Appleton Hearts Collection: the re-evolution of the pot still
This limited-edition collection of 100% pot still single marks selected by Luca Gargano and Joy Spence has now become the stuff of legend.
After the 1994, 1995, 1999, 1984 and 2003 vintages, it's now time for the 1993 and 2002 releases.
Since 2020, the year of the first releases, the Appleton Hearts Collection has been a true cult item among collectors around the world, with some versions selling literally seconds after their release online.
The project stems from the idea of bottling the best single marks legendary Master Blender Joy Spence uses to create the blends that have made the history of Appleton Estate, which had never been shown before to the world individually. For centuries, the distillery has in fact been bottling exclusively rum blends from column and pot still distillation.
This 100% pot still bottling is a first in Appleton's history – vintage rums of different marks, distilled in pot stills and kept jealously secret. Each mark is aged up to 30 years in a tropical climate - a unique feature in the world of rum.
The sixth and seventh editions demonstrate the huge depth of the range, something that was achieved thanks to the distillery's incredible barrel stock. With more than 200,000 barrels, the depth of the Appleton Estate stock is unparalleled in the world and it's the only rum distillery with which this co-bottling would have been possible.
Going back to the dawn of the project, the spark ignites when Luca Gargano meets Joy Spence. It all starts with a private barrel tasting at Appleton Estate, when Luca and Joy select the range of exceptional vintage pot still rums that would eventually make up the collection.
We already talked about it with Joy Spence here on the occasion of the previous two releases, in an interview that was also a chance to discuss her long career.
As she herself says about the project:
“We both knew we wanted to develop a unique project and, for the first time in the history of the brand, we set up a collaboration! The connoisseur Luca Gargano is unquestionably one of the most knowledgeable rum experts alive today, so the decision to work with him came naturally. He is also one of the world's greatest rum collectors, as well as an incredible figure. This gave us the opportunity to do something that had never been done before at Appleton.”
The love for Appleton and for Jamaica inspired the name of the project – Hearts Collection is meant as a declaration and a tribute to the heart of the country and the love for rum, which has in pot distillation its truest expression and its very heart.
On the new double release, Joy Spence commented, “After the huge success of our 2020 releases, we felt we needed to continue our journey and explore the best that a legendary distillery can offer the world… I've long dreamed of releasing selections of individual Appleton Estate pot still vintages, so it's been amazing to see the warm reception Hearts Collection releases receive year after year, all over the world.”
We now have the first collection of Appleton’s 100% pot still vintages, with the first five releases joined by two new bottlings:
The 1993 (29 years) and 2002 (20 years) vintages were selected from 13 and 20 barrels respectively, chosen among the almost 200,000 barrels that are currently ageing at Appleton Estate.
The 1993 Hearts Collection (Casks: from 413487 to 413499, 3600 bottles in total) has a congeners content of 1456 g/100 LAA; it opens with aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon mixed with notes of mint, caramel, toasted oak and vanilla.
The 2002 Hearts Collection (Casks: from 404082 to 404101, 5700 bottles in total) has a congeners content of 834 g/100 LAA; it features notes of orange blossoms, molasses, vanilla, coffee and caramel, with a rich, smooth honey flavor in the mouth.