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It sometimes seems that rums are the forgotten stepchild of the spirits world, since I run into many drinkers who turn up their noses at rum cocktails of any kind yet have strong preferences over the type of vodka, whiskey or tequila that ends up in their drink. Everyone is entitled to his or her own tastes, of course, but rum is not a one-size-fits-all spirit and it is silly to throw out a whole class when you simply had one pina colada that was too sweet at some point.
Rums vary a lot in flavor and style depending on where they were produced. Puerto Rican rums have a different general profile than Cuban rums, or Dominican rums. Jamaican rums are known for being fruity and bold, and Appleton Estate is a good example of these traits. This Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum aged rum is one of the younger rums that Appleton produces, which puts it at a price point to deliver excellent value for its quality and flavor. It’s a rum that could win over just about any non-rum drinker. You’ll smell roasted pears, intense dried fruits and warm spices when you first pour it and you get those same flavors in the rum when you take a sip. The fruity flavors and sweetness of the rum remind me a bit of calvados. It has a smooth, medium-length finish with plenty of oak and vanilla.
Worth another round? Absolutely. Appleton Estate V/X is a wonderful rum that is easy to drink on its own – which might come as a surprise to many drinkers who thought rum was only for mixing – even though it is from the lower end of the Appleton offerings. It is complex enough to add a lot of character to cocktails, and it is the kind of rum that you’ll want to play around with. I really enjoy it in daiquiris and other drinks with citrus, but you’ll likely find your own inspiration as you become familiar with it.