New Appleton 12

Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rum has been my favored rum for a 1 rum Mai Tai for a while now. Previously known as “Rare Blend,” it’s now called “Rare Casks” as part of the new label and bottle style that is moving across all three of the mainstream Appleton rum brands (Signature, Reserve 8, and 12 Rare). While the Reserve 8 is a assuredly a new blend (the ABV goes from 40 to 43), supposedly the 12 is not changing. But I heard from some people online that it was different.

In the Mai Tai: I prepared two Mai Tais identical except for the rum. I could not taste the difference.

In the glass: tasting the two rums neat, I do taste a slight difference. The older Rare Blend has more of an oak barrel taste, whereas the Rare Casks does have a hint more of a Jamaican funk present. Very slight differences. It’s still a great rum that’s available widely for a very good price ($33 at Costco, mid-$40s at fine liquor stores). Go out and get it.

The new bottle takes up a bit less surface area in my liquor cabinet, and now features a cork (!). It still features the gold and black color scheme and now more prominently displays the signature of master blender Joy Spence. I’m totally liking this new bottle style.

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