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Appleton VX Rum

A Great Jamaican Rum from Appleton Estate

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Appleton Estate VX Rum

  • Mar 5, 2010

Review Appleton Estate VX  Rum  80/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AkA Arctic Wolf)

.Appleton Estate VX Rum is the entry level rum in the Appleton Estate family of rums.  It is a blend of up to fifteen Jamaican rums of various styles which have been aged in hand crafted oak.  The sample of Appleton Estate VX rum which I used for this review was provided as a gift to me after a rum tasting event sponsored in part by Appleton Estate Rums.  At the tasting I was treated to a small presentation by an Appleton representative who talked about the signature Appleton Estate taste and aroma which I would be expected to encounter.  The power of suggestion should not be underestimated, and although I worked hard to form my own opinions; I must admit that my impressions both ‘in the glass‘ and ‘in the mouth‘ are remarkable close to the profile I was told to expect.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

The Appleton VX arrives in the typical flagon style Appleton Estate clear glass bottle.  Even the 200 ml sample bottle which was provided me as a gift after the tasting event had that distinctive Appleton shape.  For an entry level rum this is more than adequate although the pressed metal cap caused me to deduct half a point.

In the Glass 8/10

The rum displays an amber colour with orange flashes.  Surprisingly (to me) the rum when swirled left nice long skinny legs in my glass indicating a buttery oil present.  The aroma is very spicy, and full of oak tannin.  I smell a firm and distinct orange peel, and light brown sugar and molasses rising in the tangy oak spice.

In My Mouth  47.5/60

A light buttery feel in my mouth  seems to make the spiciness of the rum ignite, and I find this is a little ‘rough and tumble’ for my taste buds.  It is a fresh spicy oak which has a sharp bite.  A light citrus flavour, a tangy orange zest, and a light rummy brown sugar compliment the oak but are to a point overshadowed by it.  There is also an element of butterscotch which appears and disappears in the spice.  The addition of an ice cube helps to tame the spiciness to a degree; but for me, this is will a mixing rum.  The spicy flavours will act as an excellent base for many cocktails.

In My Throat  12/15

This has a really long, spicy, ‘hot in the throat’ finish.  I notice the citrus flavours and orange peel stay in the back of the palate during the finish.  I find the bite rather sharp, and again; I found I much preferred the rum with an ice cube added.

The Afterburn  8/10

As an entry level rum, Appleton Estate VX is impressive.  It has a fine complexity brought forward by the oak, and wonderful complimentary flavours of butterscotch, citrus fruit and orange peel.  It is the sharpness of the flavours which brings me to the conclusion that I must quantify the rum as a mixer.  I realize some will like it over ice, but I prefer to use that spiciness in nice bar drinks and cocktails.

Suggested Cocktail

The Appleton VX adds a really nice bite to a Rum and Coke, and the tangy oak flavour profile really adds depth to fruity cocktails like the Afternoon Delight.   For my suggested cocktail I thought I would go in a slightly offbeat direction and work a little play on a popular  and trendy cocktail, The Cosmopolitan.  My handy dandy cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails: 1001 Recipes for the Perfect Drink (Hardcover) ~ Alex Barker (Compiler) gives the recipe for the Cosmopolitan on page 178.

The Cosmopolitan

2 measures Vodka
1 measure Triple Sec
1 measure lime juice
1 measure Cranberry juice
orange peel

Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with Orange Peel

My recipe is of course quite a different cocktail.  I call it:

The Traveller
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)

2 oz Appleton VX
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz lime juice
1 oz White Cranberry juice
flamed grapefruit zest

Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a flamed grapefruit zest

For those who do not know a flamed zest is a small slice of citrus peel which has been touched by a flame along its outer surface.  After wards the peel is squeezed above the cocktail over the flame such that the oils erupt in a dramatic burst of fire which caramelizes the oils before they drop into the top of the cocktail.

Of course my good friend forrest helped me out with this cocktail and he even gave me the idea to use the flamed grapefruit zest, which really added a nice flair to the drink.  In any case the Traveler cocktail is  “forrest approved“.  (Visit his great site by clicking on his name above.)

I am in the process of reviewing the full line of Appleton Estate Rums on my Blog The Rum Howler (And Whisky now too!)  Please visit my blog for many more reviews.

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About the reviewer
Chip Dykstra ()
Ranked #1
I have my own Blog called The Rum Howler Blog (and Whisky now too!) where I review Spirits and try to pair them with great cocktails.   Member of RumXP (International Panel of Rum Experts)   … more
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About this product


In 1749, in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica, the Appleton Estate Sugar factory was founded.  The Nassau Valley is a fertile, interior valley with a special mild microclimate which is ideally suited to the growth of Sugarcane.  A water source which wells from a limestone rock formation provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Rums.

The Rum itself is crafted from pot stills in small batches.  After blending and aging the rums are ready for bottling.  Unlike most rums produced in the Caribbean, Jamaican law forbids the use of an age statement unless the entire contents of a bottle are aged at least as long as the stated age.

This information may be verified on the Appleton Estate Website.
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Brand: Appleton Estate VX Rum
Category: Dark Rum,

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"Appleton Estate VX Rum"
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