Appleton Estate 12-Year Rum is a blend of several rums aged between 12 and 18 years in American oak barrels after being distilled using small-batch copper pot stills.

The rum is produced on the Appleton Estate, which sits in the Nassau Valley in Jamaica. The estate’s origins date back as far as 1655 when the English overthrew the Spanish to rule the island and Frances Dickinson, grandfather of the distillery’s founders, received the land as a reward for his role in the overthrow.

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The Appleton Estate 12 year is actually a blend from casks with rum between 12 and 30 years of age. Many producers would jump right at the chance to call it a 30-year rum, but not Appleton Estate.

I expected the complexity in flavors of a typical "12-year" rum, but got much more. As the rum first rolls over the taste buds, a rather strong flavor of oak and a bit of smoke dominates the senses. In this, whiskey lovers should feel right at home. A brown sugar flavor is also apparent, but even though this is a strong part of the rums nose, the sweetness in the taste is only in the middle-lower end of rums.

Behind the strong, slightly bitter and charred oak flavor, are several other interesting flavors. Most apparent is the spicy orange peel with a vanilla twist. Before the rum leaves the taste buds, I also sense some lighter but quite complex notes akin to nuts, coconut and various citrus fruits.

To get the full flavor experience I recommend letting it breathe in the glass for at least 5 minutes before drinking. And when drinking it, doing so in small sips so as not to overwhelm your taste buds with its stronger flavors.

On the other hand, because of the orange peel and vanilla flavors, I think this rum would also excel in a variety of mixed drinks where these flavors complement.

All in all a rum which is very competitive in its price range and with more complexity to offer than one might expect when reading the label.

Appleton Estate 12 is good enough to sip, but primarily enjoyable to those who like some harshness in their rums. It's got a bit of complexity, some spice, no sweetness, and a strong alcohol finish.

For this price,its one of the best Rums. A good introduction to jamaican-style flavours, a little bite at the end,but amazing fruits in the nose, a little mango,banana mixed with coffee and toffee finish.Surprisingly long in the throat. A good buy

After going thought some nice but overly sweet rum (Zacapa, Zaya, Diplomatico) the Appleton 12 year was a pleasant return back to basics.

Citrus, molasses and a little bit of oak. Not overly sweet. Little bit of warmth of the back end but not harsh is any way. My favourite part of this rum is the long aftertaste.

This rum is my new everyday sipper.

Though this style is not to everyone's liking due to the level of funk inherent in Jamaicans, if you do like it this is a must-own. Best choice in Mai-tais.

Also as many note it is a very dry rum - this is because it has NO ADDED SUGAR unlike most of the high rated rums, such as Zacapa and the El Dorados. This is what pure unadulterated rum tastes like.

Edit : to address a recent review - this is a Jamaican rum, not an agricole. And giving it a low rating because it "was a mispurchase" and is too strong for your taste is just wrong, use a little common sense and don't rate it at all.

I think this is one of my favourite 'entry level' rums. Probs pick this up for about 15 quid n wont find much better in the same price bracket. Would happily sip a shot from the fridge but at the same time wouldnt feel bad about making a cuba libre with it aswell ;-)

One of my favourite rum. Dry, fresh, simple. I recommande it strait up. No ice!

A bit overrated. Not as smooth as alleged.

Not a favorit.
Nothing like I have tastet before. Bad aftertaste.

Actually being a whisky drinker for almost two decades now, this is the first bottle of aged rum I bought myself. Compared to other rums I enjoyed with friends I really like the allround quality. It is not overly sweet (as some young rums I've tasted are) but still much sweeter than any scotch, has a nice development and a slight woody and charred aftertaste.

Also a proper rum to drink straight. Personally speaking, any spirit which doesn't hold up by itself is not worth any of time, money or efforts.

Good one to start my journey into older rums I reckon.

