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Appleton Estate Extra

Category: Dark
Country: Jamaica
Aged: 12 years
Alcohol: 42% (86 proof)
Availability: Everywhere
Price: $30 (750 mL)
Rating: Three Stars

The Review:
The Appleton estate has been crafting rum for over 260 years, so it goes without saying that they have had time to figure out what they are doing.

The estate is located deep in the interior of Jamaica, in a region known as the Nassau Valley - a region perfect for growing the sugar cane that they use to craft several types of rum.

In the end, however, Appleton Estate Extra is a blended rum and despite their reputation and experience the blending shows through in their final product. 

One of the first things you'll notice about Appleton is it's beautiful color.  It is a perfect dark rum, with dark, deep, copper penny hue with subtle flashes of golden honey that belie the work that has one into purifying it throughout their copper pot and barrel process. 

When you open the bottle, you are met with a whiff of sugar cane, caramelized molasses, oak and char from the barrel it has been living in for the last 12 years.  If you allow it a swirl, long legs quickly develop.

The flavor is a surprisingly complex and smoky first impression - likely due to the blending process.  Alone this is not a tremendous sipping rum.  Behind every delicious sip a noticeable burn follows closely behind.  However, if you are building a drink that calls for dark rum but you do not want to lose the smooth dark rum taste in the mix, this is a perfect top shelf choice.  It holds it own very well, without stepping on over ingredients.

Overall, this is a really good dark rum, especially considering the highly competitive price.  However, know up front that you are buying a blended rum and that it will have different characteristics than a single batch rum.  At the price, though, this is one of the best rums you can pour without wincing at the price.

My recommendation is to enjoy this rum with friends and a good cigar, a Hemingway Series in a Maduro wrapper would be a great choice.

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