Contrary to popular belief, everyone born and raised in the Caribbean does not grow up with a healthy taste and appreciation for rum. It’s virtually impossible not to know about rum and the key role it has played in our region’s history, of course, but just ’cause you’re from here doesn’t mean you love it unequivocally.
Take me, for instance. It’s no secret that I love rum now, but that hasn’t always been the case.
Shocking, I know, but in my home island of St. Croix, rum and coke is king. This mixture is nice, but it does little to give you a true appreciation for all the subtle pleasures inherent in the finest blends. For that, of course, you must enjoy your rum neat, something that I was never really that anxious to do until I got a bit older.
(Didn’t I just write recently that youth is wasted on the young?)
If you’re just getting started on your own personal journey of rum enlightenment, then the subject of today’s Friday Happy Hour is a great place to start. That’s because Appleton Estate Reserve was specifically crafted to be a great transition rum for drinkers intent on shifting from mixed drinks to sipping rums. In this sense, the flavor is not overly harsh or complex as to turn off aspiring connoisseurs. At the same time, though, it’s certainly sophisticated and smooth enough to be enjoyed neat or with just a few rocks.
A good part of what gives Appleton Estate Reserve its special qualities is its mix of 20 different blends, all aged between eight and 12 years. That’s a lot of different rums of a lot of different ages joining forces in one spot. Thankfully, they all play beautifully together.
At the first sip there’s a slight bit of a burn, but it quickly dissipates, revealing a nice pairing of oak and vanilla flavors. The finish is smooth, if not lasting, like a tease encouraging you to try more.
You won’t be disappointed if you do. Appleton Reserve Estate is an excellent entree into the world of sipping rums. Easy to drink and full of flavor, it’s pure niceness.