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 When withdrawn from the cabinet, and the top removed, I was greeted with a bit of oak, a bitter orange, maybe brown sugar, or something similar, and I’d almost swear,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)
I’m a big fan of rum. And so far, I’m a big fan of Plantation rums. This was no exception and in fact it a fantastic rum. The Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple is one of Plantation’s dark rums, with a pineapple infusion. Don’t think syrupy sweet pineapple. This has a mild sweetness and the essence of pineapple. You instantly get the flavor, but it doesn’t overwhelm.
I can certainly drink this neat. I’m sure it would go well in any number of cocktails. I’ll have to try some and report back.
Proof: 80% (40% ABV)
Price: (It was a very generous gift from my son!) On the shelf it is $30 for 750ml
Buy Again: Yes, but I’ll have to save my pennies and save it for special occasions!
Back to a rum cocktail with lots of tropical flavors.
1.5 oz Light Rum
1.0 oz Banana Liqueur
0.5 oz Dark Rum
1.0 oz Coconut Cream
2.0 oz Pineapple Juice
Get a shaker. Separate the halves. Add ice. Add ingredients. Join the shaker halves. Shake. Separate the shaker halves. Strain into a glass and enjoy!
I ran across Don Pompero Aniversario at an ABC store across the county. I had read great things about it and had never seen it anywhere in my area. It comes in a leather pouch, has a real cork, and it is rum, so there.
This not a bottom shelf rum, and has the price to prove it. The aroma is molasses, a hint of cinnamon, with very little alcohol. Tasting it, I get a subtle sweetness, molasses, cinnamon, caramel, oak. I also get subtle banana after a couple of minutes. After comparing it at a later time, the sweetness is more intense than the Mount Gay XO.
We are a long way here from a Bacardi light rum! This is no Captain Morgan sugar bomb. It is far more more sophisticated than I’m used to, so it might be an acquired taste.
Age: Thought to be a blend of rum 4-6 years old.
Proof: 80% (40% ABV)
Buy Again: Not sure, given it’s price.
So, as I’ve had some time to try more rums, mostly in cocktails, and occasionally on the rocks, a few favorites have risen to the top.
Plantation Original Double Aged Dark. To me, this is one really good, funky rum. It is sweet, so that might work for some people.
Gold or Aged Rum
Both Appleton Estate Signature Blend and Plantation Grande Reserve 5Y are really good in cocktails. I’m going to give them another go over ice. Update: I’m actually able to drink (sip) the Plantation 5Y and it is rather pleasant!
As always, it depends on what you’re looking for. For me, Bacardi Oakheart is my favorite spiced rum. Captain Morgan Private Stock is very good, but is much sweeter and that, in some cocktails will lead to an overly sweet drink.
Let’s face it, light rums are almost always going to be mixed. I’ve tried Bacardi Superior, Cruzan Light, and The Naked Turtle. So far, I like them starting with the Turtle, then Cruzan, then Bacardi.
Drink what you like, like what you drink…
I went back down the list for a cocktail that I had previously made and had enjoyed enough to tag it as “make again”. The Fitzwell came up on the list. A sweet rum-based cocktail, that isn’t terribly strong.
0.5 oz Coconut Rum
0.5 oz Spiced Rum
0.5 oz Creme de Banana
2.0 oz Pineapple Juice
2.0 oz Orange Juice
Place all ingredients into a shaker, and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.
The Bamboo Screwdriver is a rum variant on the classic vodka cocktail. The addition of bitters tones it down from being too sweet or tart.
1.0 oz Dark Rum
1.0 oz Orange Juice
1.0 oz Orange Liqueur
0.25 oz Lime Juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a glass over ice.
This is another great passion fruit cocktail. It is tart and sweet. Surprisingly, given the amount of passion fruit syrup, not too sweet.
1.5 oz Light Rum
1.5 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
0.75 oz Lime Juice
0.75 oz Lemon Juice (one variation calls for 1.5 oz to offset the sweetness of the passion fruit syrup)
Add crushed ice and all ingredients to a shaker and shake. Pour unstrained into a cocktail glass. Alternatively, place 1/2 cup of ice in a blender with the ingredients and blend for 5 seconds.
The Rum Howler Blog also has quite a collection of rum reviews
The Rum Howler Blog: Rum Reviews
The Fat Rum Pirate has a great site, with lots of rum reviews
The Fat Rum Pirate: Rum Reviews