Bottle No. 275 of 581); one 30 year Old Canadian Whisky (Canadian Club 30 Year Old 150th Anniversary Edition); and one Dominican Rum (Oliver and Oliver, Opthimus 25). I felt it was important (even though I am a regular consumer of aged spirits) to compare the Appleton 30 Year old with other well aged spirits as part of the review process.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The rum is a dark and rich reddish-brown colour which leaves a thick film on my glass when it is tilted. This film slowly releases thick fat legs back into the rum. As I watched the legs slowly crawl down the sides of the glass, the rum was bringing heavy notes of a woody sap and oak tannin to my nostrils….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Appleton Estate Limited Edition 30 Year Old Rum

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Rum Review: Appleton Estate 21 Yr Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 31, 2010

This is the final review in my series of Appleton Estate Rum Reviews, which I began to publish about two months ago.  The impetus for the review series was an invite offered to me to attend a free tasting of Appleton rums in my hometown.  I received a small sample bottle of Appleton VX, and since I owned just about every other Appleton Estate Rum up to the 21 year old I thought it would be fun to review them all.  The 30 year old just about to be released in my locale will be missing from this review series unless I can acquire a sample at a later date.

Although the reviews have been published separately spaced out over two months, I did a lot of comparative tasting between the various ages and styles of Appleton.  My final reviews scores are accurate reflections of how I judge these rums relative to each other.  You can find all of my Appleton Reviews on the side of the blog in the Page menu which for your convenience lists all of the rums I have reviewed alphabetically.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The rum is a rich dark brown colour which leaves a thick film on my glass when it is swirled. This film slowly releases thick fat legs back into the rum.  As I watch the legs slowly crawl down the sides of the glass, the rum brings forth mild brown sugar and orange citrus notes.  But.. as you wait the nose begins to change…”

You may read more here:

Review: Appleton Estate 21 Yr Old Rum

As well my friend forrest and I have collaborated on a new cocktail we call THE MONK’S UNCLE.

Enjoy the review and cocktail.

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Review Revisitation: Appleton Master Blender’s Legacy Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 14, 2010

My journey up the ladder of Appleton Estate Rums is almost complete.  This week’s review is another re-visitation to an older review.  I opened a new bottle of Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy,  and started fresh as if I had never tasted the rum before.

The Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy was produced to recognize three generations of Appleton Estate Master Blenders, Joy Spence, the current Master Blender, Owen Tulloch, the  previous Master Blender, and, David Morrison the current protégé of Joy Spence.   All three blenders have set their mark on this luxurious rum.

The rum itself is a blend of rums which range in age from 18 years to 30 years.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The rum continues to surprise me in this second review.  The texture is cleaner than I remember, almost like a good whisky.  Tart spices of orange peel, lemon are laid behind a backdrop of clean pure oak. Sweeter flavours of baked fruit (apples and pears), brown sugar and honey lie under these spices….”

Of course the entire review may be read here:

Review: Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy

I have left the original review at the bottom of the page in case it interests you in seeing how my perceptions have changed!


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Rum Review: Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2010

I am going off on a side rung today as I continue to review the ladder of Appleton Estate Rums.  I call this a side rung because the Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum is not part of the progressive ladder I have been following from the Entry Level Appleton VX up to the rare old Appleton 21 Year Old Rum.   As well this rum is no longer advertised on the Appleton Estate Website.   I am unsure whether the rum is in production anymore, although a friend of mine who visited Jamaica told me it was still available and was a local favourite amongst Jamaicans.

I cannot verify the claim, but I am confident enough of its veracity that I am going ahead with my review.

Here is an excerpt:

“…Sweet burly molasses and spice is about all I can say at this point as the strength of the alcohol numbs the palate before much else can be deciphered.   I let everything sit in my mouth for a little while and decide that the flavour is quite complicated, but as I mentioned, the heavy alcohol strength has numbed my ability to distinguish anything individual….”

For the complete review please click on the following Link:

Review: Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum

I did a little mixology research  for this review and found two nice punch constructions which I used with the Appleton Dark Jamaican Rum to great effect.The Punch recipes are “forrest Approved”, and I think you will enjoy them!

I must also thank the Edmonton chapter of The RUM CHUMS for providing this sample for me to review.  Thanks guys I appreciate all the help you provide!

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Rum Review: Appleton Extra 12 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 21, 2010

I continue to climb the Appleton Estate ladder of rums and have reached the Appleton Extra 12 Year Old Rum.  This is a rum which I have previously reviewed as so this time around will be a review revisitation.  My belief is that I am growing as a reviewer and that re visiting my older reviews is probably a good thing as I can now impart better information and tasting notes.  After this review I will take a two week hiatus from the Appleton rums to allow me to catch up on a few other spirits which have become backlogged in my review system.

But without further ado please enjoy my latest Appleton Rum Review:

Review: Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Jamaica Rum

I have kept the older review and you can find it at the bottom of the review page if you want to compare the two reviews.

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Rum Review: Appleton Estate Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 14, 2010

This is the second review in the series  I am completing of the Rums in the Appleton Estate family of Rums. The Appleton Reserve rum is constructed from a blend of 20 aged rums which have each been aged for approximately 8 years.   The rum is intended to be perfect for those who wish to be introduced to a complex rum style meant for sipping neat and for using in sophisticated cocktails.

One thing that I noticed which was missing from the newer bottles of Reserve, is the 8 year age statement.  I am not sure when the age statement was dropped but his seems to be a trend among major distillers of spirits worldwide.  These large distillers are increasingly more concerned with a signature taste profile than they are with adhering to a specified minimum age requirement for their spirits.  In the end, taste is what matters and my review will be concerned with the taste and character of the rum and not the age.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

This has a spicy zip on the tongue that is full of citrus peel, oak spice, candy apples, cloves, and cinnamon.    There is, (in spite of the softness of the rum on my tongue), a sharpness and intensity in these spicy flavours.  Underneath this spiciness are additional flavours of butterscotch, caramel and vanilla.  At the bottom of the  palate I find an earthiness which seems almost brooding to me.

