Wed | Jul 18, 2018

‘JOY to the world’ - Wray & Nephew’s special run to salute female master blender sold out

Published:Sunday | June 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this image released by J. Wray & Nephew on April 2, 2017, master blender Joy Spence poses with the rum named in her honour – the Appleton Estate JOY Anniversary Blend.

The JOY Anniversary Blend Rare Jamaican Rum, special edition rum, produced by J. Wray & Nephew's master blender Joy Spence, was sold out locally and internationally in record time.

"I can't believe that in every country that I've visited, the minute I land and start the promotions, it sells out," said Spence.

"It is a record. We have never sold out stocks of what we call limited time offerings in such a short period of time.

"We produced approximately 1,000 cases of JOY for the entire world, and the expectation was that this would behave in typical fashion and be depleted over two to three years as with other limited time offers," said Spence.

"Jamaica was sold out in a week. It is awesome to have a Jamaican product being recognised internationally and to actually see people clamouring for it everywhere I go. In the United Kingdom, the Whiskey Exchange sold out the minute we began promotions, and in Switzerland, it sold out in just the two days.

"I feel proud to be a Jamaican, and I'm proud to have created a rum for Appleton Estate that creates such a stir on the global market," added Spence.

 

HUMBLING EXPERIENCE

 

According to Spence, it is a very humbling feeling to see the growth of the Appleton brand and the Wray & Nephew brand globally.

"I remember when we started bottling for Mexico. We just had 100 bottles on the line, and now Mexico is our number-two market.

"I also remember when we started bottling small quantities for Canada, and now Canada is our number-one market globally. So I've seen the phenomenal growth of Appleton Estate worldwide from the late '80s to now."

JOY, a minimum 25-year blend, was produced and named for Spence in recognition of her over 35 years of service to J. Wray & Nephew Limited, the last 20 of which has been as master blender.

Spence remains the only female master blender in the rum-making business globally.

"When I was asked to create this blend to celebrate not only my 20th anniversary as master blender, but my 35 years in the industry, I wanted to create a rum that would be recognised not just by rum connoisseurs, but by whiskey and cognac connoisseurs, a rum that would be so complex and sophisticated that it could be enjoyed by anyone," said Spence.