Fri | Oct 20, 2017

JWN to pay homage to Joy Spence with ‘Appleton Estate JOY’ rum

Published:Friday | February 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Master Blener Joy Spence speaks with Chairman of J Wray & Nephew Limited Clemet 'Jimmy' Lawrence at a luncheon held in her honour on December 1, 2016.

Back in December, J. Wray & Nephew Limited (JWN) hosted a big luncheon in honour of Joy Spence, their world-renowned master blender.

But, apparently, that just wasn't enough. So now, JWN is about to pay homage to Spence, again, but this time, it's about to launch a limited-edition 25-year-old aged rum branded just for her. Spence has worked with the company for more than three decades.

'Appleton Estate Joy' is to be released later this year, the Financial Gleaner understands.

JWN declined an interview about the rum's details, at least not right now, saying only it will be a sophisticated rum, enjoyed neat or with ice. The company has said it has a marketing programme lined up for 'Joy', and would be willing to be interviewed later this month.

The planned rum will add another line of aged rums to Appleton's already formidable line-up. JWN sells rums under the Appleton brand aged for a minimum of 12 years, 21 years, 30 years and 50 years. It also offers Signature and Reserve blends.

In preparation of the launch, the company's legal team filed for a trademark of the 25-year-old rum last November. It awaits a final decision from the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office on whether the mark is approved.

The profile of the 25-year-old rum would equate to rums aged for more than half a century in Europe. That's because tropical rums age three times faster than in cooler European climates, according to master blender Spence.

"Appleton Estate 21 Year Old is a luxury rum. This is an amazing rum with a blend of rums that has been aged for a minimum of 21 years. This rum would have to be ageing for 63 years in Scotland to get the same flavour profile and intensity. It is a rich, full-bodied rum with amazing complex flavours," said Spence in a Campari master blender video dedicated to master blenders across its subsidiaries. Campari Group of Italy owns JWN.

In 2005, the Government of Jamaica awarded Spence the Order of Distinction for her service to industry for over 35 years. JWN declined to answer queries by phone but offered the Financial Gleaner an interview later this month.

Spence joined Appleton Estate as chief chemist in 1981 and eventually gained the title of master blender in 1997.

"Joy is the first woman to hold the position of master blender in the spirits industry," states Campari Group in its dedication to master blenders.

In the September quarter, the Jamaica rums portfolio earned US$51.5 million for Campari.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com