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121 Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-Year ratings

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I mix tiki and Caribbean cocktails and this offering by Appleton is my go to for most drinks. I really enjoy sipping it or in a simple rum, sugar and lime mix, the unmistakable flavor of banana and other fermented fruit always works in exotic drinks. It is a bit strong for sipping but I enjoy it from time to time.

I like this rum, especially for the low price of only $32.99 (TotalWines 2016)!

It's a tad sweeter than both the Appleton 12 and 21 (but still rather dry as are all the Appletons I've tried). It's very, very close in taste to those, but slightly better IMHO. Notes of oak, almond, vanilla, molasses, and nutmeg. Try blind tasting this against the 21 - you may even prefer this to that, as I did.

In the rum world you may hear people mention the word Hogo. Have a sip of this and you'll understand what it means. It's like a deep funky bassline from Bootsy Collins. It's the benchmark Jamaican rum for me. It has serious punch and does things most other rums don't do. It's complex, dark and mysterious. Many will argue that there are other rums that have a much more noticeable or distinct Hogo and I completely agree. I just think that with this rum you can appreciate the Hogo in it's subtleties. It's more of a caress than a complete beating of your senses. It's just a lovely experience.

After receiving one of these bottles for Christmas in 2016, I didn't have the heart to open it until I got a second bottle. I got another one last year for Christmas and I didn't hesitate to open it once I got it home. It did not disappoint! This rum was well worth the wait. I can taste the vanilla in this rum; the finish is so nice. This is such a good tasting rum that I really had to dig to find something that I don't like about it and here it is: the bottle has a screw cap. That's it! That's the only thing I don't like about this rum.


I think I have to compare this to the 8 and 21 year olds. It is way, way better than the 8 and maybe 85%+ as good as the 21. Considering it is normally about 1/4 the price of the 21, that is good going. It makes the most sensible purchase.
Having adored the 21 - it felt like rum heaven to me - and disliked the 8 (very harsh and quite bitter), I wasn't sure whether to risk buying this or not, but I was reassured that it was good and took the plunge. I'm glad that I did. On the nose, we are not far off the 21. It is not quite so seductive, but it's pretty much got most of the same hallmarks and comes over as complex and oaky. In the mouth there is a vague note of the harshness of the 8, but it is no more that that. The rum has several things going on and has a great deal of complexity - much more so than the El Dorado 12, for instance - though that one has other good, enjoyable qualities to make it also deserve a 9. Oak, leather, stewed exotic fruit, caramel, roasted brown sugar - oh, lots of things are present. If you like depth, you won't be disappointed in this. The aftertaste is 90% of that of the 21 - rich, delicious and long-lasting. This rum may well make it onto my list of regular sippers at under £50.

I went to my neighborhood grocery store to pick up my old favorite Appleton V/X, which I have been drinking from time to time for the past 25 years or so. All they had was the Signature Blend with no age statement or this one. I would not have been pleased with the cheaper one, so I bought this one, which happened to also be on my wish list.

Others have noted a strange funky aftertaste, which is characteristic of Jamaican rums. At first, it was good sipped neat, but nothing to write home about. An ice cube increased the complex flavors, but also the funky aftertaste. This bottle won't go to waste, but I will always stick with their V/X aged between 5-10 years. This one appears to be the victim of being "too long in the wood". This also proves that if it works, don't fix it.

Update 12 days later: I have a love/hate relationship with this totally unique rum. No other rum can even be compared to it. After all these years, other reviewers have finally inspired me to look up the terms "dunder" and "esters", which is what makes Jamaican rums unique. You will have to look those up yourself because that process sounds pretty gross and probably began centuries ago out of economic need instead of adding unique flavors. For those that don't know what Jamaican funky rum tastes like, I would best describe it as mud being mixed with the sugar cane that was distilled to make this rum.

Since my favorite V/X appears to have been discontinued, I may not be buying any more rum from Appleton. Then again, somewhere down the line I may miss this funky one and buy it again.

Take this one Just before you take a 21 appleton estate. Very Nice flavours comes out after 12 years. One of the best appleton makes
Thank you 😃

Très bon rhum, mais présence un peut trop forte d'alcool en finale. Le El Dorado 12 ans est meilleur, plus complexe, plus riche, un peu plus nuancé.

Very good rum, but a strong presence of alcohol in the finale. The El Dorado 12 years is better, more complex, richer, a little more nuanced.

Not bad, smooth, but not as much depth as my favourite El dorados

The color of this rum was a glowing amber.
Possibility my favorite 12 year rum, and Appleton Estate has produced the best Jamaican rums I've tasted. The Appleton Estate 12 year is exceptionally smooth with hints of cinnamon and banana, with undertones of dark chocolate and oak , or what I believe the barrel is oak because other rums by Appleton are also oak, but I haven't been able to find what barrel type they used. The finish is incredibly smooth leaving a light taste of cinnamon in the mouth. Priced around $30 a great rum for the price, and served best over ice. However, this age is still ripe causing the drinker to miss out on some of the flavor undertones. I wish Appleton Estate would release the rare blend in 15 or 18 year vintage just to taste how this bottle would if matured.

OK, to be clear, I mix my rums with Diet Dr. Pepper. It is how I like my rums. This rum is affordable, yet offers a great complexity of fruits (like bananas), molasses, slight vanilla, and changes its flavors one to two times as you finish your drink. I put one shot glass per 12-oz can for this blend. Now, if you have ever got stuck with another rum that is just OK, or not that good, like Kraken rum, then I call this Appleton a perfect disguise cover up rum. Just add 1/2 a shot glass per 1 shot glass of Kraken, and you suddenly have a complex flavor that is very good. This custom blend between Appleton and Kraken almost resembles a Zacapa. Anyway, I have 8 bottles of this in my cabinet because the store where I live runs out. I like the price and I like the flavor. It is a must have.

This is the 12yo Extra rebranded. While I haven't tasted side by side, I believe it is the same blend and equally as good.

It isn't as smooth as I thought it would be. The flavours are really nice.

This one is a funky skank! Good think smelly rum with some dank skank flavors! Heyoo!

This is the first rum that was not sweet at all. It has very dark mysterious notes, wood, oak, smoke, burnt chocolate, tobacco its like a strong masculine parfume and I like it a lot.
It is a little bit harsh neath but it does not bother me at all on the contrary it just ads to the whole experience.

It definately has it's purpose! With such a rich smokey, less sweet and caramel flavour it lend its talents perfectly to a 50/50 ginger mix. Bit too harsh to drink on the rocks for my liking though.

Der er ikke meget at sige om denne middelklasse rom

Decent flavor and very smooth. May be that’s why Jamaican rum are sooo famous

This was a surprise for me, it's very dark and mysterious as others has said. Strong taste in your mouth at the first sip, it just need a bit to fully appreciate and feel it's final taste, dry and bitter, leaving very pleasant molasses and oak notes.

Well worth sipping on but there is better out there for sure.

La versión mejorada del 12 X0. Un ron extraordinario, muy auténtico y sincero. Sin algún añadido. Probablemente no le guste a cualquiera por lo seco y poco dulce. Pero por eso mismo, es muy auténtico. Si un principiante lo toma, no vuelve a probar ron en su vida. No existe mejor ron en el mercado en relación calidad-precio.


Enjoy on the rocks, neat, or blended. Good fruity flavor profile but definitely has that alcohol burn to it. Solid for the price point. I'll be using this to make a buttered rum for the holidays.

As a Jamaican rum, this is definitely "funky", but it works it well and plays it off with lots of fruity flavours and spicy smoke. Great for sipping but might take some getting used to. I definitely prefer it with a single large ice cube to mellow it a bit. A great, more affordable "premium" rum to have as a not-every-day sipper.

Taking a sniff at this I immediately thought ‘molasses’ and then I thought well yea, it’s a rum dummy, but the aroma is very strong.

Tasting it and my first reaction was that it was a bit harsher than I expected but I quickly replaced that with a simple mmmmm. It is a full flavoured rum, I get a strong smokiness, something coffee like and even though this is not a sweet rum there is something in the background I can’t place that seems to be hinting at sweetnes (I apologise if your reading this for proper tasting notes).

I threw in a couple of ice cubes and it mellowed the drink, taking away the slight alcohol burn that’s in there and that’s how I continue to enjoy it.

The perfect introduction to the funky Jamaican rums, yet still a premium spirit for both sipping and mixing. It doesn’t taste as much moonshine-y as Rum-Bar or Smith & Cross, meaning it’s the ideal rum for the newbies. You’ll want to drink four Mai Tais in a row.