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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.
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.
Especially for that price!
To be fair, I can't really claim that this Appleton's "best offering", because this is my first from them. But it's one hell of an introduction for sure. I mean I'm giving it a 9! It's sweetness is surprising, as well, given the fact that it has very few or no additives. This is just a pure, aged rum, as they should be.
(Ron Zacapa should take some notes.)
I definitely recommend it as a sipper. Mixing with this one would just feel wrong, even at that price. It's too good to mask that flavor with something else...
I've had many Appleton rums, and they all have that distinctive Appleton flavor. This one is no exception.
Nice deep golden color. Strong aroma. Smooth, but with a bite at the end. Lingering tastes, that orange hanging on. Slight burn in the throat. It's a stronger and more complex taste than the V/X.
Very nice 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.
Another rum I will claim is essential to any serious rum-lover's bar. It is heavy, with much complexity and funk. Unique and engaging on its own, and pure magic when mixed...
It is the benchmark for an entry-level Jamaican Rum. No sugar added, funky, oaky, and moderately complex. It mixes extremely well too, with that "hogo" carrying over to enhance the drink. Try in a Maita'i, Jungle Bird, Zombie, Old Fashioned, mixed with coconut water or ginger beer over ice... Its hard to go wrong when mixing. The only thing that would make this rum better, in my opinion, would be to make it pure pot-still.
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.
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