Appleton unveiled details of their forthcoming Appleton Estate 17 Year Old Legend Jamaica Rum release this week. The rum was developed by Appleton’s master blender Joy Spence using four rare distillates to replicate the formula for Wray & Nephew 17, the original rum that Trader Vic used in the Mai Tai. Issued at 49% ABV and aged in ex-Bourbon oak barrels, Legend replicates the original by being 100% pot still distillate.
Spence was quoted in a Forbes article about the release, saying “When I made the Mai Tai with this rum. I tell you, I was in heaven. I sat in my garden and I said this is most amazing Mai Tai ever.”
Due to the rarity of the distillate, only 1500 bottles will be available globally, never to be produced again. Legend will be available at select “premium retailers” starting in June 2023, in the United States, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, and Hong Kong. List price is $500 per bottle.
Their hyped May 17 announcement date coincided with the selling of a few bottles via Blockchain broker BlockBar, where the early adopters are guaranteed an NFT and a bottle. Or, they are now in a position to flip the rum to the highest bidder, with some bottles now well over $1000.
The Mad Scramble Starts in June
You’d think that with a $500 list price that maybe it would keep away some buyers. Heck, even Appleton’s $300-$400 Hearts releases are still found out there here or there. But given the hype it seems that Legend will be very difficult to obtain. We know a few famous venues and collectors who won’t be getting Legend even after they asked.
Personally, I’ll be traveling in the British Isles for the last two weeks in June. So, there’s nary a chance I’ll be able to jump on my favorite retailer’s customer email and snap this release up like I did with the Appleton Hearts release. The whole NFT thing left a bad taste in my mouth.
Maybe someone will take pity and offer me a tot or two.