Appleton Estates Decades for Jamaica 60
Raising a toast to Appleton Estate Master Blender Dr Joy Spence (centre) were her daughter, Chief Operating Officer, NCB Capital Markets Tracy-Ann Spence, and J Wray & Nephew Limited Marketing Director Pietro Gramegna. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

During her 25 years as master blender at J Wray & Nephew, Joy Spence has created some of the finest rums the world has ever imbibed, including the Appleton Estate 8-year-Old Reserve and the Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-Year Old. Perhaps her crowning achievement was the Limited-Edition Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Independence Reserve. well, until now. In celebration of Jamaica's 60th Independence anniversary, Spence has crafted a limited-edition Appleton Estate Decades rum, and it is the newest addition to the famed distillery's premium rum range.

Decades was unveiled Monday evening, at an event co-hosted by J Wray & Nephew Managing Director Jean-Philippe Beyer and Spence at The Sunken Garden, Hope Botanical Gardens. The event doubled as a celebration of Spence's dedication to her craft, but became even more of a celebration when Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett declared the award-winning blender one of two brand ambassadors for Jamaica 60. Celebrated West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle is the other.

The acclaim, an ode to her commitment not only to Appleton Estate but to Jamaica and the global rum industry, was an emotional moment for Spence, who in her response said, "I have to thank Minister Bartlett for bestowing on me this wonderful privilege and honour. Rum and Jamaica are intertwined, so whenever I promote rum globally, Jamaica is there toe-to-toe. Jamaica is dear to my heart; it is the land of my birth, and the land of my love. And as long as I travel globally, I will make Jamaica proud."

Throughout the evening, guests learned about the new blend in between sips of Appleton Estate signature cocktails: Old-Fashioned, Brown Sugar, and Jamaica Daiquiri and pop-in-your mouth treats from Jacqui Tyson's From Thought to Finish menu.

The evening culminated with a spirited auction for Appleton Estate Decades bottle number 1962. The unique collectors' item signed by Spence was awarded to the top bidder, philanthropist Ka-el Geewax.

Appleton Estate Decades is composed of the finest rums that have been hand-selected over the last six decades of Jamaica's Independence, to create a luxurious and rare liquid blend to celebrate Jamaica's history and heritage. The flavour profile includes smooth notes of honey and molasses on the nose with nutmeg, walnut, maple, and vanilla finishing with notes of soft oak and bright orange zest and is best enjoyed sipped neat in a snifter glass.

Only 1,962 bottles were produced, a number that commemorates the year Jamaica gained its independence. Appleton Estate Decades Rum is only available in Jamaica for a limited time beginning July 18, 2022, with a retail price of US $1,700.

Retired airline captain Michael Lyn (left) joined British High Commissioner to Jamaica Judith Salter and her husband, recruitment consultant Philip de Waal were spotted checking the legs (viscosity) of Appleton Estate Decades (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
J Wray & Nephew Limited Marketing Director Pietro Gramegna (left) offered a Jamaican greeting to Digicel CEO Jabbor Kayumov's wife Noza (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
United States Ambassador to Jamaica Nick Perry and his wife Joyce (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
J Wray & Nephew Limited Managing Director Jean-Philippe Beyer and his artist wife Claudia raised a celebratory toast with Appleton Estate Decades blend. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
The evening's host and auctioneer Debbie Bissoon opened the bidding at US$1,700. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence's emotional reaction to Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett's naming her brand ambassador for Jamaica 60, was priceless. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (left), Appleton Estate Master Blender Dr Joy Spence, and J Wray & Nephew Limited Managing Director Jean-Philippe Beyer raised the first toast of the evening with Appleton Estate Decades. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
After securing the Appleton Estate Decades bottle number 1962 with a bid of US$16,000, philanthropist Ka-el Geewax and her husband, Google Principal Software Engineer JJ Geewax (left) were congratulated by J Wray & Nephew Limited Marketing Director Pietro Gramegna. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Master Blender Dr Joy Spence made the moment even more special by affixing her signature to Ka-el Geewax's Appleton Estate Decades bottle number 1962. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
The auctioned limited-edition Appleton Estate Decades was presented by J Wray & Nephew Regional Marketing Manager Kamal Powell. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Philanthropist Ka-el Geewax aka Auctioner 209's was a determined bidder. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Philanthropist Ka-el Geewax aka Auctioner 209's was a determined bidder. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
J Wray & Nephew Limited Senior Blender David Morrison and his, Homemaid CEO wife Nastassia were in a celebratory mood (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy