Appleton Estate 21yo (43%, Jamaica)

A long time ago I reviewed a 12yo from Appleton Estate and liked that very much. Not so hard since I love the Jamaican style of Rum making. Time now to try out the super premium 21yo. Besides the 12yo and the 21yo there are several other expressions in the Appleton Portfolio. In fact the 21yo is the super premium Rum from the portfolio and it doesn’t come cheap, ok, not really expensive either, but I see huge differences between one market and the other. On top of the 21yo comes a 50yo “Independence Reserve”, well that costs as much as a small car, but for that amount of money you do get one of the best Rums money can buy. The 12yo I reviewed earlier is the best of the rest and before that one comes a 8yo and an entry-level Rum called “VX”. Apart from that there are a special gold and special white colored Rums for ya cocktails.

Appleton Estate 21yoColor: orange Brown.

Nose: Thick and woody and dusty. Right from the start it is showing its age. Over aged old high ester rum. Jamaican and delicious. Hints of tar and dry. Over time becoming even drier. I have to say already, this is an excellent nose. Paint stripped old wood, dusty and worthy of restoration. Red apple skin and latex paint. Fresh creamy butter. Custard. Christmas pudding, without the Christmas. Dried old orange skins. Hints of very old Demerara Rum.

Taste: Quite woody. Mahogany, old furniture. Hints of old dry Demerara. Burn furniture. That slightly burnt note is very typical for Rums that have aged for a long time. I like that, but it may be an acquired taste. Decent sweetness balanced by old dark wood. Chocolate powder and hard coffee flavoured candy. Quite fruity and gives off some dry heat. Despite all this I have to inform you it’s only delicious, but lacks a bit of complexity I would have though and Jamaican Rum of this age would have. Quite a long finish though with some burnt wood and…wait for it…cow manure. Coming with the complexity, maybe even a wee bit too short aftertaste. The whole is utterly delicious though.

I tried this long ago and found it too woody then. Now it and I have aged some more, I truly like it. It’s not overly woody, but it may be a wee bit too simple, soft and a wee bit too easy-going. Nevertheless, lovely stuff, maybe a bit to expensive compared tot the complexity, but very nice and drinkable. Dare I say, again, that it has been reduced too much?

points: 88


Rum Week – Day 7: Appleton Estate 12yo Extra (40%, Jamaica)

Appleton Estate, of course, is a sugar estate that started to distill their waste, to earn some extra money. It is located on the Island of  Jamaica and makes Rum since 1749. The estate exists since 1655. It is the oldest sugar estate and distillery on the island. Appleton is owned by J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. another name we know from the rum business. The Appleton Estate covers more than 4,500 ha of land. Nice to know is that they still, in part, cut cane by machete! The Appleton Estate makes traditional pot still Rums that are aged in American Bourbon Barrels. Just like their counterparts of El Dorado.

Color: Orange brown.

Nose: yeah! That’s more like it! Sweet, Cane Sugar and molasses. Very fruity. Lots of banana. And some clean wood with tar in the far distance. Thick. Clay and full of esters. I like this very much.

Taste: Syrupy, half-sweet, and has a bit of a bite from the wood. It tastes just a tad too much toward the new-wood spectrum to call it great, but it does seem to be a great rum. Altogether I expected this to be a bit heavier and more complex, than it actually is.

So there you have it. Seven Rums in seven days. Three were pretty good and very close in points. If I would pick a winner I would choose the Barbancourt. It’s the most perfect of the bunch. The El Dorado is as good and who knows maybe even better in complexity, but I have a dislike for the sweetness that is on the edge. Almost too sweet or maybe it is already too sweet. This Appleton is almost as good as the ones I just mentioned, yet the taste is a bit too simple for the nose and maybe a tad too woody. Still I consider this a very good rum. Of the rest the Malecon is too weak to stand out, but the quality is there. The Angostura 1919 is pretty good too. The Diplomatico and the Flor de Caña were, for me at least, disappointing. Not bad, but disappointing. I expected more of both. These were all readily available rums that, compared to Single Malt Whiskies these days, cost next to nothing. To explore this further it will be interesting to look into some single cask Rums. I enjoyed this week thoroughly, but I do feel there is a lot of Sugar in these Rums, I’m not quite accustomed to. LOL.

Points: 83