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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)
I cannot believe how Appleton Estate has jumped into the glue rum wagon! Some older ones are slightly better, but the Reserve Blend is just nasty alcohol and glue to the nose and palate. Burn is nasty at the end. Struggles to earn a 3.
Simply ok, I would not buy again as better value rums are out their
This appeared to be a high-end rum from Appleton, although it's age is unclear - Regardless, I was expecting a very good rum. The bottle itself is quite nice, and the colour a rich amber. The rum has a decent smell, a little oaky and sweet. This rum is too harsh for me to drink straight, although it has a typical Jamaican "dryness" and depth to it. OK for the price, but not a top shelf rum - Good with a nice sweet cola (I had it with Coke Life) though.
Not the greatest, but it'll do in a pinch. Better for mixes than sipping.
Was hoping for a sipper, but definitely a little harsh for that, for the price wasnt excited.
Sugar: 0 gpl. Got a bottle of this as a present and quickly opened it as I thought it was something special. Must have been the new label or I had consumed too much rum already. It's okay as a mixer. It seems that Appleton is taking whatever they have left over from various barrels and calling it a reserve blend. There are some trace elements of tastes found in the higher priced Appleton's but it's my opinion that Appleton is aiming for the Bacardi section of the market with the price of this rum. It's still better than Bacardi, but the bar has been lowered. It's a fair to decent mixing rum. Spend the extra and get the Appleton 12 year old.
I tasted this along side with the discontinued Appleton Reserve, and I felt this was a nice improvement. This has a little more spice, and a little more flavor than that does.
This is a LOT closer to the Appleton 12, thought that one still takes the nod in a side by side comparison.
Smells and tastes of oak, hazelnut, nutmeg, vanilla, and molasses.
Although the 12 is better, I rate them both a 7!
There are definitely better rums in this price range but I won't shoot it down completely. Has an English style rum punch to it with some fruity notes.
Be nice as a mixing rum, good on the rocks once the water melted a little, otherwise it was a tad to strong for my liking.
Would happily drink it but I say that about every rum haha
I was a fan of the V/X, which this supposedly replaced. However, there's nothing here for me. Blended to complacency for a typical consumer, I feel.
Why they have even made this?!?!? Pass years I have had this feeling that the quality of Appleton has gone down. Even their 12-years old does not taste as it used to.
I was expecting little more when I decided to taste these "relatively new ones" Signature and Estate Reserve Blend. Same crap both of them. This one is just slightly more interesting, but unfortunately interesting does not make it better
I love this. I'm drinking with mix, namely cola, and the bottom end on this is rich. Lots of round molasses and sugars on the bottom. Vanilla, caramel, titch of orange peel and spice. I started my rum journey on the Signature Blend, which is 4 years. I was enamored by that for the oakiness and the molasses. This is THAT with a sweeter, thicker mouthfeel and more oak in the finish. It is your friend. I cook with molasses a lot and am able to appreciate it's bitter finish and dark round profile. Molasses and smoky oak are why I drink this brand. The extra of both and the added sweetness make this my favorite so far. I plan on trying the 12 year. Most reviews indicate that rum is best at 12 years. And I plan on trying the El Dorado 12 year.. It has a lot of close fans.
Let's hear it for my first booze review.
Stali czytelnicy wiedzą że lubię promocje. Tym razem dodam jeszcze, iż nie lubię przepłacać za cokolwiek, wiedząc że za kilka tygodni/miesięcy będę mógł kupić to w lepszej cenie. Wyjątkiem od tej reguły jest potrzeba chwili oraz sytuacja kiedy nie ma innej możliwości i zakupu trzeba dokonać np. na stacji paliw (gdzie takie atrakcje jak niska cena raczej często się nie zdarzają...). Do zakupu Appleton Estate jakoś nie mogłem się przekonać - widywałem go już kilkukrotnie w Makro gdzie po dziś dzień można go nabyć w dość dobrych pieniądzach. Jednak moje przymiarki ostatecznie odmieniła ciekawa, przedświąteczna promocja w Winnicy Lidla o nazwie "Zrób zapasy na wigilię". Dzięki niej udało mi się nabyć trunek (a nawet dwa) w bardzo atrakcyjnej cenie i uprzednia obawa o niską jakość jakoś ostatecznie się rozwiała.
Także przed państwem recenzja pierwszego, pełnoprawnego dla mnie rumu z Jamajki! Kraju będącego jedną z "rumowych potęg". Ostatnio mieliśmy okazję wspólnie degustować rum z Wenezueli także ochota na odkrywanie nowych terenów pozostaje niezmienna. Warto wspomnieć iż pierwszy kontakt z Jamajskim blendem mieliśmy już przy okazji recenzowania rumów gdzie destylat z Jamajki stanowił pewną część całości.
Rum Appleton Estate Reserve Blend jest pozycjonowany wyżej niż podstawowa i tańsza odmiana Appleton Estate Signature Blend. Dziś opisywany trunek zastąpił w 2016r wersję ośmioletnią której równocześnie zaprzestano produkcji (przy odrobinie szczęścia można odnaleźć w sklepach "niedobitki" wersji ośmioletniej ale zapas szybko się kurczy). Widać też podobieństwo samych etykiet ale na tym moja wiedza się kończy, szczególnie dlatego że nie miałem okazji poznać odmiany 8yo i prawdopodobnie się nie skuszę... Dlaczego? O tym za chwilę.
ZAPACH: Pestki ze słonecznika, dojrzale mango, palony karmel, wysłużona ale wyczuwalna beczka, daleko w tle palony plastik, kleje. Aromat nie jest zbyt intensywny. alkohol średnio wyczuwalny.
SMAK: Lekka słodycz, wyraźna wielokrotnie używana beczka, bandaże, mocno palony cukier, na końcu są owoce - mango i pieczony banan. Dodanie lodu sprawia ze alkohol staje się wyraźniejszy - do tej pory był ukrywany przez dominujące aromaty rumu
Według materiałów producenta możemy się dowiedzieć iż średni czas leżakowania zawartości wynosi 6 lat. Ale nie oznacza to że jest to trunek min. 6 letni a jedynie średnia użytych do kupażu destylatów. Niestety różnicę tę czuć w smaku wyraźnie. Dlaczego niestety? W tym rumie wyczuwam więcej posmaku zmęczonego drewna, klejów oraz mniej przyjemnych aromatów jakimi są pojawiające się nuty apteczne, palonego plastiku itp. Mimo pozycjonowania wyżej niż podstawowy wypust średnio nadaje się do picia sute lub nawet z lodem. Tzn. nadać się nadadzą ale nie będzie to duża rozkosz dla podniebienia...
Na koniec powiem iż super że mogłem spotkać się z Jamajskim rumem i okazało się to fajną odmianą od ostatnio trafiających do mnie często mocno przesłodzonych rumów. Dodatkowo lubię też wspomnieć że rum nie jest oszukany - nie jest oraz trudno doszukać się w nim znamion sztuczności.
Very sippable rum. Even a little bit of water is diluting it's flavor
This is not a rum to be drinking neat.
If you must drink it, it needs a whole lot of diluting to become even slightly palatable. It is cheaper than other Appleton offerings, to be fair, but there are much nicer rums in this price bracket.
Definitely not a rum for me.
Tried this rum at a Christmas dinner, I have the 12 year rare blend at home so I was curious about this one. I found this too much strong and disappointing in flavour. Don't get me wrong, you can sip it and it's ok for that, but don't expect to feel too much emotions because it's light in taste and you definitely feel the burn.
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.