You may read the full review here:

Review: Appleton Estate Reserve

Of course I could not resist adding a few cocktail suggestions to the review.  Enjoy!

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Rum Review: Appleton Estate VX

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 7, 2010

In 1749, in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica, the Appleton Estate Sugar factory was founded.  The Nassau Valley is a fertile, interior valley with a special mild microclimate which is ideally suited to the growth of Sugarcane.  A water source which wells from a limestone rock formation provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Rums.

The Rum itself is crafted from pot stills in small batches.  After blending and aging the rums are ready for bottling.  Unlike most rums produced in the Caribbean, Jamaican law forbids the use of an age statement unless the entire contents of a bottle are aged at least as long as the stated age.

Booklet Courtesy of Appleton Estate Rums

This is the first review in a series I am doing on Appleton Rums. I am starting with the Appleton Estate VX and I will work my way up the ladder of Appleton Rums to the Appleton 21 Year Old.  This will include the Appleton Reserve, The Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year,  The Master Blenders Legacy, and the Appleton Dark 151 Proof.  An astute person will realize that I have already reviewed Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old and the Master Blenders Legacy. I will take this opportunity as I go up the Appleton Ladder to revisit these reviews and these rums.

Here is an excerpt from my Appleton Estate VX Review:

The rum displays an amber colour with orange flashes.  Surprisingly (to me) the rum when swirled left nice long skinny legs in my glass indicating a buttery oil present.  The aroma is very spicy, and full of oak tannin.  I smell a firm and distinct orange peel, and light brown sugar and molasses rising in the tangy oak spice….”

I have also included an original cocktail based upon the popular Cosmopolitan. As usual my cocktail recipe has been reviewed and approved by forrest.

You may read the entire review here:

Review: Appleton Estate VX Rum

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Howling Highlight: Tasting Appleton and Diplomatico Rums

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2010

I have said it before, having a blog where I review rum and whisky is great.

It was my pleasure  to be invited to a private tasting yesterday hosted by representatives of two wonderful rum companies.  Appleton Estate and Diplomatico rums.  The line up was impressive, with 7 rums in all and a bonus, a new rum liqueur from Diplomatico, the Hacienda Saruro.

Let me step you through the line up and give you my observations as well as the feedback I was hearing around the tasting table.

The first set of rums, we were given was a direct comparative tasting of Diplomatico Anejo, and Appleton VX.   These are  the entry level rums for each company, although I cringe at the phrase ‘entry level’.  The Diplomatico Anejo is a full four years old, and the Appleton VX  is a blend of 15 aged rums.

The Diplomatico Anejo showed nice legs in the glass, with a sweet almost floral bouquet of caramel and light cinamon spice.  It had a nutty, buttery sweetness and finished long and relatively smooth

The Appleton VX was lighter in the glass, but had a more complex oak aroma.  The spices were hotter and sharper with far less sweetness.  Orange peel and dried fruit were on the palate with a light brown sugar.

The second set was Diplomatico Reserva and Appleton Reserve.

Diplomatico Reserva, was less floral. It had an oaky taint to it that surprised me.  More complex with less butter in the mouth and more of a rough edge to it.

The Appleton Reserve was on the other hand a slightly more mellow version of the VX.  The vanilla accent was a little firmer and there was a little polish and craftsmanship showing.

Then we stepped up to the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva and the Appleton Extra 12 year.

The transformation in the Diplomatico from the Reserva to the Reserva Exclusiva was startling.  Fat legs in the glass, and a beautiful honeyed aroma with accents of  mild spices entwined into the rummy caramel.  This was sweet and smooth with a full caramel and toasted nut flavour profile.

The Appleton Extra  was also markedly different from its predecessor,  a hint of chocolate on the nose with a darker richer caramelized aroma.  Heavier legs added body to the drink and the palate showed distinctive tones of charred coconut and burnt caramel and brown sugar.  The oak was very evident in the mouth and finish.

Finally to top the evening off we were treated to the Appleton Legacy, and the Hacienda Saruro.

The Appleton Legacy was stupendous, with a complexity unmatched by the other spirits.  Having gone through the stages from VX to Reserve to the 12 year old Extra, I could taste the signature Appleton flavour profile throughout.  As we progressed up the ladder, the complexity of flavour increased to a wonderful climax with the Legacy.

The Hacienda Saruro was an elegant desert and perfect ending drink.   Suave and silky with fantastic sweet rum flavour, I found myself secretly pouring a second glass when no one was looking.  It is absolutely yummy.

What an evening,  what wonderful rum I was allowed to indulge in.  I did not make any judgments as when eight rums are consumed in such a short session, it is virtually impossible to assign meaningful scores.  I will say that there is a real difference in philosophy between the two rums.   Appleton Rums are tangy, complex and oaky with the emphasis on that particular flavour profile, whereas Diplomatico’s emphasis is rums that are buttery, nutty and sweet.   My sense was that the entire room of guests was very satisfied with both styles.

To help you further I have provided links to several reviews I had completed prior to being invited to this tasting.   More reviews will follow as I have been promised samples to review most of the other rums tasted last night.

Review Appleton Estate Extra 12 year

Review Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy

Review: Diplomático Añejo

Review: Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

I would like to thank the wonderful people from Appleton Estate and Diplomatico Rums for inviting me.  You treated myself and the other gueats to a wonderful evening!

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