Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Rum

After finding and enjoying the Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum, I ran across a bottle of Rare Blend 12 Year Old Rum. Unlike some (many) other rums, Appleton lists the actual age of the rum for their products with an age statement. So this is truly a 12 year old rum.

The reviews indicated that this was a fantastic bottle of rum, and while you can use anything for a cocktail, this was described as a rum to drink neat or on ice.

When I first saw it, it was listed as $32. That is a non-trivial price for something I’m not sure of in a spirit. So, reviews, and YouTube videos, and checking my sofa for change. And lo and behold, the ABC store runs it for sale at $28. Well, I had to take a chance on it at less than thirty dollars, right? Not so fast! So I did what most people do. I found a way to justify it. It was a couple of months until my birthday. I’d buy it now as a birthday present for myself! And I did.

The decorative packaging

I actually put it in the cabinet until my birthday. When withdrawn from the cabinet, and the top removed, I was greeted with a bit of oak, a bitter orange, maybe brown sugar, or something similar, and I’d almost swear, pineapple.

The taste sticks around for awhile. The sweetness is there, and the alcohol burn is held in check. There is some spicyness that may come from the barrel. The Appleton Signature Blend has a harshness that isn’t present in the Rare Blend. In descriptions of many rums, there term ‘funk’ is used. I don’t know if I can define it, but I know it when I taste it. There is definitely fun in Appleton rums. And that is a good thing!

Proof: 80 (40% ABV)

Paid: $28 (on sale) for 750ml (normally $32)

Buy again: Yes (but only on sale, or for my birthday)

Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum

I’ve been quite the bargain hunter during my brief time as a consumer of cocktails. Not knowing if you will like something keeps you off of the top shelf, and looking for sale items to try. This is part of my quest just after the first of the month, when I journey into the local ABC store.

I snapped my pictures of the sale items and headed home. Amongst the rums, on the top shelf of all places, was a sale on Appleton Estate Signature Blend. This used to be called VX, but someone in marketing thought a change was in order. Regardless of the name, it got good marks for an entry level rum, and if memory recalls, had a sale price of about $20. That may not seem like much, but prior to this, the most expensive bottle was a bottle of Gosling’s Black Seal on sale for $16.

Driven by curiosity and with $20 that could be parted with, the deal was done. In the Lair, the cap was removed. Wow, I did not expect that. Compared to the white and spiced rums, there is complexity here. A smokiness from being in a charred barrel. Sweetness and something fruity.

If it isn’t considered a horrible thing to do to a good rum, I’ll tell you about mixing it with Coke. It was great! Not the kind of sugary spiced rum in coke, but it felt like a real, grown up cocktail with a real, grown up rum in it. Since I’m not a sipper of spirits, I don’t know how it would compare to other grown up rums. But for me, this changed my perception of rum from the candy sweet spiced variety to a serious drink. I can like both, you know, but now I can see new horizons.

Update: I’m sipping the Signature Blend and it is has a little burn, but the taste is very nice. I’m still trying to separate out the flavors, but maybe that will come in time.

Proof: 80 (40% ABV)

Paid: $20 (on sale)

Buy again: Yes