As this has been on my wish list for sometime I felt it was time to try, and review. At $70NZD, this 12 year old was everything I expected. Presented in a regal black canister, you immediately get the feeling that this rum is going to be good. The presentation is followed through with the bottle, tidy and distinguished. Only downside is the metal screw top. I'm slowly becoming a fan of corked tops for authenticity. Pouring and coloring is burnt umber on the side of mahogany when held to the light. Swirling and the liquid is syrupy and rich. Legs, fat and clingy. This is a good sign of things to come. The rich aroma carries through and a deep brown sugar and almond captures me first. Upon further sampling I get light citrus.
As I taste for the first time, the flavour is obvious and bold with brown sugar, this is burnt somewhat. The oak is present but it isn't mellow, it's feels hot as I breath out through my nose chewing the liquid as I taste. Is it peppery?
The flavour is lasting and satisfying, the hotness described earlier remains, I decide this is spicy. Each time I bring the glass to my mouth and nose the aroma and taste develop and this makes me appreciate the rum more with every mouthful.
Overall, this is such a remarkable step up from previous Appletons I have tried. It is a rum for the not too serious and appreciative Appletons drinker who will enjoy talking about the profile differences with friends without becoming too "sporting". I like!


I always wanted to try this one, since I always likes the mixers from appleton ( white and gold lable). So I expected this one to be a very great sipper, for a very decent price, but now I taste mainly alcohol and really think if they already wait for at least 12 years until botteling, they should consider to use some better barrels to give this Rum some more taste.

No surprises here, it's a traditionnal rum. Sugarcane, aromas of molasses, bit vanilla, little burning aftertaste, but overall a good spirit. Nothing fancy.

To me this is a Hybrid rum, meaning; I love it as a mixer but I can also consume it on the rocks and enjoy it as well.
If I was scoring it solely as a mixer; it would be an 8 or 9, very tasty.
There are definitely better 12 year olds out there for drinking straight (Flor de Cana, El Dorado).
If your a brown sugar fan; you'll love this stuff

Smager som sådan ok, men der mangler noget eftersmag.

Completely versatile, a great sipper or mixer. Dry on the palate as opposed to a sweet nose. Hints of banana and vanilla.

Not sure if I was expecting more Capt Morgan than a nice dark ages rum but I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely something I'll go back to. Smooth but a nice bite to start.

Not fad, but it doesn't gave the richness and depth of flavors that I consider to be indicitive of quality rum.

Really great rum. Appleton family is my personal favor and 12 y is best. I have´t taste older ones... yet.

This is one of my favorites rhum from all over the world.
Is a gorgeous one, i really like

Non-sweet, whisky-like rum with character and complexity ... tho a bit harsh, and a bit dry in the after-taste, with an imperfect nose from my bottle. Yet clearly a pedigreed item. Maybe I have not outgrown my sweet tooth enough yet for this one.

Being new to premium rums I realize my taste profile isn't as well defined as other that have tasted more spirits.

I find the nose buttery and creamy. The taste is pleasing, but I'm still finding it hard to put my finger on the flavours other than oat.

Strongly recommend.

A classic jamaican pot-still. A little sweet for a jamaican rum, but not flavourfull enough to compensate the taste of alcohol.
Not my kind of rum yet. Would like to try the others from Appleton though.

its a perfect rum for daily use not expensive just right

I like this rum, it's smooth to drone at and mixes nicely with ginger and lime. I don't like the bottle, though. Too feminine.


It's my first Appleton Rum and it's an interesting one. Strong vanilla flavor, oak, coffe or cocoa. Brown sugar or caramel aftertaste. Good suprise and discovery. I hope to taste the 21y and 30y.

On the nose lots of oak with a strong smell of bourbon glue, but still good and complex. Strong and bold mouthfeel. Brown sugars with a bittersweet aftertaste.

This is a Excellent Rum on the rock . I enjoy all of Appleton' s Rums

To me AE/12 comes to the party and makes it self known. It joins in the conversation not overwhelming it. Your friends know that you've just gone the extra mile to make the evening special.

It has a strong startup with a long ending.
This is a nice rum, but I prefer the 21 years.
My friends were all very into this rum, but I expected more. A little bit disappointed...

While not hitting the same high notes as the 21 or the estate exclusive, it is still a decent sipping rum. And as the price is much more reasonable, it is a good introduction to the Appleton destillery.

