Price Range: $16-$22 as of 10/2016
Located on an 11,000-acre estate in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica, Appleton began producing rum in 1749. The estate sits atop a limestone formation known as a Cockpit Karst that provides great soils and water for the sugar cane. Appleton, Like other Jamaican rums, makes theirs from a fermented molasses mash.
Appleton Estate Signature Blend is a blend of 15 different rums, aged between 5 and 10 years in used oak casks. And according to Matt Robold, Appleton gets their once used barrels from Jack Daniel's. Once the blend is created the rum is put into new barrels and allowed to marry for a few months before bottling. Campari recently redesigned the labels for the Appleton Estate lineup while keeping the blends for each bottles the same. The Appleton Estate Signature Blend was once bottled as Appleton Estate V/X.
Nose: The nose has bright fruity notes of guava, pineapple and passion fruit balanced against deeper aromas of sweet brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and caramel.
Palate: The palate is sweet and slightly saline like salted caramel with notes of oak and light dry tannins. The mouthfeel has a smooth velvety texture and a little bit of heat.
Finish: The finish is dry though notes of salted caramel, molasses and oak continues to linger on the finish. The sweet and saltiness holds on like a foggy day at the ocean.
Conclusion: Appleton Estate Signature Blend is a great example of a pot distilled Jamaican rum that is smooth and has a bold flavor profile. The fruity esters indicative of a warmer fermentation are well balanced against the barrel notes of vanilla, caramel and oak. While it has a little heat at 40% this actually works well when used for mixing. It's great in a simple rum and coke, cutting through intense sweetness of the soda. One of my favorite uses of the Signature Blend is in my annual Christmas egg nog. The bigger ester profile pairs fantastically with eggs, cream, and nutmeg. Any way you cut it, Appleton Signature Blend is a great rum made even more appealing at its $20 price point. If you are like me and enjoy rums with more flavor than say Bacardi and that isn't over oaked then you need to check this out.