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Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience

A guided tour of the Appleton Rum distillery ends with a tasting of rums produced by this award-winning local company.

Wray & Nephew’s Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience is the only place to visit if you’re interested in how rum is made. Take the tour and you’ll immediately smell the molasses scent in the cane fields, luring you toward the largest and oldest distillery in Jamaica. Here’s where the company has been blending their rum, since 1749. From trips taking the rum to England, to trying to turn the drink into a whisky substitute during World War II, Appleton’s experiments have created a signature taste for their now famous liquor — which has been popular even when it’s been illegal. Now, with master blender Joy Spence at the helm (the first woman in the world to hold that title) Appleton’s rum has reached the point of pure perfection. Spence’s focus on quality has been so monumental that after the distillery’s recent renovation its distillery tour was named after her.

On arrival, visitors are lead into the Welcome Centre and treated to a complimentary cocktail. With a soothing blend of Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum and ginger beer in their hands (aptly named stormy valley), a knowledgeable guide takes visitors along a path back in time, explaining the history of the estate, both old and new sugar production processes, fermentation, distillation and how they move from cane to cup to produce some of the finest rum in the world. The tour is a sensory experience; guests taste succulent sugar cane and have a chance to extract its juice themselves using a method from the 17th-century. The tour concludes in the tasting rooms where visitors sample three exquisite premium Appleton Estates blends – Signature Blend, Reserve Blend and Rare Blend 12 Year Old – and learn how to critically analyze rums.

On the way out, visitors pass through the Appleton shop, where the Estate Jamaica rums can be purchased. The perfect way to bring home the warmth and flavor of the heart of Jamaica.


“I like making smoothies from the local fruit and hearing how much our guests love them. See me at Dougies and I’ll make one for you.”

Sasha Thomas, who’s worked at Jakes for two years

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