Review: Appleton 21

At the end of 2018 (when I wrote this review) I wanted to open my Appleton 21 and test my palate. I have to say I do love Appleton, the 12 being one of my favorite rums.

Appleton Estate (1749) is “the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica in continuous production” (quote from their website).

Appleton 21 is made from molasses and distilled in pot and column stills. After that it’s matured in ex-Bourbon casks for 21 years (at least – some rums in the blend are older), then blended by the Master Blender Joy Spence (the first woman Master Blender in the world) and left to rest for a further 2 years in oak barrels to marry. The rum is then bottled at 43% ABV with no sweetners added. While this is not a vintage release, it does have a limited number of bottles produced every year. Ok, I am going to open it now, I am so damn excited!!!

On the nose I get that signature tobacco aroma and citrus along with dry fruits: raisins and dry plums. There’s brownies, bananas covered in chocolate and brown sugar. Creamy and woody; with corn (??) and oak spices of course. Some floral notes underneath everything, a bit of pine and some black pepper.

On the palate… oh my, this is different. Canned strawberries and raspberries in light syrup, cherries, walnuts, chocolate covered raisins. There’s a bit of the funk at the very beginning with ripe bananas and pear, but it’s quickly overtaken by the oak. Some leathery notes in the background and citrus upfront. It’s like chewing toasted oak and eating a fruit salad at the same time. Fruity and spicy, it’s gorgeous and way more complex than I could describe! On the finish the sweet strawberries are there along with the woodiness and a peppery smoke. It’s sweet at the beginning but then it fades in dryness and I don’t hate it at all.

Overall this is simply beautiful. I am glad I bought a second bottle, going to serve me well! I do recommend it, it is a must have at least once!

Appleton 21 score:
Flavour/taste: 58/70
Value for money: 12/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 85/100


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