Appleton 21 90's


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Appleton
Origin Jamaica
Bottler none
Type Single Blended Rum (Pot + Column from the same distillery)
Alcohol By Volume 43%
Sugar Measured 0
Description blue botle of 21 year old Appleton from the 90's. 12 000 bottles of this blend produced in 1999
Review 3


Review by "Lance" Score: 82

My first pass at the Appleton 21 year old came around 2012, and I wasn't entirely in love with it, for all its age. Rereading my review (after making my tasting notes and evaluations of its 1990s era brother here) was instructive, because bar minor variations, it was very much the same rum - not much had changed in two decades, and my score was almost the same.

Nose: Frisky, a little spicy, with deep honey notes, borderline sweet. Straddles the divide between salt and sweet, presenting dates, cinnamon, citrus and slightly overripe apples just starting to turn. Becomes grapey and quite fruity after ten minutes or so into it (to its detriment), and I'm not sure the coffee and toffee background help much.

Palate: A sort of sugarless, briny "rummy" flavour, heated but full, with some Jamaican funk being the only indication of its origin. Would certainly appeal to many because there's nothing bad about it...just nothing exceptional either. As it opens up you get burnt sugar, smoke, more coffee and some vague molasses, cider (or ale), nuts; and the funk gets so laid back as to be a thought rather than reality. Decent enough, just not sure it works when faced with a full proof single barrel offering from an indie.

Finish: Pretty good, longish and dry, with closing hints of bitter chocolate, hot and strong black tea, plus more toffee and salty caramel.

Thoughts: Even in 2012 this was a shade too bitter (I attributed it to over-oaking, which is also an opinion I finally conceded the 30 year old had), and I guess it was a core attribute of the range from the beginning. A decent enough rum, honest enough, just not a definitive marker of its age, or its country.

Review by "Serge" Score: 72

That’s right, an older version of this famous expression. Now I have to admit that I find the current 21s by Appleton Estate very disappointing, that is to say much too sweet and flabby. But I love some of their younger expression. Let’s see…

Nose: Colour: amber. Nose: nah, it’s very nice, but one can feel coffee liqueur and toffee, just bad signs in my book. Molasses, raisins, prunes… I’d go as far as saying that it’s pretty ‘supermarkety’, in other words rum for Joe Public. Anyway, let us move on…

Palate: yes and no. On the one hand, there is some kind of salty/tarry Jamaicanness, but on the other hand, there’s way too much burnt oak and bread, or office coffee in the evening… In fact spirit and cask are just fighting. Love/hate/love/hate/love… What’s better news is that there isn’t any vulgar sweetness. Quite the opposite, it’s really dry.

Finish: rather long, but kind of disjointed, drying, with quite a lot of bitter burnt caramel.

Thoughts: I never quite understood Appleton 21, and like the entry-level no-age bottling much, much better. Now I have the current bottlings of the 21 at 60, while this baby, since it’s much less sweetened-up, will reach… ta-dah…

Review by "Marco" Score: 81

Dark amber.

Nose: After one hour sugar cane, molasses and oak. Glue-like aromas are floating in the glass. The rum is at 43% abv unfortunately very subdued. The long time in the glass has done him no good. After a swivel of the glass: leather, toffee, fruit and again sugar cane a little further away from the glass. Deep in the glass I smell subtle cinnamon, oak, molasses and caramel. A very faint hint of bananas. Ripe mangoes. The fruits are unfortunately very weak. Iodine and molasses starting to dominate the nose. Spices and cane sugar. It slowly begins to form the "image" I had after an hour of breathing in the glass. Anise? Black tea? It has more barrel flavours than the newer version (ca. 2011).

Palate: Cane sugar, molasses and caramel. Then the alcohol burns on the tongue. Spices, cinnamon and oak. Leather toffee and minerals. Bitter tannins in the background. No sweetness, but slightly sour at the beginning in the mouth. From the barrel? Slowly a slight bitterness emerges. No fruit on the palate. After about a minute in the mouth I can clearly taste the bitterness from the barrel. Nothing was used to sugarcoat it. At the 2nd sip more caramel, toffee and molasses. Cane sugar without sweetness. Old wood, spices. Cinnamon and cloves. I once again do taste the tannins from the wood. Zero sweetness on the palate. Unfortunately i mainly do taste barrel flavours.

Finish: Oak, caramel, tannins and minerals. Spices, leather and a herbal taste. Very briefly mango and butter. Dry. After the second sip oak and leather. Then cinnamon, toffee and caramel. Again dry in the end.

Thoughts: A perceived honest rum, which was left for too long inside the barrel. And it has been drowned with too much water. No legendary rum at all.

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