Jamaican Rum History: The Appleton Estate

Situated in the fruitful Nassau Valley on both sides of the Black River in the South-West of Jamaica, Appleton Estate is the oldest and most well-known sugar estate in Jamaica. Its roots date back to 1655 when the English seized Jamaica from the Spaniards. By 1749 Appleton Estate was an settled rum-distilling sugar plantation. It has operated non stop for over two and a half century. Nowadays the Appleton Estate consists of nearly 4,614 hectares (11,402 acres) with 1,500 hectares (3707 acres) of sugar cane plantation. The Estate has its own sugar factory and rum distillery which are both known as Jamaica’s most modern and well equipped. The sugar factory can manufacture up to an astonishing 160 tons of sugar per single day while the distillery has a capacity of ten million litres of rum every year. Eighty percent of all production is exported.

Appleton Exclusive Estate

Appleton Exclusive Estate

Throughout the second World War, whiskey was hard to obtain and after experimenting to manufacture a rum that could replace whiskey, the “Appleton Estate Special” was created. It is a smooth, light and scented rum that was very popular amongst Jamaicans. This brew was renamed to “Appleton Special” in the mid 1990’s and remains popular amongst Jamaicans but has also grown to being a favourite rum around the world.

In 1957 Percy Lindo’s two sons sold the firm to a organization including some of the principal investors of the Lascelles deMercado Group. In 1989, the Lascelles deMercado Group obtained J. Wray and Nephew as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Today, acknowledging the international potential for Appleton Jamaica Rum, the firm is emphasing its attempts on growing this brand on the world market through the expansion of international marketing and distribution channels and the introduction of new Appleton brands.

J. Wray & Nephew continues to run a bar on the site of John Wray’s authentic Shakespeare Tavern.

Rum Tours

Appleton Estate organises regular rum tours on the Estate where you will take a trip through time and can taste samples of some of their best rums! Book a rum tour from the comfort of your home right here.

More on Jamaican Rum history here.


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