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Old 02-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
Arctic Wolf
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Default Reviews: The Appleton Family of Rums

In 1749, in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica, the Appleton Estate Sugar factory was founded. The Nassau Valley is a fertile, interior valley with a special mild microclimate which is ideally suited to the growth of Sugarcane. A water source which wells from a limestone rock formation provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Rums.

The Rum itself is crafted from pot stills in small batches. After blending and aging the rums are ready for bottling. Unlike most rums produced in the Caribbean, Jamaican law forbids the use of an age statement unless the entire contents of a bottle are aged at least as long as the stated age.

This is the first review in a series I am doing on Appleton Rums. I am starting with the Appleton Estate VX and I will work my way up the ladder of Appleton Rums to the Appleton 21 Year Old. This will include the Appleton Reserve, The Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year, The Master Blenders Legacy, and the Appleton Dark 151 Proof. An astute person will realize that I have already reviewed Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old and the Master Blenders Legacy. I will take this opportunity as I go up the Appleton Ladder to revisit these reviews and these rums.

Here is an excerpt from my Appleton Estate VX Review:

” The rum displays an amber colour with orange flashes. Surprisingly (to me) the rum when swirled left nice long skinny legs in my glass indicating a buttery oil present. The aroma is very spicy, and full of oak tannin. I smell a firm and distinct orange peel, and light brown sugar and molasses rising in the tangy oak spice….”

I have also included an original cocktail based upon the popular cocktail, The Cosmopolitan. As usual my cocktail recipe has been reviewed and approved by forrest.

You may read the entire review here:

Review: Appleton Estate VX Rum
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:07 AM   #2
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Hi Chip,

A point I thought was worth mentioning. The VX that we drink in Canada is not bottled in Jamaica but in Kittling Ridge premises in the Niagara valley. You can read on the bottle distilled and blended in Jamaica, bottled in Ontario. According to Ed, the rum is blended with a small amount of rum distilled in Canada to reduce the taxes. I would be curious to do a side-by-side tasting with a bottle from Jamaica.

I don't see that mention on other Appleton by the way.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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A good point Ben. I was aware of the small per centage of Canadian content in the V/X but I decided not to mention it in the review. The reason was that I have been assured by Appleton reps that there is no taste difference. I cannot say for sure whether that is true or untrue so I thought it best to leave the matter alone. I probably should add to my review though that the bottle was provided in Canada and is therefore the blend which is sold in Canada.


I was unaware that Kittling Ridge does the bottling, and I find that very surprising. How did you come across that piece of information?
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
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That is maybe a stretch, but according to the New Brunswick Liquor site (www.nbliquor.ca), the supplier for VX is Kittling Ridge. The supplier for other Appleton is J. Wray and Nephew Ltd.

I thought it made sense since KR is distilling different types of alcohol on top of wine. I stopped by once, nice people.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Default Review: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

This is the second review in the series I am completing of the Rums in the Appleton Estate family of Rums. The Appleton Reserve rum is constructed from a blend of 20 aged rums which have each been aged for approximately 8 years. The rum is intended to be perfect for those who wish to be introduced to a complex rum style meant for sipping neat and for using in sophisticated cocktails.


Here is an excerpt from my review:

This has a spicy zip on the tongue that is full of citrus peel, oak spice, candy apples, cloves, and cinnamon. There is, (in spite of the softness of the rum on my tongue), a sharpness and intensity in these spicy flavours. Underneath this spiciness are additional flavours of butterscotch, caramel and vanilla. At the bottom of the palate I find an earthiness which seems almost brooding to me.

You may read the full review here: Review: Appleton Estate Reserve

Of course I could not resist adding a few cocktail suggestions to the review. Enjoy!
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reviews Chip!

I'll be looking forward to the "Master Blenders" review if you get to it.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Hi Chip,

A point I thought was worth mentioning. The VX that we drink in Canada is not bottled in Jamaica but in Kittling Ridge premises in the Niagara valley. You can read on the bottle distilled and blended in Jamaica, bottled in Ontario. According to Ed, the rum is blended with a small amount of rum distilled in Canada to reduce the taxes. I would be curious to do a side-by-side tasting with a bottle from Jamaica.

I don't see that mention on other Appleton by the way.
Damn I wasn't aware of that fact. How would Canadian rum added to VX reduce taxes? Is it similar to broadcasting where certain medias have to have Canadian content?

IMO...I would think that the taste of the VX is altered, no matter how slight, with the addition of the Canadian rum.

Would VX sold in the US be the pure stuff?
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
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In order to avoid paying import taxes and such Canadian Law allows distillers to add a certain percentage of liquid content. I am going out on a limb here as I am not familiar with the exact proportions, but water is a liquid. My believe is that the rum is shipped to Canada in bulk, and bottled here where the majority of the addition is water to bring the spirit to 40 percent by volume. I think the percentage of actual rum distillate added is less than 2 per cent. (I may be wrong about water being added. When I am not sure of details like this I do not like to incorporate the information into the review but I do not mind discussing it here.)

Now according to the Appleton rep, the rum distillate added must conform to taste standards set by Appleton. My Knowledge of John Hall who owns Kittling Ridge, is that he is a demanding individual who does not cut corners. I personally believe the Canadian VX is no more different from the Jamaican VX as one batch will be from another. This is a small batch product and each batch will have small differences which are smoothed out by blending. But I agree it would be interesting to do some comparative testing.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:47 AM   #9
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Default Review: Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum

I am going off on a side rung today as I continue to review the ladder of Appleton Estate Rums. I call this a side rung because the Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum is not part of the progressive ladder I have been following from the Entry Level Appleton VX up to the rare old Appleton 21 Year Old Rum. As well this rum is no longer advertised on the Appleton Estate Website. I am unsure whether the rum is in production anymore, although a friend of mine who visited Jamaica told me it was still available and was a local favourite amongst Jamaicans.

I cannot verify the claim, but I am confident enough of its veracity that I am going ahead with my review.

Here is an excerpt:

“…Sweet burly molasses and spice is about all I can say at this point as the strength of the alcohol numbs the palate before much else can be deciphered. I let everything sit in my mouth for a little while and decide that the flavour is quite complicated, but as I mentioned, the heavy alcohol strength has numbed my ability to distinguish anything individual….”

For the complete review please click on the following Link:

Review: Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum

I did a little mixology research for this review and found two nice punch constructions which I used with the Appleton Dark Jamaican Rum to great effect.The Punch recipes are “forrest Approved”. I think you will enjoy them!

As this rum is not in the MOR data base the link takes you directly to my review.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:34 PM   #10
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Default Review Revistation: Appleton Master Blender's Legacy

Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy

My journey up the ladder of Appleton Estate Rums is almost complete. This week’s review is another re-visitation to an older review. I opened a new bottle of Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy, and started fresh as if I had never tasted the rum before.

The Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy was produced to recognize three generations of Appleton Estate Master Blenders, Joy Spence, the current Master Blender, Owen Tulloch, the previous Master Blender, and, David Morrison the current protйgй of Joy Spence. All three blenders have set their mark on this luxurious rum.

The rum itself is a blend of rums which range in age from 18 years to 30 years.

Here is a excerpt from my review:

“…The rum continues to surprise me in this second review. The texture is cleaner than I remember, almost like a good whisky. Tart spices of orange peel, lemon are laid behind a backdrop of clean pure oak. Sweeter flavours of baked fruit (apples and pears), brown sugar and honey lie under these spices….”

Of course the entire review may be read here:

Review: Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy

I have left the original review at the bottom of the page in case it interests you in seeing how my perceptions have changed!
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