A complete guide to Appleton Estate rum




In 1749 – the Appleton Estate began producing rum from the Nassau Valley – in the heart of Jamaica. The Valley’s unique topography, climate and elements make up the terroir that gives Appleton Estate rum its distinctive character. Naturally filtered through limestone, the spring water is exceptionally soft – which helps give the rum its smooth texture and sweet taste. Guardian of Appleton Estate’s production is Master Blender Dr. Joy Spence who, upon graduation from University returned to her homeland of Jamaica and, in 1981, joined Appleton Estate. Joy found a passion for distilling and blending, fine-tuning both her artistic talents and scientific proficiency. And after holding a series of key positions – she was appointed Master Blender in 1997 – becoming the first female Master Blender in the world.



All of the ingredients that go into making Appleton Estate rums are cultivated on the Estate itself – in St. Elizabeth, Nassau Valley. The Estate’s unique geology provides the distillery with a terroir that no other rum can claim – with over ten varieties of sugar cane cultivated on site. During fermentation, molasses – natural spring water – and a proprietary, cultured non-GMO yeast – are mixed together. The natural qualities of the yeast and the pure, limestone-filtered water are part of what gives Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum its unique character, taste and aroma – including its distinctive orange peel finishing note. The fermented wash is then slowly distilled in traditional small-batch 100% copper Forsyth pot stills and in column stills. Once the rums have been aged to perfection – each Appleton Estate expression is then created by Master Blender, Dr. Joy Spence. Joy selects and blends the aged pot still and column still rums to match the desired flavour profile of a given expression. After they are blended, the rums are set to rest, which allows them to marry into a spirit unlike any other. – and all of Appleton Estates rums are bottled in Jamaica – making the entire process 100% Jamaican from cane to cup.

Portfolio and Tasting Notes


Appleton Estate has a wide portfolio of spirits – each expression unique in its own way – but all rich with flavour and brand heritage.

Appleton Estate signature is a blend of pot and column still rums aged for an average of 4 years, with aromas of dried apricot, fresh peach and a subtle hint of sweet molasses.

Appleton Estate 8 year old reserve is crafted by Appleton Master Blender Dr.Joy Spence to commemorate the brand’s 250th anniversary. This blend of pot and column still rums are aged for a minimum of 8 years. It is Appleton Estate’s most versatile expression – revealing aromas of spicy fruit and oak, followed by hints of honey, vanilla, holiday spice and Appleton’s signature orange peel note.

Appleton Estate 12 year old rare casks are a blend of rare and handselected pot and column still rums –all of which have been aged for a minimum of 12 years. It reveals aromas of toasted oak, dried fruit and hazelnut – followed by notes of dark cocoa, delicate molasses, orange peel, rich vanilla and hints of coffee.

Appleton Estate 21 year old Nassau Valley Casks are a tribute to the Estate’s lush and fertile home. A blend of rare and hand-selected pot and column still rums are aged for a minimum of 21 years – gradually developing notes of deep vanilla, mellow orange peel, rich nutmeg, vibrant almond, warm coffee and cocoa – with a long and dry finish.

Key message on the product


When we speak about Appleton Estate, there are a few key points to keep in mind: Appleton Estate is authentic Jamaican rum made in the Nassau Valley since 1749 – a unique, lush, and fertile terrain in the heart of Jamaica. Through a meticulously managed ‘Cane to Cup’ approach – Appleton Estate own and manage every step in the production process – – from harvesting sugarcane in the valley – and sourcing spring water from the Estate – to meticulously managing each step in the fermentation, distillation and ageing processes. Due to Jamaica’s tropical climate – Appleton Estate’s rums age roughly three times faster than spirits in cooler climates – enriching its flavour quicker. Every barrel of rum is personally picked by Master Blender Joy Spence – the spirit industry’s first female Master Blender with over 35-years experience at Appleton Estate. Appleton Estate has over 270 years of expertise in the art of making rum – has been granted numerous prestigious awards – and remains an integral ingredient for bartenders around the world. Mai Tai anyone?

Hero cocktail – Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is a popular classic cocktail – but when combined with Appleton Estate’s 8 Year Reserve Blend – this ordinary drink is transformed into something truly extraordinary. Start with…

  • 2 parts of Appleton Estate 8 YO
  • 0.5 parts fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 parts Orange Curaçao
  • 0.5 parts orgeat (almond syrup)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and pour into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with lime shell and mint sprig. Cheers!