Here in Russia where winter lasts from November to April at the best, words “Jamaican rum” usually mean sunny weather, sea breeze and siesta with decent ice-cold drink. And what do we think about when speaking about Jamaican rum? My very first thoughts are always about Appleton rums.
I’m not mad about rum. That’s not the spirit I prefer to use in my favourite drinks. But one day I saw a bottle of Appleton Estate V/X standing on the shelf in supermarket, and something drove me to buy it immediately. I think it was my hate towards cold weather because this winter was abnormally cold.
Sources in the Internet said that Appleton Estate V/X is the blend of fifteen rum aged between five and ten years. All spirits are distilled in copper still pots. Rums are aged in Jack Daniel’s Tennesee whisky casks made of American oak and then charred. After blending rums are marriaged in casks for months before bottling.
I was very interested in this rum so I spent my time to examine it neat and in cocktails.
Well, there is Appleton Estate V/X, 40% ABV rum with deep copper color.
At first I tried it neat.
Nose is classic: sweet, with notes of wood, vanilla and dried fruits (very similar to bourbons, isn’t it?).
Palate is very powerful, a bit spicy, without burning.Vanilla, allspice, oak, lemon zest and dried bananas are all present in flavour.
And in strong aftertaste I found notes of molasses, charcoal and dried apples.
Finish is long and warm, with vanilla, cloves and cane sugar flavours.
Then I make a couple of classic drinks probably best for rums with rich flavour – Rum Sidecar and Rum Old-fashioned.
My Rum Sidecar recipe is:
- 45 ml rum,
- 20 ml Cointreau,
- 20 ml fresh lemon juice
shaken with ice and strained in cocktail glass with sugar rim.
Smooth citrus tones prevail in the nose. Rum is slightly behind them, and it’s very smooth too.
Palate is a bit slack at first. A second later rum becomes prominent and blossoms into flavours of allspice, wood and molasses.
Sour lemon and spices mix well creating the nice aftertaste, a little bit tart but very delicate and elegant.
And I was disappointed with synthetic and crude finish. It looks like the amount of Cointreau I took was wrong for Sidecar with Appleton Estate V/X. Probably it should be considerably less, and simple syrup should be added to balance sourness.
But in whole Rum Sidecar with Appleton Estate V/X is a real delight, and the rum works very well in this cocktail.
My Rum Old-fashioned recipe is:
- 45 ml rum,
- 1 teaspoon of homemade demerara syrup,
- 2 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters.
Build in old-fashioned glass with a few ice cubes.
This one is stunning.
Smooth and sweet, it has awesome deepness in palate. On foreground rum flavour combines with flowers’ notes while vanilla is most prominent on background.
In silky delicate aftertaste I found cane sugar, cloves and allspice.
Finish is not too long and very similar to aftertaste.
I’m not an expert but here is my conclusion.
It appears to me that Appleton Estate V/X is really good rum for cocktails as well as neat. It has its own distinctive temper which is very enjoyable in cocktails.
Its flavour is powerful, clear and free from alcohol notes. It’s worth little but shows real quality. And do you remember that Appleton Estate V/X is true Jamaican rum?
I remember. So I think it’s a perfect rum for everyday use, truly!