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Relative strong leaving (not the best), but all in all OK. I would go for the 12 year Rare Blend.
Not really something to sip on but it makes a mean rum runner.
Sippable, but nothing to write home about. I will not that i enjoyed this more than the pricier “rare”. If in Jamaica, this is widely available at most resorts, so it’s not a bad default rum for sipping.
There's not a lot of complexity here but the Reserve is much more flavorful and a bit more smooth than the Signature Blend. It's priced right about where it should be. Makes great cocktails and can be sipped too. Great bar stocker.
Seems there is more column distillate, or light pot-still distillate than I would have hoped. Its light, which kinda bums me out. No eruptions of over-ripe banana and pineapple... It can be too much for some people, but I love that heaviness and funk - It's what makes the Jamaican style so unique and sought after. When it starts getting light, it loses what makes it special.
Still has that pungent smell, so I get a lot of pleasure out of that. Honestly, I would skip this and go for the 12yr.
nothing to say more, great price, great taste, no sugar added....I like it even for sipping. I think this is the best price/value rum at all.
Like all Appleton's of this price range the strong tastes only works with pouring this in with a sweet mix to tone down the harsh bite. Then the flavour is satisfying but your best bang for the buck in this price range is still V/X.
I guess I just don't get Appleton's. They have a pretty good reputation and seem to command a bit of a
premium. I've only tried two but they did not live up to expectations. A friend had this when we visited and he knew I liked rum. This one was definitely OK for my taste but just OK. The taste was not may favorite and it felt a little harsh.There are a number of better rums for less money. I don't see me buying any Appleton rums, but I certainly will drink it when offered. I drink rum on the rocks, never mixed.
Now that Appleton has downsized and discontinued the V/X, White, and Special Gold, there are only three rums below the $35 per bottle price tag. The Signature Blend is the entry level mixer, which I will not try. Then there is this one blended from 20 select aged rums with an average age of 6 years, followed by the Rare Blend 12 Year. I had the latter one a month or so ago and developed a love/hate relationship with it because of too much hogo Jamaican funk. This one has the hogo funk subdued quite a bit, which is alright with me. The aroma has the most hogo, but on the palate is perfectly smooth with natural sweetness from the wood and molasses with no added sugar. There is no bitterness going down the pipe. I miss the old V/X, which is a step up from their Signature Blend. I am so glad to be able to continue buying Appleton instead of giving up on them. This bottle was $27 and a better buy than the $33 Rare Blend 12 Year in the fancy box. It is also a very versatile mixer, making great Mai Tais and Goombay Smashes.
Update August 29, 2019: I have tried several Jamaican rums like this to come up with the perfect Mai Tai. This one wins for me. Using the wrong Jamaican rum in a Mai Tai will screw it up faster than anything. Well, not quite as bad as using too much orange liqueur!
Great value, nice taste. not spicy like 12year rare blend.
Bought this just to try before reading any reviews. For the price I was hoping for a decent sipping rum but as already mentioned it is a bit harsh neat. Tried it with ginger ale but didn’t taste very nice. Not tried with cola yet but will edit the review if that changes any opinions. Would be best used in cocktails as that would cut the harsh taste. Smells nice just to strong for me
Tasting notes talk about intense orange which I did not get. Its a dryer version of the Signature with less burn. I would use as a mixer but the Signature is fine for that. Ok Rum that I would not knock back if offered ,but I can do better for the price
This rum is especially smooth when you consider it's price point and age. Not to mention it tends to be readily available. This high rating is mostly to balance out what I believe is an unfairly low rating here.
Somewhat of an ordinary taste. I don't feel its worth the money. The appleton name gives it shelf space, but I preferred El Dorado12( as did a previous reviewer) also for about the same money.
Good Jamaican mixer! Lots of caramel and makes a good mai tai
Not too bad wouldn't rush out to buy again not when you can buy a taken or sailor jerrys for the same price
This is right on the border between mixer and sipping. It's not close to Appleton's better bottles (the ones with years in the name) but it's a nice step above the signature blend.
I love this in Dr. Pepper. The spice matches and it has a good balance of sugar and the body holds up.
mna tento rum nicim neoslovil. vytlacit don limetku a mame homemade daiquiri z tmavehu rumu :-)
Im an Appleton Estate drinker...this is typical Appleton...in between Signature and 12 year old...for the price, I would go with the Signature
Good to mix but didn't blow me away. Not worth the extra cost over captain for a rum and coke.
This is my go to rum love everything about it flavours and all
I really like this rum., but it is a little pricey. Nice color and very smooth. No burn. Only problem is the price. I can get El Dorado 12 for about the same price.
ORIGINAL REVIEW (6+): It's not at all offensive, but there's just not much there of what makes a confident Jamaican mixing rum. Not enough funk (too blended), and just a little too much bite. So, there's little draw. It seems as though Appleton is really aiming for mass-market appeal with their lower-end (but not inconsiderably priced) offerings, which is a shame.
Personally I prefer to purchase bottles I enjoy more on their own (as well as mix with), which are easy enough to find around this price-point. I think the Reserve Blend really a fine choice for Tiki drinks, but I expected a little more. Perhaps the 12-year is for me (which I'd really like to try soon), but I hesitate to mix with anything that costs north of $30.
It's very possible I passed judgment too quickly on this bottle, without giving it time breathe [edit: that's exactly what happened]. Or that my expectations for this as a sipper are unreasonable. I'll come back to it when I can and see if my perceptions have changed :).
Despite my disappoint, I'd still happily recommend this venerable brand's offering for use as a go-to Jamaican mixer, especially if you're tempted to opt for the Signature Blend, which I am not looking forward to trying anytime soon. I give the Reserve Blend a 6-plus.
UPDATE (7+): After revisiting this rum, my opinion of it changed completely. I was served the last of a bottle, so it was plenty oxidized. There were no offensive high notes, and the rum was very smooth compared to my first tasting. The pot-still characteristics seemed more present, and I would be more than happy to mix or sip this again!
UPDATE (8-): This is good, reliable rum. Is it perfect? No. Could it use more funk? Yes. More strength? Absolutely. But it does strike a nice balance between the Signature and Rare, and (arguably) is better than both because of that. It's equally good (for me, anyway) as a mixer as well as a sipper, and I enjoy revisiting it when I can.
A note on pricing: Sometimes I see this bottle for sale only a dollar or two below the Rare Blend/ 12yo. This strikes me as very strange. Most people are happy to pay the small difference for a more rounded sipper, so maybe those pricing it this way are just trying to move more Rares. Occasionally I've seen it offered at around $10 less than the RB, which makes much more sense. The Signature is a value rum you shouldn't pay more than like $18 for. The RB is like $35. The Reserve SHOULD be in the $26 range. (2018 USD)
No more no less just ok. Price ok for everyday quality rum.