As a valuable public service, we crack open spirits from B.C. to Bahrain and beyond, and then give you a highly opinionated, pocket-flask-sized review.
Today’s free pour
Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks
"Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks is a tribute to the Black River that is integral to Jamaica’s rum history and the source of the limestone-filtered water used to craft our rums.
The rums that make up Black River Casks are hand-selected and crafted with Jamaican limestone-filtered water, with no added flavors, and have all been aged for a minimum of 15 years in the tropical climate of Jamaica. Our 15 Year Old rum is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks."
Get ready for something so grandly transporting, you’ll do anything to avoid breaking the spell. That’s a heads up that Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks smells almost insanely wonderful—like freshly cut Blue Mountains sugar-loaf pineapple, grilled tangelo slices, and molasses-heavy ginger cake. What do all three of those have in common? They’re all deeply woven into the fabric of Jamaica, a made-for-Instagram tropical wonderland that you’re unfortunately not getting to any time soon.
So close your eyes, inhale deeply, and picture yourself lounging on the white sands of Seven Mile Beach. Or floating aimlessly in the turquoise waters of Blue Lagoon. Or tucking into a plate of jerk chicken and roasted breadfruit at Scotchie's in Montego Bay. And, no, it doesn’t matter that the closest you’ve ever got to Jamaica is Bob Marley’s Legend.
What in the glass is no less heavenly once it’s sipping time. Silky, slightly viscous, and crushed-velvet smooth, Appleton Estate Black River Casks is a bold and complex rum, heavy with notes of fresh vanilla bean caviar, orange-infused molasses, and toffee-coated Indian almonds. If that sounds beautifully elegant, that’s not by accident.
There are two lines of thinking that apply here. You know how, when you’re cooking, you tend to avoid using the good stuff—sorry Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 1941—and instead reach for the Wild Irish Rose, Carlo Rossi, or anything that comes in a box from Kelowna?
Anthony Bourdain would have argued that you don’t put anything in your pasta sauce that you wouldn’t serve Francis Ford Coppola. In other words, you can’t make a quality meal, or cocktail, without using quality ingredients. So you’ve got a choice with Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks.
Option number one is using it in a liquor-forward cocktail like an Old Fashioned. A great base, after all, makes for a great cocktail. Don't forget to stir it up!
Option number two is neat, or, if you must, pouring it over an oversize ice cube. Ahh, memories of Jamaica—even if they’re only imagined.
2.5 oz Appleton Estate 15 Year Old Black River Casks
.5 oz simple syrup
One dash Peychaud’s bitters
Two dashes Angostura bitters
Two dashes orange bitters
Orange peel garnish
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with large, cubed ice. Stir quickly until glass frosts, then strain into an Old Fashioned glass, over a large block ice or ice sphere. Finish it off with an orange twist.