Vacker bärnstensfärg.
Fruktig koladoft.
Väldigt besk i smaken, nästan åt whiskey hållet.
Bättre med 4 droppar vatten.

très fruité, boise, arome boise et de fruit sec ! Je recommande !

Woody with lots of bite and great aroma. You can sip this one, but it needs ice to cut the sharpness a little. Excellent as a mixer as the flavor of the rum adds to whatever you mix it with. It's right up there with Pusser's Navy rum for multiple use.

Has enough character to not get lost with the addition of water a/o ice a/o pineapple juice

well, first rum i was able to figure out the orange and vanilla in flavour. The taste just got me. I know i drunk alcohol/rum with such a strange sweet after taste - it got me. Had 3 bottles so far and definitelly recommedn this one. Shame it is so hard to buy in Czech republic for reasonable price.

Strong with lots of nuances. Molasses, Citrus and Nutmeg.

Beautiful looking color with dark tones of caramel, with hints of oak.

Complexe, boisé, épicé. Assez sec finalement.
Je le comparerais plutôt à un cognac.
Longueur finale un peu juste à mon goût.
Peut-être est-ce que j'en attendais un peu trop...

My sister brought it for me straight from Jamaica, then I got hooked up and I bought it from time to time because it is expensive compared to other drinking options. If you want the one of the very best rum in the world this is it.
I am a rum drinker, i prefer a good rum rather than a bad wiskey, I am from Dominican Republic so I grew up drinking rum, and I have tasted a lot of rums, I worked as a bartender for a few years.

Has more burn than would expect for age, but reasonably complex. Would buy again when on sale.

In first it's a little bit strong but in your mouth i gets a great taste. Very nice rum for this price

Don't get me wrong, its a very good rum, I was just a little disappointed because my friends talked it up so much. I am glad I tried it but there are others I like better.

Naozaj dobrá zmeska. Teším sa na ďalšie stretnutie snim. Chuť výrazne konakova, výraznejšie alkoholova.

One of the rums I can enjoy on the rocks. Nice subtle after taste.

It's been several years since I emptied one, it was strong and some harshness, true rum. I don't remember it been very complex or smooth.
Funny thing I have another bottle but I don't seem to have opportunity to open it, since I always prefer to taste rums that are new to me.
(You can count on Jamaican except Myers, I got headache from one shot)

Intenso, elegante, fine e abbastanza complesso.
Non lascia di stucco ma è sempre un bel bere!
Finale abbastanza lungo di legno e fumo, molto piacevole.

I picked this up to try an example of Jamaican style rum and found that while I liked the favors, it just seemed a bit strong at the start. Wondering if I should try others to find one that's smoother.

The first release of the Extra was aged 13 years. This release lose 1 year, but Extra is always good ! Just one things... Appleton please use cork stopper!

Een prachtige, rijke rum met een full body die gedistilleerd is uit gegist melasse. Zoals de naam al zegt heeft deze Appleton minimaal 12 jaar gerijpt, het rijpproces wordt voltrokken in gebruikte Jack Daniels Whisky vaten om zo tot een unieke blend te komen.

Eén van de unieke karakteristieken is het complexe, maar tegelijkertijd ook delicate, karakter van karamel, walnoot en eikenhars omringd door een vrij sterk aroma van gedroogd fruit, abrikozen en vanille. De kleur is aangenaam donker, een rijke bruine kleur met rode tinten die nieuwsgierig maakt en geproefd wil worden. Deze rum is lekker zacht en drinkt fijn weg met een lange en milde afdronk.

un rhum bien fini. Très équilibré , noble . Super en fin de soirée .

Rhum ''demi sec'' aux notes boisées très prononcées. Vaut le détour sans aucun doute.

Herkomst: Jamaica
Abv: 43%
Aroma: Eerste indruk is alcohol, erg sterk. Na wat gewacht te hebben komen er tonen van karamel, vanille en citrus in het glas en later nog tabak en hout.
Smaak: karamel, vanille, citrusfruit, alcohol en eikenhout.
Nasmaak: lang, zoetig, bruine suiker en geroosterd brood.

Prima rum voor deze prijs.


I bought some of this in Jamaica. It is a nice tasting rum, either on the rocks or straight up out of the freezer. No harshness, just a nice sweet rum flavour with the nuance of the oak.

Rhum assez sec
Goût de clou de girofle, cannelle, bois d'inde

Chose to try the 12yrs old before the 18yrs and the 21yrs. The ratings are spot on.
It looks great in the bottle, nice aroma and oak taste. Not too sweet, very easy on the palate. Very good after taste.
Very GOOD for the PRICE.....Strongly recommend.

I could take 15 minutes to tell you the story on how it was a pain to get one bottle of Appleton 12 yr through the Pennsylvania Liqour Control Store.
EDIT: revisited this rum again and dropped my rating from 6 to 5. Just a harsh rum that for $4 more I can get outstanding Plantation 20th Anniversary.

Left it sit for a while before sipping and thought it was a little strong and harsh. Dropped half an ice cube in and what a difference. Very nice sipper.


So Appleton 12 is what a rum should be at this age. It tastes almost corporate. There is no surprise but also no let down. It's not impressive but it's not average. It's exactly what you think it should be and not a drop more. Perfect 12 year notes of all your common rum flavors, oak, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, floral, smoke, cherry, orange, burnt sugar etc. It seems like the flavors are all equal which is both impressive and unimpressive in the same moment.

I'd give this an 8.5, it is not a sweet rum but it is complex. Let it breathe and you will notice it is complex drink. This is a dry rum and best appreciated
Sipped slowly doing this you will notice the other flavours, give it time and it will soon become a favourite of yours.

The bottle screw top could be changed to a cork for that cork pop.

Very good condition and must be almost all of the new equipment we have got some of that is stuck in the total Design and build a better time to get a good one he doesn't sit still for sale in the office for a meeting at 8 meters of 4 core ground floor store under offices change to smoke Back office ground floor call point moving

Strong and complex rum.

I like the flavor of this rum. I have received three bottles as gifts from friends.

I am a little surprised that I like this one quite so much as I generally am not a great fan of Jamaican rums due to the iodine notes. However, the oak, fruit (including the iodine) and marry up to really appeal. It grows and grows on me, and has now become one of the rums that is ever present in my cupboard.

Alcohol: 43%
Origin: Jamaica
Aroma: spicy warm scent, with lots of cinnamon, leather. When I read that matures in used barrels of Jack Daniel's and suddenly feel him there too. No, no kidding, there really is a gentle touch. And it's really nice aroma. (87 b)
Taste: Dry taste, oak, dark chocolate, clove. Without a trace of sweetness. (77 b)
Points: 82/100
Summary: I had a sample from a friend. Smell is therefore excellent, but the taste is, according to age, wrong.

As there are some nice tastes in it, I really don't like the harshness as found in Rhum Agricoles, so for me this was kind of a mispurchase.
I'm sure when wiskey-loving friends come over I'll be sure to present this one to them.

Got tired of the sweetness (added sugar) of the El Dorado 12YO rum and switched for this one. It has character, rich and complex, nice aftertaste. Puts lower-end Appleton's (VX, 8YO) to shame.

L'un des tous premiers rhums que j'ai gouté. Très bon rhum pas trop cher. Goût assez riche ! Très bonne odeur !

I drank this bottle straight up over several days. Quite smooth, not a huge amount going on though. I was expecting a little more but a commendable bottle.

This is a good rum to start someone on if they are not sure if they want to start a rum collection and have a limited budget.

This rum has a strong rating reputation but I didn't enjoy it as much as other reviewers. I think that I will give the maker another chance and try a more pricy aged longer version before I give my final judgment.

Be cool,

“Mon amie laissez le bon temps rouler!”

Ce rhum Jamaïcain est fidèle à la tradition des rhums de "tradition anglaise", finement boisé, avec des notes de vanille, de fruits secs, de tabac et d'écorce d'orange, le nez est extrêmement agréable et en bouche c'est très gourmand avec la sucrosité d'un El dorado mais dans une moindre mesure. Parfaitement équilibré, on y revient jusqu'à plus soif !

Strong kick. Really long and good aftertaste.

Smells sweeter tan it tastes. Quite bitter neat.

Delicious and subtle neat, but good for mixing though a waste to spoil it that way

Appleton 12 years was too bitter for me. Ill retry soon.

Edit: second try: Awesome. I'm sold. The complexity of app's nose and taste is overwhelming: oak, plum, burned sugar, vanilla, a hint of leather - the bitterness appears if you don 't let it rest in its glass for 10 mins before the First sip. ..


It fills your nose with a full bodied, slightly oaky but smooth sensation. The first sip is quite powerfull and spicy, with a dominans of oak flavour. After futher sipping the rums complexity is unraveled. Your also treated with a subtle sweet vanilla, a hint of orange and a charred smokeyness. Not bad and quite interesting if your in the mood for something a bit more manly than your average rum.

One of my favorite aged rums for mixing tiki drinks. Very smooth, not too sweet, good amount of that trademark Jamaican pot still funk. Highly recommended.

A fine Jamaican rum with great legs and cocoa notes that are great for sipping.

The flavor is complex and tasty. It might taste richer if the spirits weren't so strong. As a sipper, it's no good. But in mixed drinks, the flavor shine through more.

Not my cup of coffe, but I can drink that ;-)

Una gran sensación que te remonta a ese hermoso pais

A good rum for the price, fairly smooth and very mixable.

Colore scuro, poco trasparente, molto intenso, profumo di cherry, aroma quoio. Pungente al tatto con gusto dolce leggermente salato.

One of the quintessential rums for tiki drinks and it´s one of the rums in the classic Mai Tai combo, Appleton Extra and St James Hors d`age or other aged rhum agricole. It`s a very good mixing rum, good for most cocktails and also neat. No added sugar in this one which makes a more "real" rum to me.

Nose: Alcoholic ,sugar, light fruits ,caramel
Taste: less taste , sharp , alcoholic , light fruits ,caramel ,wood

Nothing for me.

God duft, men smag følger ikke med

I expected more from a 12 year rum. Best with an ice cube if sipped. Smooth enough to sip but I thought it was a little on the bitter side and would probably be better in a mixed drink.

For a high-ester rum, this is delicious. I'm sure the 12 years helped tone them down a bit, but still a true Jamaican rum which is nice and approachable, smooth and lingering with that Jamaican character.

Good strong jamaican rum, I prefer it in mixed drinks rather than on the rocks

Rich, sweet flavor. Froths nicely with cola. Smooth on the rocks. This is not Bacardi!

Good opportunity to think about Jamaica,Thanx!

If I stocked it I would use it for mixing. Too harsh for a sipper and difficult to distinguished specific flavors. Rather much of a burn which I don t care for. It's come to be what I expect when buying Appleton or Bacardi . Both these giants need to catch up to their great completion in quality sipping rum for the limited budget.

The Appleton Estate Rum is (in my opinion) neither fish nor fowl- It self advertises as "the best Jamaica offers" yet doesn't present itself as a Notable "on the rocks" or "Straight up" drink. Perhaps the older variations have a more impressive taste to them. For me, it's too raw-

If you haven't tried this rum yet I suggest you do it is an excellent rum full of flavour.

Decent flavor with barrel flavor but very little body.

This was my introduction to the Jamaican style of rums - strong, very aromatic and unapologetic. I remember on my first sips I was shocked and disappointed. This was nothing like the sweet and balanced rums I had tried so far. Later, now that the bottle is almost empty, I have grown to love this Jamaican spirit. It's harsh and raw, very spicy, hits your palate with a sting, quite dry. A fantastic, truly different rum.

Une des références à goûter.

very nice tasting a little strong after taste I order this if they have it a the bars over Bacardi silver

Aged does make a difference with Rums aged in used whiskey barrels. Younger rum aged in used barrels have to much whiskey flavor carrying over for my taste.

This one is difficult for me to post about because it's so loved by others, but I just don't like this one neat. There is something harsh in the finish that makes me cringe. I can't be bothered to drink stuff like that. However, having said that, this is one heck of a great mixer! I'd give it a 4 or 5 if it was just neat, but my rating of 7 is because of the wonderful flavor it adds to mixed drinks.

This is quite complex, well aged, nutty, powerful and not too sweet rum. Aftertaste are quite harsh in the first place, but give it time, swirl the glass and then it becomes smoother a little bit. Cheapest 12 years old spirit I have ever seen and definitely not the worst!

Not a bad one, obviously the older ones are a bit tastier.

I like its dark colour however I can't say the same about its aroma. I just don't smell anything in it. Well the taste is significantly better than the aroma - caramel and some nuts. The taste is full with and has a decent finish. For me it is an average rum (well I expected a more complex taste and aroma from a 12yo - without knowing it I'd guess this rum is 7-9yo). It could be good sipping if you don't have much experience with rums and also a good introduction to 12yo rums but nothing more.

Though I find Appleton runs dry, I enjoy them. I agree with an earlier review that a 12 year old rum should have more character but that withstanding this is still a very drinkable rum. Its fairly smooth and displays mild oakiness and vanilla hints. Has a decent finish. Good Value.

Relatively smooth, rich, a good drink.

Appleton Rum is OK at the best of times. The 12 year old does hold a smoother taste than the regular bottles. Colour is attractive and can be enjoyed on the rocks but there are much better options such as El Dorado 12.

You talk to lot's of people about Rum and they bring up Appleton...why?
Won't turn it down if it was given to me...but not my first choice.

j'aime ce rhum, une tres bonne note boisé, a conseiller

Nice smooth rum

Très bon, un peu plus robuste que les autres 12 ans que j'ai goûté.
Very good, a bit more robust that the other 12yo I've tasted.

Love Appleton Estate products. Excellent price for such an easy drinking rum. Every personal bar should stock this one.
Great crowd pleasing rum.

Slight woodsy nose, but few distinct notes carry through. initial taste is not sweet or dry, just right in the middle. Long, spicy finish - but a nice spicy that isn't overwhelming or too harsh.

In general, I wanted a little more character for a 10+ aged rum. The woodsy oak with a hint of molasses is balanced, but needs something extra to make a very good rum.

I try to keep this on my shelf at all times. It is less smooth than other 12 yrs but is so deeply flavoured, I'll take the trade off. I sip this, sometimes with a splash of coconut water. Only thing I don't like about it is its price. Wouldn't pay the $35 and up they charge in the US, but in the Caribbean it is a bargain, particularly at duty free where it can be as low as $19.

Good taste

Very good rum for a very good price. I prefer it straight up, but it 'll be good in mixed drinks as well.

I haven't found a bottle of this yet for my collection, but tasted this for the first time at a friend's house. It is a very nice sipping rum. A nice step up from the V/X and Reserve.

A good addition to the cabinet. nice flavor, not too sharp and it's pretty versatile.

Decent value, every cabinet should have a bottle.

Dryer than the Reserve and V/X, this Estate rum begins the journey towards the sublime sippability of the 21 yr. Still mixable, though... this rum in a Mai-Tai is ridiculously good.

Although this rum is often overlooked it is a stand alone flavour deliverer. It has something that other rums do not I can't tell you what but it has it. I am a fan of Jamaican rums and this is a very good reason why. Great price, not greedy at all. I agree with JaygoZ that it would be a great entry level rum but is also a rum for the more experienced drunks that like to have a comprehensive collection.


"Also known as Appleton Estate 12 Year Old..."

Appleton Estate 12-year rum review by Rumdood Matt Robold

"Orange peel, vanilla, and an overall bittersweet character..."

Appleton Estate 12-year rum review by Benito

"Appleton Estate rums are crafted using the traditional column still..."

Appleton Estate 12-year rum review by Tatu Kaarlas of Refined Vices

The inviting color glistens in the light as you turn the glass to inspect the legs...

Appleton Estate 12-Year rum review by Mike at Ultimate Rum Guide


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