Appleton Reserve 20 ceramic jug


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Appleton
Origin Jamaica
Bottler Undefined
Type Single Blended Rum (Pot + Column from the same distillery)
Alcohol By Volume 43%
Sugar Measured 0
Description Rare Old Jamaican Rum, aged in "20 tropical years" from 60/70's
Review 3


Review by "Lance" Score: 86

As with the 12 year old ceramic jug, I don't think that Appleton is exaggerating in the slightest when they call this a "Rare Old Jamaican Rum," - at the time it was issued in the 1960s or 1970s they might have been hyping the product a tad, but now? Not likely. Still, you can actually find it if you're prepared to pay Masters of Malt, who name this a 1970s era rum, the £700 it costs. And that's more than the Longpond 1941 fetches these days. I must confess that for an aged artifact bottled (or "jugged") at a mouth-watering twenty years old, I'm tempted. Consider too - at that age, it means at the very latest it had to have been distilled in 1959, and very likely earlier than that, and what lover of historical rums wouldn't want to try that?

Nose: Pure tamed Jamaican, with elements of the profile being showcased, but not strong or violent enough to put one off...a Trenchtown Rasta in a Savile Row suit, if you will. Rolling waves of salt and sweet, bananas, pineapple, chocolate and coffee, with caramel and toffee hastening to catch up from the rear. Some tobacco and smoke, a touch of vanilla, honey, anise, and very strong black tea. There's a persistent -- if faint -- background odour of vegetable soup in here, both the veg and the soya. Really.

Palate: More of that dialled down bad boy attitude, nicely integrated into a profile that starts with "dirt". By which I mean a sort of loamy, earthy, vegetable taste (far from unpleasant, I hasten to add), rye bread, cumin, garam massala, molasses, and oh, a lovely clear line of florals and citrus. Did I mention the vegetable soup? All wrapped up in a bow with the usual dessert menu of salted caramel and vanilla ice cream. And as an aside, it's quite rich and intense...It may be jugged at 43% but it sure feels more powerful than that.

Finish: Falls down here after the high point of tasting it. It just fades too damn quick, and for some inexplicable reason, the wood starts to take on an unhealthy dominance. Salted caramel, brine, olives,, breakfast and cooking spices, and a twist of licorice. All very faint and too watered down.

Thoughts: It's actually very different from the younger Appletons, the 12 year old jug, or the older 21 year old. Points of greatness are unfortunately ameliorated by weakness and an increasing lack of balance over the hours spent comparing it to all the others. In short, somewhat of a Shakespearean tragedy -- potential and hubris being brought low by inherent flaws. Though even with all that, it leaves me somewhere closer to praising the rum than coming to bury it.

Review by "Serge" Score: 93

Not the first time we’re trying this star of rumdom, but this is from another jug. Yeah yeah, any excuses, really, I feel shame.

Nose: Colour: amber. Nose: have you ever tasted Yquem 1967 or, perhaps, 1988? Although the 1988 is still a little young… Because, I mean, this is very similar. You’d even believe there was some noble rot on the sugarcanes, really. A-ma-zing. In no particular order, I would mention golden sultanas, longans, dried apricots, lilies, Swedish ultra-strong liquorice, burnt tyres, miso soup, dried bananas, olives (again and again), garden peat, pine bark, Bakelite, engine oil… And myriads of other smells, better stop there since you and me haven’t gotten all day.

Palate: oh sugar, what a monster! 43% vol., really? Are you sure? This is so thick and rich, and yet so elegant, tarry, liquoricy… Long story short, it’s one of the best rums available to mankind. Well, it used to be available. I’ll add that I totally cherish all these tiny notes of small herbs… I do get peppermint, for example, or borage (very obvious, really), oxalis… Wow wow wow!

Finish: the fact that it finishes is the real flipside in this sort of case. Amazing, the finest kind of liquorice-based substance out there.

Thoughts: I’ve been to niggardly last time, with my lousy 92 points. But yeah, that was another jug, and most probably another batch.

Review by "Marco" Score: 82

Dark Amber.

Nose: Bananas, lemons, oranges and glue-like flavours. Then toffee, leather and oak cask. Cane sugar and tobacco. The rum was allowed to breathe for over 2 hours. First, the nose is impressive, but the flavours are fading out fast after a few seconds after the cover had been removed. Iodine, anise and black tea in the background. The rum tickles slightly in the nose. Old wood, spices and cinnamon. Why do the flavours fade out that quickly in some Appleton rums? There is definitely too much water in it. The nose smells after one minute very stretched and thin.

Palate: Only oak, anise and spices. Then the rum burns on the tongue. The flavor profile is fast becoming very herbal. Herbs, minerals and butter after a short time. The profile is sadly flat and can be best compared with the Appleton Rare Old 12 YO and the Appleton Reserve Ceramic 12 YO. All are to weak. The second sip more oak, caramel and spices. Herbs, anise and mangoes. Then again comes the herbal flavor. The second sip is almost exactly like the first one. Minerals and butter at the end.

Finish: Caramel, medicine, spices and cinnamon. Then oak, cane sugar and spices. Butter at the end. After the second sip oak, cinnamon and spices. Then herbs and butter. Very one dimensional.

Thoughts: Another Appleton which got tainted which too much water and was too long in the barrel.

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