Appleton Jamaican Independence Reserve
Appleton Jamaican Independence Reserve (90-Proof, 50 Year Old). This rare rum features a very attractive reddish citrine color with glowing polished copper undertones. The aroma is true to Appleton’s distillation tradition, high in esters and other congeners but, unlike most of the younger rums in the Appleton line, the oak plays a substantial and dominating role.
The initial nosing reveals succulent wet oak with heavy brandy-like notes of cherries and raisins. These aromas are quickly followed by rich layers of pineapple, pears and blood oranges. All of these elements combine together to suggest a rum much sweeter than previously experienced from Appleton.
Prior to tasting, we mentally prepare our senses to expect and appreciate the high proof of this rum. Once in the palate, the rum opens up as warmly as was expected, but not as sweetly as the aroma suggested, with tannic and spicy notes dominating the foreground, slowly yielding to wet oak and ending with essence of dried fruits, primarily pears and quince.
The finish is protracted and dry, with some spice and smoke notes, which are the result of the prolonged aging of the wood extractives.
The rum is a veritable liquid piece of history. Every rum enthusiast should try it at some point as a crowning achievement of their passion.