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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.
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.
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 ;-)
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Appleton Estate 12-year rum review by Rumdood Matt Robold
Appleton Estate 12-year rum review by Benito
Appleton Estate 12-year rum review by Tatu Kaarlas of Refined Vices
Appleton Estate 12-Year rum review by Mike at Ultimate Rum Guide