Appleton 50


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Appleton
Origin Jamaica
Bottler none
Type Single Blended Rum (Pot + Column from the same distillery)
Alcohol By Volume 45%
Sugar Measured
Description a 50 year old rum from Appleton Estate, bottled to commemorate 50 years of Jamaica's independence and limited to just 800 bottles.
Review 3


Review by "Lance" Score: 89

Everyone knows about the 50 year old rum Appleton pushed out the door a few years ago. Not only because of the age, which they touted as "the oldest rum ever" even though that was patently untrue, but because of the stratospheric price, which even now hovers around the US$4500 mark (give or take). I'm not sure if they still make it -- it was specifically commissioned for Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence in 1962, so I suspect it was an 800-bottle one-off halo-issue -- but that price alone would make many take a really jaundiced view of the thing. To their detriment, I believe, because having tasted it five times now, I can say with some assurance that it is still one of the very best rums Appleton ever made.

Nose: The smell opens the vault of my memories, of Jamaica, of the stately progression of other Appletons rums over the years, of the times I tried it before. Initial notes of glue, fading fast; then honey (I always remember the honey), eucalyptus oil, toffee, caramel, rich milk chocolate with rye bread and cream cheese, developing slowly into luscious candied oranges, molasses and burnt sugar. Some of that vegetable soup I noted from the 20 year old ceramic jug is here as well, much subdued. What woodiness that exists is amazingly well controlled for something this old (a problem the 30 year old had).

Palate: The dark richness purrs down the throat in a sort of warm, pleasant heat. Burnt brown sugar and wek molasses, caramel, toffee, nougat and nutty toblerone chocolate, a flirt of coffee. More fruits emerge than the nose had hinted at, and provide a pleasing contrast to the more creamy, musky flavours: grapes, bananas, apricots, pineapples. Then cinnamon, more honey, some cheese. Oakiness again well handled, and a sort of leather and smoke brings up the rear. I sometimes wonder how this would taste at 55%, but even at 45%, the rum is so very very good.

Finish: Medium long, a fitting close to the proceedings. Mostly bananas, molasses, a little pineapple, plus a last dollop of caramel. And honey.

Thoughts: Still a wonderful rum to sip and savour. Sadly, too expensive for most. Those who can afford a whole bottle are unlikely to be into the rum world as much as we are, but whoever has it, I hope they're sharing...generously.

Review by "Serge" Score: 88

Right, one of, if not the oldest rum ever bottled. Some are claiming to even older ages, but those are fake, really. It’s also said that the angel’s share has reached more than 90% of the initial amount of spirit that had been filled into wood in 1962. What’s a little troubling is that you can still buy this bottle, quite easily, but you’ll have to shell out around 4,000-4,500€. I agree, almost Scotch prices, no wonder few people ever bought it. Anyway, let’s proceed with caution…

Nose: Colour: mahogany amber. Nose: oh, you’re in Kentucky. Really, blind, I’d have said A.H. Hirsch 16 yo 1974. Warm pencil shavings, burnt eucalyptus wood, Chinese lacquer, we’re almost at a cabinetmaker’s. Goes more towards small herbs and grasses after five minutes, dried parley, a little soy sauce, these notes of miso soup again, some kind of meaty mint sauce… Now what’s sure is that something very ‘rum’ remains, ripe pineapples! Oh and bananas.

Palate: quite miraculous, really. Sure there’s some oak, and this cannot compete with the stunning 20 yo, but this feeling of pineapples stewed in mint sauce and flower extracts (rose? Lilly?) is absolutely thrilling. There are unusual essences in the background, it’s hard to put words… What are they? Shall we leave them unnamed and mysterious? Only one flavour springs to my mind, tamarind. Other than that, I wouldn’t call this old glory ‘tannic’, even if it tends to become rather cinnamony. A little agave sugar, perhaps, but it doesn’t feel sweetened up at all. Not even philistines would add any sugar or sugary stuff to some good-to-great rum anyway! (wink, wink).

Finish: medium, all on bananas and pineapples plus cedar wood, cigars, and sweet cinnamon. Perhaps a little burnt rubber in the aftertaste?

Thoughts: frankly, this isn’t as oaky as you would have thought. There are many wood essences (-ols, you know), but yeah, it’s not ‘oaky’ as such. In fact, there’s only one comment I would make, it’s not very Jamaican. As if just like peat in old Islay, Jamaicanness would slowly vanish in the air after many years. Great rum, anyway!

Review by "Marco" Score: 86

Dark brown with reddish hues in the light.

Nose: Glue-like flavours topped with caramel, oak, cinnamon and toffee. Cane sugar, tobacco leaves, iodine, papayas and spices. The rum has a very expressive nose. Oranges, apricots and black tea. Deep in the glass I smell iodine, herbs, molasses and cane sugar. Further away tobacco, vanilla, apricot, glue, smoke and old wood. Charcoal? A very mature rum. Not too old.

Palate: Iodine, oak, molasses and cane sugar. Then the rum burns on the palate. Slightly acidic in flavour, yet slightly sweet at the same time. Tobacco, spices, salt, polished wood and caramel. In the background a slight bitterness from the barrel. Glue and apricots garnished with herbs after one minute. Black tea and anise. Charcoal. The second sip more tobacco, oak, cinnamon, toffee and molasses. Spices and exotic fruits. Again the rum is slightly acidic in taste. Salt, smoke and glue. Molasses and iodine in the end.

Finish: Cane sugar, molasses and iodine. Then oak, caramel and toffee. Herbs and fruits. Butter. At the end dry on the palate. After the second sip caramel, oak, tobacco and sugar cane. Then a slight bitterness. Fruits, butter and herbs at the end.

Thoughts: A good Appleton. I have really enjoyed it. It is better then most of their range.

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