Monday, May 15, 2017
Rum seems to be having its moment. The spirit, a former component of seafarer's grog, has found a new audience in recent years. “Millennials!” shrieks Joy Spence, Appleton Estate’s celebrated master blender - the first woman in the world to hold the title and the brains behind Appleton’s new "Joy Anniversary Blend".
“From London to Kingston, attitudes are changing,” explains Joy Spence. “Young professionals between 25-40 years-old are actually drinking their rum neat and enjoying it for its sophistication and complexities.” Appleton’s new blend, an exclusive mix limited to only 1200 bottles, is sure to sate this newfound appetite. As the name suggests, Appleton’s Joy Anniversary Blend is a celebration of their master blender, a woman whose superhuman sensory perception, chemical nous, she retains the highest BSc chemistry results in Loughborough University’s history, and larger-than-life character have propelled her to fame amongst the international rum community.
“It’s called Joy, because that’s what people feel when they taste this blend for the first time - it also happens to be my name,” she jokes. A more appropriate name for the copper-colored rum might be "epiphany" - so revelatory is the flavor profile of the drink - but few names other than Joy best suit the vivacious mastermind behind the beverage. “People are looking for a pure drink where all the flavors are derived from the process,” she says, stroking the curves of her namesake bottle, “there’s no additives in there”.
Much has been made lately of the so-called "rum revolution" and it’s artisanal drinks like this that are sinking the drink’s barnacled reputation as a pirate’s preserve. Tiki no more: premium rum is big business. Unlike wine, rum isn’t going to develop with age but - if you choose your bottle carefully - you could see a hefty return on your investment. “The standard rum category is pretty flat” says Joy, “but premium rum is going to be hot. It’s predicted to be the next whisky.” Blessed with an indefinite shelf-life, to uncork a bottle of rum is to be transported to a moment in history. The Joy Anniversary blend for instance, is comprised of a 35-year-old and a 25-year-old matured rum - Jamaicans have gone mad for the stuff.
Appleton Estate Joy rum can be sampled today at the Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn here in Key West. This is a wonderful fum worth every penny of its price and can only be tasted in the finest rum bars around the world.