I will be honest, this article will be biased, but with good cause. One could objectively say that Appleton produces some of the Caribbean’s most premium rums. Year after year winning awards for its excellence including the Gold 2014 San Francisco World Spirit Competition, 2014 Wine Enthusiast 93/100 Best Buy and the Mode Selection Grand Gold Medal and International High Quality Trophy, just to name a few. My personal favourite is Appleton Estate 21 Year, which despite Appleton’s long history with Canada (as Canada is Appleton’s first and largest foreign market) is unfortunately not sold here. 

Appleton Estate Rum is a Jamaican national treasure. It is a staple on my home bar. Most people are familiar with premium spirits being associated almost exclusively to scotches and cognacs, however, Appleton Estate Rum shatters that myth as it has long been a brand that elevates the status of rum on the global stage. 


“Appleton Estate, deep in the middle of Jamaica’s Nassau Valley [in the parish of St. Elizabeth], began perfecting complex rum-making over 265 years ago. Surrounded by densely forested limestone hills, the region’s topography makes for a rum unlike any other. According to records, the Estate’s long-standing passion for producing premium rum began with the first distillation in 1749. This passion continued when family-run J. Wray & Nephew Ltd took over the Estates in 1916. The history of passionate people nurturing the Estate has resulted in a collection of rums renowned for distinctive Jamaican flavours and an unwavering commitment to excellence.”

This month Appleton Estate launched its Appleton 8 year reserve and a new look for the entire line. The new branding showcases an insignia with key Jamaican symbols such as the national bird (Doctor Bird), the national flower (lignum vitae), the “X” of the Jamaican flag and the delicious Jamaican national fruit (ackee). The neck of the bottle has an illustration of the actual Appleton Estate in Nassau Valley. To further the premium experience Appleton has redesigned the shape of the bottle and included corks with beautiful beech wood closures.

New Label & Insignia

The 8-year reserve tastes similar to the classic reserve, however, it is guaranteed the youngest barrel in the blend is a minimum of eight years and the oldest barrel up to 20 years old. Master Blender Joy Spence crafted the 8 Year Reserve in 1999 to commemorate Appleton’s 250year anniversary and this March we will all be able to enjoy another one of her masterpieces.

Appleton Estate Reserve 8 Year


Ripe banana, orange peel, magic marker, and welded metal round out the aromas. The palate is very similar to the addition of caramel, rubber, and iodine. This rum is classic, soft and with a pleasant kick on the finish. -distillers.com

Appleton Estate Launch Party, March 4, 2020, at Summerhill LCBO in Toronto

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