Jamaican Embassy Pays Tribute To First Female Master Blender, Joy Spence

By Derrick Scott

Washington,  DC – The Embassy of Jamaica has paid tribute to Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, Ms Joy Spence at the start of her international tour to celebrate twenty years as blender of some of the finest rums the world has ever tasted.

Ms Spence, who has been with Appleton Estates, the Caribbean’s leading rum manufacturing company for the past thirty five years, has the honour of being the first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the entire spirits industry.

She is credited with creating new rum blends including the popular Appleton Estate Rare Blend Twelve Year Old as well as the limited editions: Appleton 30 year old; 250 Anniversary Blend and Appleton Estate 50 year old rum.

Most recently Joy created the Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend which will be released later this year to mark her 20th Anniversary as Appleton Estate’s Master Blender.

The Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend is a minimum aged 25-year-old rum with rums aged up to 35 years.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks lauded Ms Spence for blazing the trail in being the only female Master Blender in a field that was always dominated by men.

“We are proud of your achievements and that is why we are honouring you tonight in recognition of your twentieth anniversary as Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, creating and promoting Jamaican rums of the finest international quality,” Ambassador Marks told the revered Master Blender.

The Jamaican Ambassador was speaking at a function billed as a ”sizzling Tropical Night in the Midst of Winter” held at the Official Residence of Jamaica in Washington, D.C. and attended by friends of Jamaica and parents of the Washington Cathedral School on Saturday.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks presents a plaque to Ms. Joyce Spence in recognition of her twenty years as Appleton Estate’s master blender and the only female to hold this position in the spirit industry. Sharing in the occasion at right is J. Wray and Nephew’s Global Brand Public Relations Manager, Ms. Catherine McDonald.
(Photo by Derrick Scott)

One of the features of the evening was a tasting of various Appleton blends created by the Master Blender which ran the gamut from the popular Twelve year old and the Twelve year old Rare Blend to the premiere Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum.

Ms Spence, in her reply said she was honoured to be recognized by the Embassy of Jamaica and disclosed that commemorate her 20th year as Master Blender at Appleton, she would be promoting her special Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend internationally, and Washington, D.C. would be her first stop.

In her presentation Ms Spence highlighted that to be a good blender you must be a sensory expert, have an artistic and creative flair, have a good understanding of the chemistry of the process, have a passion for the art and pay attention to the details.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (center), displays a bottle of Appleton Estate’s 21 year-old premium rum which was presented to her by master blender, Ms. Joyce Spence (3rd right). Sharing the occasion are (l-r) Gerald Chen-Young, Janice Cutts, Matthew Cutts and J. Wray and Nephew Global Brand Public Manager Catherine McDonald.
(Photo by Derrick Scott)

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