Appleton Estate

Appleton Estate is situated on the oldest sugar estate and distillery on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. The estate is deep in the lush, sun-drenched Nassau Valley which is known for its fertile soil. The Estate has its own distillery, sugar factory, and crystal-clear limestone spring.

Since 1749, Appleton has been producing their premium, aged rums from meticulously cultivated sugar cane grown on the estate.

Appleton Estate rums are bottled using strict ageing guidelines. The age you see on the bottle refers to the youngest drop of rum used in that blend.

The estate employs the only female Master Blender in the industry, Joy Spence.      

Appleton factory with its name attached on the chimney located among bushes and trees
Appleton Estate factory

style

Appleton Estate is widely known for its distinctive, rich, complex, and luxurious flavours. Notes of vanilla, coffee, cocoa, hazelnut with subtle fruits are expected in this smooth, mellow spirit.     

Vanilla pods with flower head of vanilla plant
A bundle of cocoa beans
Collection of hazelnuts in their shells
Collection of various fruits

production

Appleton Estate rums are strictly estate-distilled, which means everything takes place on-site. The distillery produces around 10 million litres of rum annually.

Appleton uses a proprietary yeast strain which is propagated from the sugar cane grown on the estate. Then the yeast is mixed with molasses from the sugar cane. The mix is diluted with water from the limestone spring on the estate to ferment for approximately one and a half days.

The fermented molasses is then distilled into a raw spirit. This part occurs in a combination of traditional copper pot stills and a modern column still.

Jamaica has a warm climate, which is said to age rum two to three times faster than cooler climates. Spirits are matured in carefully selected, handcrafted American white oak bourbon casks until they have earned the right to be called Appleton Estate rums.

The process is completed by the artful blending of Master Blender, Joy Spence, and her team. Each barrel is personally selected to be used in maturation.

Appleton Estate is home to a variety of ranges. Kingston 62 is the baseline rum using the same recipe as the discontinued Appleton Special. Signature is a blend of many Jamaican non-age-stated rums, which are perfect for cocktails. Aged rums are blends of pot and column still rums at the age of 8 to 21 years. These have been matured in rare casks and carefully selected to create a luxurious range of rums.

The distillery has also released some limited editions. Notable examples of this are ‘Joy’ which is the apex of Joy Spence’s pioneering spirit, a 30-year-old and a 50-year-old. The 50-year-old is believed to be the oldest tropically minimum aged rum for sale in the world.     


history

The Appleton Estate dates back to 1655, the land is said to have been the land payment made to Francis Dickinson for his role in the capture of Jamaica from the Spanish.    

Close view on a row of pot stills inside of Appleton Estate factory
Inside of Appleton Estate factory

The first rum was produced on the site in 1749 when it was less than a hundredth of the size it is today. Appleton Rum grew in popularity during World War II when rum was sought to supplement the insufficient whisky supplies on the island.

The estate changed hands many times before it was bought by J. Wray & Nephew in 1916.

In 2012, the Campari group bought out J. Wray & Nephew. The estate now operates over 4500 hectares of plantation land.