Appleton Rum Dinner at Riley Street Garage

Bars, Drink, Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 26 November 2013


Fifty years is a long time, especially when you’re waiting for something good. But, as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait. I may not have been waiting 50 years but I was grateful when Appleton Estate invited me to try their rare, limited edition, Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve.
Only 800 bottles have been made available for sale globally with only 17 bottles on the Australian market. With a recommended retail price of $5,500 per 750ml bottle the Appleton Estate 50 Year Old is believed to be the oldest rum available for sale in the world.
Standing in the foyer of Riley St Garage on a Wednesday night this new restaurant fills quickly with diners perched at the bar or seated at tables around the room. I am joined by other drinks writers each cradling a Dark and Stormy cocktail waiting to be seated.
I take a seat for the second time at this restaurant and like the time before, regret not sitting at the bar.  The drinks are the highlight of this establishment and the Pina Colada that follows an excellent Dark and Stormy confirm my opinion.
The menu for the evening is share style with popular dishes from the Riley St Garage menu.There is plenty of food and I enjoy trying different dishes including the fresh oysters served on shaved ice in a wooden box. The rest of the menu is quite heavy for my liking but the men around me seem happy, especially when the crispy pork knuckle with soy mustard and pickled apple is placed on the table.

Oysters Fresh and with Truffle Oil

The cocktails keep rolling and so does the food, all in the presence of a carefully eyeballed bottle of the 50 year old. Packaged in a bespoke hand crafted, crystal decanter the label has been engraved into the crystal and filled with gold. The decanter is completed with a gold finished brass and cork stopper beautifully presented in a black lacquered gift box with gold finished brass hinges. The room is full of young, eastern suburbs glamours but at my table we’re all interested in this aged beauty.
Aromas of rich vanilla, cinnamon, maple and orange peel flood my nose before an exceptionally smooth rum hits my lips and leaves me with a honeyed oak finish.
A boyfriend once told me on the eve of my 21st birthday that I was like a fine wine, getting better with age. If I am half as memorable and delicious as this dark mahogany coloured rum by the time I reach 5 decades I’ll be a happy lady. For now, I settle for another sample, if you please!
Beer Tempura Morton Bay Bugs with Spicy Mayo

Pork Knuckle with Soy Mustard and Pickled Apple

The Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum is available now from Dan Murphy’s online and selected exclusive retailers.
Riley St Garage
55 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo, 2011 NSW Australia
02 9326 9055
Tuesday/Wednesday 5pm-late
Thurs/Fri/Sat 12pm-late
Sunday/Monday Closed