Tag Archives: Appleton Estate

Girly Drinks, Mallory O’Meara

It always intrigued me that the gender mix at Whiskey Live Dublin was predominately male, yet that of Gin Live – organised by the same folks, often with exhibition stalls from the same distilleries & staffed by the same people – is overwhelmingly female.

Well Girly Drinks by Mallory O’Meara can unsolve that mystery.

A thoroughly researched book, packed with information presented in an entertainingly readable style tells the tale of how females have been systematically excluded from the drinking scene for centuries.

This results in genderised drinks whereby whiskey = male & gin = female – as played out in my Dublin experiences.

Things are changing for the better however.

But consider the first female Master Blender of any sprits category was as late as 1997 with the appointment of Joy Spence at Appleton Estate Rum Distillery in Jamaica.

There is still a long way to go.

A compulsory text for anyone serious about the gender divide in alcohol.


Interview with Joy Spence here.


A Trio Of Aged Rums From Tiny Tipple, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, 40%, Venezuela, Appleton Reserve, 40%, Jamaica & Flor De Cana 18 Year Old, 40%, Nicaragua.

I thought I’d take advantage of the last hurrah at Tiny Tipple & try out a trio of aged rums.

With the news global rum brand Bacardi are proposing to takeover Dublin whiskey distillery Teelings as well as rum now outselling whiskey in the UK – it seems a topical time to sample this trio.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, 40%, Venezuela

Diplomatico are quite big hitters in the rum world – despite a reputation for added sugar – & are generally easily available.

Out of the 3 rums Diplomatico does come out the darkest shade of golden brown giving the nose a suitable dark, rich & sweet aroma of muscovado sugar.

Very smooth, sweet & easy on the palate.

Develops a rich & complex depth on the rear finishing with a touch of tannic spice.

A very peasant easy sipper.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, 40%, Jamaica

This is a non-age statement – NAS – release that previously proudly displayed an 8. Whether this is due to an increase in sales depleting stocks or simply a way for the distillery to utilise a broader array of rums for the blend I don’t know. Not having tried the 8yo I can only go on what is before me.

The palest light brown of the trio.

Soft hints of funk on the nose – I’d be disappointed if I hadn’t found funk in a Jamaican rum!

The palate didn’t give much away – smooth, easy & fresh.

A flourishing finalé of engaging spiciness interspersed with juicy fruitiness lifted the drinking experience.


Flor De Cana 18 Year Old, 40%. Nicaragua.

I’ve not tried any Flor De Cana before – so this big 18yo age statement carrier is a bit of a leap into their Ultra Premium Collection.

Light brown colour.

Quite a shy nose only giving away a gentle fruity sweetness.

Found the palate a trifle non-descript & unforthcoming of flavour.

The long ageing in wood dominated the finish providing a drying tannic spiciness which tingled merrily away.

Left me a little underwhelmed.


These 3 rums can easily be appreciated by whiskey drinkers. All have been aged in wooden barrels – ex-bourbon are predominately used – although I must admit to finding the wood influence begins to dominate from the core rum flavours which can counterpose as an alternative to drinking whiskey.

All 3 demonstrate a rich sweetness not typically found in whiskey – with only the Appleton exhibiting a fruity funk – even if it was quite mild in this Reserve – giving it a lead above the other 2.

Perhaps my palate would have preferred the younger rums from these distilleries? They tend to showcase the flavours from the raw ingredients used to a higher degree.


Diplomatico webpage here.

Appleton Estate webpage here.

Flor De Cana webpage here.

Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Blind Tasting Rums – 37.5% to 46%

Presented with 6 sample bottles of rum.

No labels – no information – no back story.

Do you panic?

Or rub your hands in glee eager to experience the hidden delights within?

I chose the latter.

Arbitrarily split into ‘whites’ & ‘darks’ the notes in italics are my thoughts before the reveal.


Whites c/o@bogstandarddram

A – Trois Rivieres De L’Ocean Cuvée, 42%, Martinique

Clear & colourless. Straight into funk! Rich & pungent. Guessing agricole.

This delicious rum displays fully the raw materials & distilling techniques of agricole style rhum to produce stunning spirits.

B – Glen’s White Rum, 37.5%, Scotland

Clear & colourless. Soft mild & sweet. Touch of spice. Pleasant. Decent.

Perhaps unfair to sample a fairly standard entry rum after an agricole – but Scotland’s growing rum category is certainly finding it’s stride.

C – The Hanson, Batch 1, Blended Grain, 46%, Ireland.

Pale yellow. Sweet & mild. Quite a sweet tooth resurrected by a lovely turn of spice. Enjoyable.

A wild card! Wasn’t expecting this summery light whiskey from JJ Corry here. Did enjoy that spicy finish!


Darks c/o@bogstandarddram

D – Havana Anejo Especial, 40%, Cuba

Golden brown. Sugary sweet. Doesn’t really excite. OK. Spanish style. Demerara?

Well it wasn’t demerara – but it is Spanish style – and one of the biggest sellers too! Just lacked character.

E – Mount Gay XO Triple Cask, 43%, Barbados

Golden brown. Sweet & funky. Opens up on the rear with a touch of tannic spice & hints of funk. Aged. Easily drinkable.

A lovely sipping rum. Hats off to Mount Gay – founded 1703 & still going strong!

F – Appleton Estate, 12 Year Old Rare Blend, 43%, Jamaica

Golden brown. Full on funk, rubbery kind. Dark rum. Very easy palate with slight spice & soft funk on rear. Hints of Jamaica.

Well it wasn’t hints – this is full on Jamaica! Appleton continue to deliver the goods!


A thoroughly enjoyable tasting – with an unexpected whiskey that performed well – even if undetected – in the mix!

Before the reveal my palate preferences were;

A for tops.

E & F vied for joint second.

C came next.

Followed by B.

With D trailing behind.

Based on my findings – it’s pretty clear agricole is what I’ll be hunting down!


Many thanks to @bogstandarddram for the samples