The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,133 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 13,015,972 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum

Jamaican Rum  83.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2010

I have been told that Appleton Dark overproof rum is one of the most favoured rums on the Isle of Jamaica.   This knowledge  intrigues me as I often prefer cask strength offerings when I drink whisky.  I do not believe this is due necessarily to the higher alcohol content, but rather due to the concentrated flavours in a spirit bottled at a higher than 40 percent alcohol volume.  Now a rum at  75 plus percent alcohol by volume is another story entirely.  At this strength we have a spirit which is much higher in alcohol volume than any cask strength whisky I have tried, and rum already having a vigorous flavour profile will be extremely concentrated at this strength.

In the Bottle 4/5

We have a tall clear glass rum bottle which displays the extremely dark brown spirit inside.  I have made my point about the inferiority of pressed on screw caps in the past and will not belabour it here.  Because the rum is reasonably priced I will not quibble unnecessarily with the presentation.

In the Glass 9/10

When I swirl the rum in my glass I see nice legs trailing back in the rum.  I get a sense of power and richness  from the nose which I like.  The aroma from the glass is very strong with molasses, brown sugar spices and a heavy alcohol updraft.  I do not believe this rum is meant to be sipped or enjoyed neat as I am about to do.  But I must admit I was not expecting such a nice smell from the glass.  The alcohol masks the individual scents to some degree, but I can identify  spices akin to cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as a vague imprint orange and banana peel.

In The Mouth 50/60

I had to prepare myself for the first sip.  It was a somewhat numbing experience.  Sweet burly molasses and spice is about all I can say at this point as the strength of the alcohol numbs the palate before much else can be deciphered.   I let everything sit in my mouth for a little while and decide that the flavour is quite complicated, but as I mentioned, the heavy alcohol strength has numbed my ability to distinguish anything individual.  The rum is not meant to be drank this way, and I decide not attempt much more with a straight spirit.  I added Coca Cola to the sipping glass in about a fifty-fifty mixture.  This is a strong drink but fairly close to the typical strength of a normal rum now.  I also mixed a fruit drink with fifty percent Appleton Dark and fifty percent of a grapefruit and pineapple juice mixture.

Both the rum and coke, and the fruit cocktail I mixed were very nice.  They have more sweetness and more caramel flavour than I have noticed when mixing with other Appleton rums.  A vague sort of nuttiness as well which I want to say is reminiscent of walnuts.

In the Throat 12/15

That first sip I took earlier had  me gasping for breath for a few seconds.  The intensity of flavour and alcohol was just too much for me to handle straight up.  But I let my palate and throat rest and actually enjoyed the caramel and spice afterglow.  My two cocktails each produced a thumping burn and a strong caramel aftertaste.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum is an intense, rich rum.  If your preference is for a strong mixed drink, then there is a place in your bar for the rum, especially if you like burly molasses and strong caramel flavours.  Although I found its flavours rich and intense, I did not find them overly complex.  Brown sugar spices and caramel prevail with the alcohol bite  masking the other flavours.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.



Rum Punch

I am avoiding suggesting a cocktail entirely and moving instead to suggest that this rum will be at home in most rum punch recipes that call for dark rum.  Its not that I do not think Appleton Dark 151 Proof rum should not be used in cocktails, its just that I think the strong nature of the rum will make a great base for Rum Punch.

I did a bit of research for punch recipes and the earliest recipe construction I could find was in the form of a poem from the New York Times in 1908.  The poem does not give ingredients rather it gives an overall suggested form of ingredient types:

Here is the poem and its suggested recipe construction:


This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.

From this poem, and in the spirit of poetic license, I have designed a Jamaican Rum Punch using the ingredient construction from the poem in the New York Times from 1908.

(using the 1908 New York Times Poem Version)

1 cup of Lemon Juice & 1 cup Lime Juice  (Take two of sour)
1 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice & 1/4 cup Grenadine (To one and a half of sweet)
1 !/2 cup Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum & 1 1/2 cups Appleton Estate VX Rum (Of Old Jamaica pour three strong)
3 cups Ginger ale; 1 Cups Orange juice ; a dash of bitters  & Ice cubes (And add four parts of weak)

Garnish the punch bowl with tropical flowers, and a variety fruit slices, pieces and chunks.



My research also turned up a new version of this old poem which I found on many websites.  No one seems quote the origin of this bit of poetry, so I’ll throw it out for anyone who can enlighten me so that I can give proper credit for this sparking dactylic gem:

“One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak.”

Using this cadence, the same recipe above will be changed slightly, and now the recipe is:

(using the more modern poem version)

1/2 cup of Lemon Juice & 1/2 cup Lime Juice (One of sour)
7/8 cup Pineapple Juice & 7/8  cup orange Juice & 1/4 cup Grenadine (two of sweet)
1 1/2 cup Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum & 1 1/2 cup Appleton Estate VX Rum ( three of strong)
4 cups Ginger ale; a dash of bitters & Ice cubes (and four of weak)

Again garnish the punch bowl with tropical flowers, and a variety fruit slices, pieces and chunks.


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

2 Responses to “Appleton 151 Dark Jamaican Rum”

  1. Simon Needham said

    I live in the UK and can no longer find a supplier of Appleton 151 Dark Rum. Where did you get yours from?

    In aniticipation.


    • I received my bottle from a friend who was traveling in Jamaica two years ago. I do not believe it is available anymore. Sorry for the bad news.


%d bloggers like this: