Appleton warms cold NY with Jamaica Rum Festival launch

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Appleton warms cold NY with Jamaica Rum Festival launch

BY HG HELPS
Editor-at-large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 14, 2020

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NEW YORK, United States — J Wray & Nephew's Appleton Estate Rum took its spiritual message to cold New York City on Monday with the historic launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival here.

The brand, lead sponsor of the second staging of the event scheduled for Hope Gardens in St Andrew on February 29 and March 1, saw its representatives reach out to the United States community in a bid to boost global interest in the event.

Last year, an estimated 5,000 patrons attended over both days. This year, organisers are expecting in excess of 8,000 and, importantly, the US-dollar component with visitors from North America expected to indulge, have a good time, and spread the word for future stagings.

“Our mission is to propel our rums as a tourism product,” said J Wray & Nephew's Marketing Director, Jamaica and the Caribbean Marsha Lumley. “Our country's finest rums will be on showcase and we have a sensational line-up in the area of music.

“It's gonna be an absolutely amazing event. We are proud of J Wray & Nephew rums, which embody the spirit of our national colours black, green, and gold,” Lumley told the audience at Campari USA headquarters in Manhattan.

KK Hall, senior executive at the New York operations of J Wray & Nephew's parent company Campari, described rum as a product that is on the verge of becoming a “true global phenomenon”.

“If we are going to be in the rum business, it's gonna be Jamaica rum,” Hall said. “It's our vision to craft rum the way we believe rum should be crafted. We have a strong commitment to ageing our rums, given the climate of Jamaica, particularly in St Elizabeth. Rums in Jamaica age 2.7 times quicker because of the heat, and we age every drop of rum in Jamaica. None goes elsewhere. We are committed to the highest standards of rum produced in Jamaica, and there are some exciting new things that will be unveiled in Jamaica in 2020.”

He also promised that people attending the festival will be in for a “great” time.

Rum Festival partners, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Ministry of Tourism endorsed the event, offered their full support, and said that it marked a positive move for the projection of the island globally.

Phillip Rose, JTB's regional director, north-east USA, echoed the organisation's new slogan of Jamaica being the heartbeat of the world, emphasising that the rum festival promises to be the stellar event that many are hoping it will turn out to be.

“Jamaica is rum country, and I feel passionate about Jamaica and rum,” Rose said.

“Whether it is streetside bars, those located beside churches, and even the ones behind almost every police station, it speaks to how rum is important to us as a people and as a country.

“Over 40 per cent of visitors to Jamaica come back. They come back because Jamaica is amazing the rum, the people, the food… the corporate world is paying more attention to Jamaica. More airlines are coming in droves, hotels are being built, and online searches have increased by 76 per cent,” Rose stated.

A video presentation highlighting last year's event was also on show, while later, attendees were treated to various mixes of Appleton Estate rum.


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