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UK group experiences real J'can rum with Appleton tour

Published:Thursday | June 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie/Gleaner Writer
Legend Joy Spence shows incredible passion when speaking about the characteristics of authentic Jamaican rum.
Lawrence 'Rum Boss' Gregory inhales the the sweet scent of dried orange peel.
Members of the UK group, inhaling different rums.
Master Blender Joy Spence was caught in action as she inhaled the scent of the various rum mixes to determine a winner for the best signature blend.
With good-old-fashion teamwork, they are able to extract juice from the sugar cane.
With a glass of cool rum punch, the UK visitors were able to sip and enjoy Appleton Estate's beautiful vista.
Everyone gathers to taste 'wet sugar', also known as molasses.
Tour guide Tiffany O'Meally explains the ageing process of authentic Jamaican rum.
Appleton's master blender, Joy Spence, pours 21-year-old Appleton into Lawrence 'Rum Boss' Gregory's glass.

Imagine being able to travel through time to experience the history and the creative art of rum-making right before your eyes.

The Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience offers a deep awakening of passion and pride as it takes you along for the captivating journey to the helm of crafting premium Jamaican rum. Members of exceptional distilleries from the United Kingdom got the chance to experience the estate for the first time and deemed it an eventful day they have no plans of forgetting any time soon.

The experience commenced at the welcome centre, which had a modern yet rustic homely feeling. The inviting oak furniture beckoned guests to sit and relax on their soft and inviting upholstery as members of staff distributed complimentary Appleton cocktails. The UK group was excited to see what the tour was about and eager to meet the legendary Appleton master blender, Joy Spence.

The group was ushered into the Joy Spence Room, where the legend herself waited with a welcoming smile.

"Today, we will take you from the cane to the cocktail," she announced as she dived into the history of Jamaican rum and the emergence and growth of Appleton Estate.

After the history lessons, persons were put to the test to create their very own signature blend of rum from a collection of Appleton rum variations.

"The women tend to have a better chance of winning," said Spence as she inhaled the scent from the various mixes in order to determine who had the best signature rum blend.




Who knew history could be this engaging and entertaining? The story of the estate and Joy Spence continued through the beautiful display of cinematography within the Appleton theatre, which was fortified with a walk-through of the estate itself with vibrant tour guide Tiffany O'Meally.

The ground tour started with a 17th-century sugar demonstration, where persons were able to witness first-hand how the sweet juice from sugar cane was extracted in the 1600s by the lovable donkey, Paz.

Volunteers were also able to extract the juice themselves using the same method. The journey through the extraction and fermentation phases and to the ageing house was filled with history and passion that would have made any Jamaican proud of having Appleton Estate as their very own premium quality rum.

"This is amazing, and getting to meet Joy was surreal. It is an honour to be able to experience this with her," said expert mixologist Lawrence 'Rum Boss' Gregory. Most of the members of the group had never experienced the Jamaican rum culture and were shocked by a few of its customs.

"We are used to having the bartender pour out a measured amount of rum with a chaser. In Jamaica, we get our own cue and get to mix our own drinks," said Kamil Zajac.

The Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience is highly entertaining, engaging, and filled with authentic Jamaican rum. This is an experience you would never forget.