A person I know in the spirits industry called white rums as a general category "insipid," and this is certainly a bottle that one could hold up as perfect evidence of that point.

I picked up this particular specimen of Appleton Estate because I had heard people mention it as a fairly well-known and regarded brand. Fans of Appleton Estate are definitely out there, and the company has quite a few aged expressions. Jamaica is also taken seriously as a rum-producing country, so I figured this would be a good place to get my feet wet. 

Now with wet feet, I can say this: you probably don't need to bother—especially if you're looking for something with backbone that could hint at the depth of flavor white rum can offer. It has one (and only one) quality that saves it from being at the bottom of the pile, and I'll get to that later.

When you have the Appleton White on its own, it's like you get to experience a spirit just plain give up on all levels. There's nothing on the nose. Maybe a hint of lime if I'm feeling generous. But when you sip it neat, there's nothing but the dry astringency of alcohol—and then nothing. This is utterly flavorless and watery. The absolute best tasting note I was able to manage was vaguely lemon-lime diet soda. 

This is a rum for people who bought a factory new Honda Odyssey. This is a rum for people who pack themselves the same sack lunch they've been eating for ten years. This is a rum for people who own a bird or a fish as their only pet. It's pedestrian. It's boring. It's safe.

You probably don’t need to bother.

Therein lies the only thing that saves this from a zero-star review. It's so absolutely boring that you don't have to worry about it being unwelcome in a mixed drink. If you have a good dark rum and are making a tiki drink that calls for light rum as well, maybe you want your light rum to sulk in the corner like a toddler who just got a "time out" for coloring on the wall. It's 40-proof booze that will add booze to a drink, with precisely nothing else to offer beyond that. Most vodkas are more interesting and flavorful than this.

So if you need not necessarily a good mixer, but an invisible mixer, the Appleton White is a fair choice. For any other application the Appleton White will underperform.

Nose: Nothingness with a wisp of lime.
Taste: One part diet Sprite diluted with two parts water.
Finish: Neutral at first, but some acidity and throat burn become more apparent with repeated sips.
Misc: 40%, Jamaican-produced.
Price: $16
Overall Rating

Hauntingly boring