Appleton Estate Reserve Review


Rum: Appleton Estate Reserve

Bottled: J.Wary & Nephew LTD.

Origin: Jamaica
Age: Blended with minimum of 8 years
Distillation: Fermented Molasses
Barrel: Jack Daniels Whisky Barrels
Grade: Premium
Price: U.S. ~$28/750ml
URL: click here

Master Blender Joy Spence, the first female Master Blender composing since 97’, personally selected and artfully blended 20 Appleton Estate-produced rums to create this superb full-bodied Jamaican product, Appleton Estate Reserve. Custom designed copper post stills were used along with handcrafted oak Jack Daniels whisky barrels to age this rum to a minimum of 8 years. This Jamaican only tour de force transitions Appleton from a simple cocktail rum into a perfect sipping rum that complements one’s favorite Maduro cigar.

Appearances: ★★★★½
To be honest, and that is what you should expect from my reviews, I’m not particularly excited by the packaging of Appleton Estate Reserve. Granted, what really should count is what is in the bottle, not the packaging, I get that… but I hold pause to that line of thinking and packaging is truly important. Appleton Estate Reserve is right on the fence between a cocktail rum and a premium spirit. Part of the appeal of a premium spirit is the appearance of the bottle on the shelf, that being said AER’s design is left uninteresting. Tucked between Vizacaya VXOP and its brethren Myers’s Rum, Appleton Reserve often gets looked over on the shelf and that’s a shame because it’s really good rum.

Appleton Estate Reserve is a deep honey color rum in a clear somewhat hourglass bottle with a golden cap and golden neck wrapper. The bottle is as if an original glass coke bottle was stretched width-wise providing instead of the “perfect hourglass” physique a voluptuous body with curves (Jamaican Mon).  The neck wrapper has a beautiful watercolor print of the artistic rendering of the original Appleton Estate, the same image depicted on the front label of the bottle. Scripted is “Appleton Estate” at a 30 degree angle left to right on the front, back left and back right on the neck. A parallel brown band, the same color as the script, boarders the bottom edge of the neck label. In between of the double banded lines are in italic “Since 1749”, five times. I’m not sure of the significance, if any, of the name listed three times or the establishment dated listed five times; if anyone has any information regarding any significance for the repetition, please provides your comments below. The bottle has a debossed oval heart with a pale yellow label indicating “Reserve” in deep maroon. A gold circumferencing boarder with Orange blush as an inner circle is used to enhance the label and match the feathering of orange around the main label.

In my glass the amber color is clean and the hold to the side of the as I give it a swirl then slides back down to join the rest of the spirit. This rum looks delicious and could only look better if Appleton bottled the Reserve in the same design as the Appleton Estate 30 year rum.

Aroma: ★★★★½

Subtle spices but surprising sweet, like that of raw sugar. A refreshing aroma gives way to hints of orange and vanilla and nuts as the Reserve is drawn in. There is no sting of alcohol but perhaps a minute tingle at the back of the nose. The sent is soft enough that you can actually take a deep inhalation of your entire glass and breathe in the Jamaican spirit. The reserve is not overly complex for a mixture of 20 rums but it is definitely artfully done providing a satisfying experience.

Experience: ★★★★½

I’ve always thought of Jamaican rum as very spicy rum which is simply not the case for Appleton Reserve so for those of you aficionados who want to enjoy fine sipping rum neat or on ice… Appleton delivers. The initial taste is a sweet raw sugar that quickly gives away to a caramelized molasses. Notes of vanilla and hazelnut, orange and hints of smoked oak and nutmeg are the second wave of flavor while deep in the drink are faint tastes of banana and pear. The experience is long, leaving the mid-palate slightly dry. The rum is Jamaican, so there are hints of a spice you many not find in other rums but the blend was tastefully done and is rather subtle. It is perfect rum for a sipping on the rocks sitting on the porch listing to good music.

Suggested Drink: Jamaican Breeze Jamaican Breeze


  • 1.5 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
  • 1 Slice Fresh Ginger – Muddled
  • 0.5 oz. Simple Syrup (1-1 Sugar to Water)
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Lime Wheel

Glass: Rocks/Whiskey Glass


Muddle ginger in a pint glass. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

Final Thoughts: ★★★★½

“Come back to Jamaica and make it you home”…remember that commercial. Well this is what Appleton has done… they have bottled a piece of the island and now we all can enjoy a bit of Jamaica anytime we want. Please go and purchase this bottle as a gift for your valued family, friends or even yourself. You won’t be disappointed.


Appearances: 21 ★★★★½

Aroma: 23 ★★★★½

Experience: 23 ★★★★½

Final Thoughts: 23 ★★★★½

Score: 90

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