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Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve rum review

Looking to buy a bottle of dark rum? Read our expert review of the 8-Year-Old Reserve by well-known brand Appleton Estate.

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve (43% ABV) summary

The 8-Year-Old Reserve, made to commemorate the distillery’s 250th anniversary, is light and fruity, with pineapple and vanilla notes that evoke the tropical climate in which it is made.

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What is the history of the Appleton Estate?

The estate began production as a sugar plantation and distillery in 1749, and has been in continuous operation since. It has grown in size and sophistication over the years, and can now bottle 10 million litres of rum a year. The estate is now a subsidiary of fellow Jamaican rum house J. Wray and Nephew.

World War II saw the development of the Appleton Estate Special – whisky was in short supply on the island during the war, so the firm developed a smoother, lighter rum to serve as a substitute.

In 1997, Joy Spence was appointed Master Blender, becoming the first woman to hold the title in the spirits industry. In 2005 she was awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD) by the Jamaican government for her services to the rum industry.

How does the Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve rum taste?

Joy Spence created the Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve to commemorate the distillery’s 250th anniversary. The youngest rum in the blend is aged for eight years, but the distillery’s rums always taste a bit older, as the tropical climate helps accelerate the ageing process.

The nose is incredibly light and fruity, bursting with pineapple and vanilla. The palate carries through on the sweeter notes of the nose, with heaps of caramel and toffee coming to the fore, along with a milky chocolate character. The finish isn’t too long, and introduces some peppery notes.

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This review was last updated in January 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.