So here I’ll start with the Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum. The scent opening the bottle is rich a fruity, and makes me anticipate a complex flavor. The scent from the glass seems to be what artificial rum flavoring tries to imitate, but it’s much more enticing than the overpowering chemical taste of that fake flavor. It’s a medium amber color in the bottle, an slightly orangey brown; the color in the glass is much paler, a medium yellow amber.
Taken neat, the texture in the mouth is syrupy and pleasant. The first taste is something woody, though I’m not yet an expert in figuring out what kind of wood a liquor barrel was made out of. It leaves a taste on the tongue of that illusive rum flavor that the artificial flavor people try so hard and fail to achieve, and also leaves a taste of olive in the throat. Subsequent sips didn’t reveal any more flavors deeper within; Oh well.
Overall it has a mild taste, and while it seems a little out of the ordinary from my experience with rum, it certainly didn’t make me fall in love with it. It goes down fairly smoothly though, so there aren’t any complaints from me.
On the rocks, or, since I use a single large whiskey cube, on the rock, the olive taste is brought forward. I taste it now with the rum in my mouth instead of as an after taste, but once again I didn’t find anything new or hidden.
Mixed with Coca-Cola is where I found Appleton Estate’s Signature Blend to shine. Mixing it with a Mexican Coke made with cane sugar from a glass bottle, there’s really something to enjoy here. I’ve never found much difference in the flavor of HFCS as compared to cane sugar, it always seems the difference in taste is masked by other flavors, but that’s not the case here. The flavor of the cane sugar pops out with this rum mixed in and is quite a treat.
The Signature Blend also brings forward the spiciness of the Coke, and the two combine to bring out an earthy flavor that’s quite good. The olive taste is gone, but the rum flavoring taste that lingers takes on a quality I can only describe as a “cleanness.” Sadly, it seems any dilution throws off the balance of flavors, as I found when my ice began to melt. If you like your rum & Coke ice cold, you may want to keep this rum in the freezer with glass beside it, and skip the frozen water.
Since it’s less than 10 days from Christmas, I also tried Appleton Estate’s Signature Blend with eggnog. I mixed it with Sunnyside eggnog, which is a pretty mild, middle of the road variety. It’s not overly sweet, not overly (or underly) spicy, and has a texture that’s not too thick and not too thin. The flavor of this rum just blended in for the most part. The rum flavoring flavor sat subtly on top of the eggnog, with neither really intruding on the other. They came out as separate, parallel tastes, but did go well together. My experience with Coca-Cola does make me wonder what would happen when this is mixed with a spicier eggnog however.
With either mix, any roughness was completely mellowed out, and this rum went down smooth as silk. As for intoxication, this went to my head more quickly that some other spirits, but not overly fast. While it did leave me with heaviness to my buzz, it wasn’t an uncomfortable feeling. I didn’t drink to drunkenness as I typically don’t, but that heavy feeling leads me to think this may not be the best drink for that (if you could say there is one.)
So, that’s one down. I hope that my opinion might help someone out there decide whether or not they want to try this rum. I’m looking forward to the next spirit I try, and hope someone out there will be reading along. I’ll see you next time.