Rum Review: Appleton Estate V/X Rum

AppletonAppleton Estate V/X
Jamaican Rum
Final Grade: B+
Price: $18 (750ml)

For my first spirits review I've chosen one of my old stand-by rums. The entry-level product from Appleton Estate, the V/X bottling is a full-bodied Jamaican rum, golden both in color and in taste. I've singled it out because it's one of the best mixing rums I've found, and also one of the most affordable.

Jamaican rums are distilled from molasses and are known for their dark, rich taste, with elements of caramel and spice. Two of the best known brands of Jamaican rum are Myer's and Coruba, but I prefer the various Appleton Estate bottlings.

Appleton Estate V/X is a blend of 15 different rums that have been aged in oak barrels (reportedly ones that were previously used to hold Jack Daniels whiskey). In this sense, it is similar to a blended Scotch, like Johnnie Walker.

The rum has a mild, sweet aroma with whiffs of brown sugar and vanilla. The brown sugar comes through in the flavor as well, along with a fairly strong alcohol bite. There's maybe a hint of orange in there, too.*

This isn't a rum you're probably going to want to sip. The alcohol is a little too hot for that. For drinking neat, you'd be better off with one of the more expensive Appleton rums, like the Extra (12 Year Old). It does, however, mix beautifully.

The V/X works very well in a Mai Tai, along with other classic cocktails such as a Rum and Coke (Cuba Libre) or Pina Colada. You probably don't want to use this in a Daiquiri because of the amber color. You might mix it in an El President, though.

Considering how reasonably priced Appleton Estate V/X is, this makes a solid choice as a go-to rum for most occasions. My liquor cabinet is never without it.

Report Card

Quality Grade: B
Value Grade: A
Final Grade: B+

*I'll let you know upfront that I don't have a very sophisticated palate when it comes to picking out individual flavors from the complicated taste of spirits. My goal with these reviews is to give more of an overall sense of the spirit, not to deconstruct it as some critics are able to do. I admire their ability — I just don't have it.

3 thoughts on “Rum Review: Appleton Estate V/X Rum

  1. At The Rum Project we have taken on goal of providing a completely independent entry to rum and its appreciation. Sadly, and unlike the world of noble wines and single malt whisky, rogue rum pulls hind teat and is really not well served.
    In this limited web world, there is an unfair and egoistic tendency to lump all lower priced rums as “mixers”, even those that do not deserve this label.
    V/X is one of them and is really a very nice younger rum more than worthy of sipping, yet inexpensive enough to also use as a very good mixer.
    Compared to Appleton’s real mixer – the “Gold” – the V/X is really a fine young sipping rum. No less than Dave Broom (and the Project for that matter) rates V/X a four star rum and, trust me, that is high, high praise.
    Unfortunately the emphasis on extreme age (and price) is marketing driven. The actual sweet spot for rum is perhaps 6 to 10 years, with a few very fine younger sipping rums like V/X quite drinkable neat, yet inexpensive enough to also be used as a mixer.
    In sum, V/X is really a mixable sipper rather than the reverse.

  2. The alcohol is a little too hot for that. For drinking neat, you’d be better off with one of the more expensive Appleton rums, like the Extra (12 Year Old). It does, however, mix beautifully.

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