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Update as if November 1st 2021,
As my palette for rum, and tasting experience, evolves, I find this 12 year to be a little thin tasting. I now prefer the 8 year, which is a very similar flavor palette. The 8 year doesn't come across as much younger, still has nice hints of vanilla, orange and spice but drinks a little hotter and more robust for significantly less coin. I also have found my ideal sipping rum in a bottle of Hampden Great House 2020 release, and I can't see giving this 12 year and that the same score either.
Update as of May 16th 2021,
I am upgrading my rating to a solid 9, maybe 9.5 after doing a thorough tasting of multiple rums. We tasted the Doorly's XO, Doorly's 12 year, Hampden 8 year and this Appleton 12 year and overall the Appleton is the clear favorite. It has a little bit of everything. Plenty of mild sweetness, toffee and caramel notes along with burnt brown sugar, vanilla and orange, dark fruits, that wonderful Jamaican funk of very ripe bananas and pineapple and a beautiful long, warm finish. Pretty much everything you could ask for in classic sipping rum.
As others have said, this is not the same as the previous expression labeled 12 year from Appleton's, this is a new iteration and really one of the best sipping rums out there. My other favorite sipper being Doorly's XO, just so you know where I am coming from. This rum has great complexity and doesn't overwhelm with any of the notes, but offers a really nice balance.
The nose is great, and if you love Jamaican rum, as I do, you can spend a bit of extra time here enjoying the nice combination of warm Jamaican funk, oak, molasses, orange and spice. The taste is perfect for sipping, with a good hit of alcohol up front, strong but not confrontational, then nice sweet notes of toffee and caramel with vanilla, orange, light banana and stone fruit, followed by the distinct hogo that I lovo. the finish is long with a mild touch of charred oak and raisins.
This is a really great rum and the price point around $45 US right now is decent too for such quality I would give this a solid 8.5, leaving a little room to run since, frankly, I haven't tasted much at higher price points yet, in my rum tasting journey. Enjoy neat, or with an ice cube or two to open it up or in a nice rum Old Fashioned, with a twist of orange and a Luxardo cherry.
Thought I would try the new Appleton Estate Reserve 8 Yr & Appleton Rare Casks 12 yr Rums recently released from Jamaica. I was really surprised with the younger rum which I find even better than the Older version of the Appleton Rare Blend 12 yr version and Its quality is definitely worthy of being drank neat. The new version of the 12 year (Rare Casks) is also much better than the older version and in my opinion both dessrve a “9” rating.
($36CAD) This is one of the new bottles of the 12 year and I have to comment on the bottle itself. I’ve never been so pumped about a rum before actually tasting it. Everything about the presentation is pleasing to me. The bottle has a sleek yet funky design. The black label fits nicely with the darker color of rum. The cork has both wood and gold color in it, it’s all very easy on the eyes. Very well done, presentation-wise.
To the rum! 43% abv and a full 750mL bottle.
Nice and dark. Smells like bananas a bit, maybe some tropical fruits; pineapple?
The taste is nice, a bit of sweetness up front with fruit and then oak and tobacco or leather. Then it settles into the heat.
This is a damn near perfect rum. It looks amazing, the taste is fantastically complex yet smooth. The real kicker for me is the price: what value! If I had known I would love it this much, I would’ve bought more while it was on sale. This has become a staple for me and very well could be my favourite at the moment. Well done Appleton Estate!
I thought this was the 12 year rare blend repackaged but this is something new. Nice fruit forward banana notes, with mild spiciness. Lots of depth with just the right amount of Hogo. Blindfold me and I know it Jamaica and Appleton. I give this a notch up from the 12 year rare blend. Great rum in the $40 range not too sweet like ElDorado US concoctions.
Not as bright or funky as the 8yr, but so smooth and delicious. More vanilla and oak, still some funk, with a very nice finish. One of my favorites so far! If you like Appleton, you need to try this. One of the best values out there.
This was the first rum I spent more than 20 bucks on and I didn’t know what to expect really. It’s smooth, not over powering, and has a nice subtle banana taste. You can smell the banana when you open it but it’s subtle as far as the actual taste goes. Worth the money. It’s not the best I’ve ever had but I’d probly look at someone funny if they had any real problem with its level of quality. If you want a solid rum to try that’s not going to put you in the poor house, it’s a good one.
This is a rum i would not have understood or maybe appreciated a few years ago. I love the higher alcohol expressions but have come around to the grassy funk of Jamaica. This was a surprise as sometimes I think the Appleton are a bit too much alcohol bite and one dimensional but this was a lovely complex rum with grass, burnt salt sugar, banana bread and a lovely soft sweet finish.
Nose: Sweetness, vanilla, and caramel
Taste: Lots of vanilla and some caramel
Feel: Smooth on the tongue, full in the whole mouth, slightest burn in the throat.
Overall: Leaves a good aftertaste that lingers in the mouth. Definitely too good to be a mixer at my bar.
The rare cask is better than the old extra version.
It has more orange zests, this makes it more complex and fruitier. It's not a fruity funky rum like Hampden, Appleton is always a woody juice with strong cask influece.
Smell: dry fruits, orange zests, some caramel, strong barrel/wood (oak) influence. I noticed also some vanilla from the Bourbon cask.
Taste: dry fruits and orange zests first, some burned sugar, wood and bourbon cask aromas, also vanilla, slightly spiciness at 43%.
Nice fruity aftertaste with woody cask aromas
Conclusion: It's an every day sipper like MG XO.
Not very complex but still good for the pice.
Overall rating: 81 points
Value (24€): 4.5/5
Expert level: amateur - professional
I have always been a big fan of Appleton Estate. Especially the 12 year rums. This Rare Casks 12 yo is nice. Good sipper. Has a little more heat than the previous blends which is my only complaint. Other than that, it's has a nice bouquet and enjoy every sip.
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