Review of Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum: a great everyday spirit
With summer nearly upon us, easy tropical drinks out on the patio feel just right. Having friends and neighbors over, getting that blender whirring with fruits, rum and ice, requires a different kind of liquor that you carefully pour into a snifter by the fire. You'll want to open your home, to be the fun, generous host you know you are! That's where Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum fits in perfectly. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!
Appleton Estate is located in the Nassau Valley area in the interior of Jamaica. It is the only rum in the world from this area, giving it -- in the term of the professional spirits world -- a special terroir. The sugar grown on site develops its flavors from the particular micro-climate and unique soil composition. Jamaica's oldest sugar plantation and distillery in continuous use, they're 265 years old. That's a lot of history in your cocktail!
Their Signature Blend (a blended formulation) is crafted to achieve consistent flavors: it doesn't change from year to year, like a beverage from a particular vintage. So, it doesn't have a years aged statement on its label. Instead, Signature Blend features 15 selected rums, aged an average of 4 years.
Their 750 ml bottle costs in the low $20's at liquor stores (pre-tax), though prices around the United States may vary.
Color: I observed a medium honey color in the rum, like a classic orange blossom.
Nose: I detected freshly sifted light brown sugar, fresh hay and apple juice.
Taste: The first flavor was a hit of spirit, progressing into bitter almond, then deep woody notes. It's not sweet or cloying, with a light to medium mouth weight.
For comparison, I tasted their Reserve style, a sweeter, more complex rum. With Signature Blend, it has the cleaner flavors that won't interfere with sweeter cocktail or mixed drink ingredients, including cream of coconut, Coca Cola, pineapple juice, orange juice or simple syrups.
Appleton Estate describes it like this: "Perfectly balanced complex citrus, fruity and sweet notes, with subtle orange peel, dried apricot, fresh peach, and a hint of molasses and woody notes."
Keep a bottle on hand, along with some cans of cola in the 'fridge and perhaps -- for extra ease -- some bags of frozen tropical fruit in the freezer. With a spoon or blender, you'll be set for all the impromptu gatherings that happen with warmer weather.