Updated: Apr 23, 2019
I complain plenty about the rum availability in Toronto. That doesn’t get me anywhere but it is only a natural reaction to our situation here. I’m human after all. Our liquor stores in Ontario are all government owned and their priority is to collect tax dollars. The Captain Morgans of this world work very well in this regard, so no need to offer the consumer a great variety in rum.
Today I met up with Karl Mudzamba, a rum friend from Vancouver BC. In British Columbia the rules are different compared to Ontario. They have government and private liquor stores. That sounds like an improvement, but he said variety is still lacking very much. Likely because rum doesn't have the reputation it deserves. This is of course very common in many places. Rum education is necessary to change this.
Another Canadian province, Alberta, chose a different path a while ago. They opened up their liquor market. Private liquor stores only. Or in other words, they put themselves in the 21st century. According to reports, the government of Alberta increased their tax income from liquor sales since changing this. They also have a better selection. You might think this would be the solution to all our problems in Ontario; Just order it in Alberta and have it sent here! Unfortunately, this is against the law. You can’t send liquor from one province to the other. Welcome to the middle ages!
For all the the complaining us Canadian rum nuts do, joyful things do happen in the Canadian wilderness sometimes.
I had one of those moments recently. I visited a charming skiing village called Blue Mountain. There are a few great pubs in the area. Went to have a lunch in one called the Dam Pub. It has lots of character and an impressive whisky collection of 900+ bottles. The owner turned out to have an interest in rum as well. The rum list being decent for an Ontario bar. The big surprise in that list, Appleton Master Blenders’ Legacy.
This rum came on the market years ago and is not readily available anymore, unfortunately. It used to be for sale at our LCBO liquor stores for around $90, which I think is a great price.
On the back label it states:”This precious rum was born in copper pot stills, aged in oak casks and meticulously hand blended using our rarest stocks of aged rums, at the heart of which lies the most exquisite 30 year old rum”.
According to my valued fellow bloggers Lance and Simon it’s a blend of rums between 12 and 30 years old. It’s bottled at 43% and comes in the standard Appleton bottle. I find that slightly disappointing as it doesn’t look premium in any way, but that does keep the price low. In the end, I personally prefer a lower price to a fancy bottle but for a less informed consumer it might not look like it’s worth double the price of the 12. This could have hurt sales.
First thing I notice is that it’s quite oaky, followed by some familiar Appleton scents of orange peel and dark chocolate. Pineapple and honey show their faces as well. There was another thing I picked up but couldn’t describe right away. It came to me after a while…..hay! It’s like walking into a dusty barn!
The chocolate, pineapple, honey and the oak are back. There is a tiny bit of smoke and licorice in the background. It starts off pretty sweet but once you get to the medium long finish it becomes quite dry and peppery with a slight burn.
I really enjoyed this rum. When I got home I had a sip of Appleton 21 and didn’t feel it was more enjoyable than the Master Blenders’ Legacy. Having it in a charming pub in the countryside might have had something to do with that. Regardless, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a bottle if I ever came across one, especially if it’s around the $100 mark.
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