Single Blended Rum: A blend of pot still and traditional column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 45% ABV @ 20°
After an extended break for personal/family reasons, this is my first rum writing/reviewing since December 2018.
It’s been a while, but although I have not been actively writing, I have been buying and tasting rums and so I have loads to write about. And before I go further, I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to my rum friends who have been enquiring about my whereabouts – you know who you are!
Let’s hope I can pick-up where I left off.
Anyone who knows me is aware that Appleton Estate always holds a special place in my heart and so whenever any edition is available, I am one of the first in line to buy a bottle (or two…..or ten). Their blends of traditional batch-produced pot still and Coffey column still rums are always delightful.
This is the second edition of a rum aged for a *minimum* of 30 years released by Appleton, the first was in 2008/9 and limited to 1,440 bottles. This edition, produced in 2018 and released (in the UK) in 2019, contains a blend of rums including some that are more than 50 years old – speaking as someone who is 48 years old at the time of writing, it is amazing to think that something I am drinking was distilled before I was even born. The blend is from 13 different casks that were ‘married’ together for a further year after blending and this edition is limited to 4,000 bottles and presented at 45%.
Appleton 30yo is a Single Blended Rum:
A blend of pot still and traditional column still.
Appleton have presented this in a beautiful box that opens out like a gatefold sleeve. The inside of the box has some history about Appleton Estate and also national symbols of Jamaica – The Doctor Bird, Ackee, Lignum Vitae and Flag. On the front of the box, we have confirmation of the limited nature of the bottling (4,000 bottles worldwide) and on the rear, more about Appleton Estate’s rich history and notes about this particular bottling.
The bottle itself will look familiar to Appleton Estate drinkers – the instantly recognisable hourglass-style bottle, emblazoned with a minimum age statement and 45% ABV. The bottle neck has a special label adhered, confirming the specialness of this rum and the natural cork enclosure has a premium feel to it, and is embossed with a golden ’30 Very Rare Limited Edition’ on top.
It does have a super-premium feel about it and looks superb. My only criticism is that the way the bottle sits inside the box makes it very hard to remove it when you want to have a taste. It is as if it has been designed solely to look at – that will never be the case with my rum!
In the glass Appleton Estate 30 year old is a medium-deep amber to mahogany colour with some green hues on the surface. It has medium legs with slow big tears down the sides of my glass as I swirl it around.
There is a delicate nose. Initially there is Appleton Estate’s signature dried orange peel notes, but this is far more complex than other Appleton rums. There is a touch of citrus, nutmeg and a surprisingly soft hint of oak – I would have expected more oak on the nose after 30+ years of ageing. Further aromas are of honeyed vanilla and tropical fruits.
This is one of those rare rums that you can nose forever and not get fed up with it.
Taste, Initial-middle 36/40
A soft and light, understated entry – like a regal dignitary, silently entering a room unnoticed, this rum has waited patiently for over 30 years in a barrel so it is not going to punch your taste buds. It is creamy with honeyed, candied fruits, some light vanilla and green banana. The rum dips in and out of having a touch of sweetness to being very dry. In fact the more you taste it, the drier it becomes, as oak tannins coat the inside of your mouth.
Taste, Middle/Throat 40/40
The sweetness continues to appear – marmalade, banana, tropical fruits and honey. It is beautifully balanced by mild spices of nutmeg and cinnamon along with bitter oak chips and finally a hint of dried orange peel. At no point is it too sweet or too dry – a delightful balancing act is achieved. It is perfect!
The finish continues forever – you can count several minutes before the flavours completely disappear after you swallow this beautifully crafted rum. There is a lingering touch of caramel sweetness alongside some spicy peppery, ginger notes.
This is one of those “best ever” rums that achieves a somewhat legendary status amongst aficionados. But, this comes at a price – £400, which is quite a hefty whack for one bottle. I could buy four or five Appleton 21 year olds for that price or six or seven of the latest Foursquare Exceptional Cask bottles. But I think that is one of the things that sets this rum aside from the 21 year old and other top quality rums. At £400 / bottle, you are going to sip and savour every drop even more so than with a £60-£100 one, and that means you will get more enjoyment too, as the longer you leave this rum inside your mouth, the more the nuances develop in order to delight your taste buds – it gets better and better with every super smooth sip. On the subject of price, if you age something for 30 long years with all of the challenges that presents, not least of which with a tropical evaporation rate of 6-7%, I expect it is going to cost this kind of money and actually, on that basis, it is excellent value.
Truly, one of the best rums I have ever tasted – a really exceptional spirit, the likes of which, very few producers can turn out. Appleton, having large stocks of old rums along with the craft and wisdom of legendary Master Blender, Joy Spence, consistently produce one-of-a-kind rums.
If your budget permits, make sure you add this to your collection – you will not be disappointed.
Review No. 134
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7