Jamaican Embassy in Washington Pays Tribute to First Female Master Blender

Photo: Derrick Scott Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, presents a plaque to Joyce Spence in recognition of her 20 years as Appleton Estate master blender and the first female to hold this position in the spirits industry. Occasion was a function held at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington D.C on February 4 to honour the master blender. Sharing in the occasion is J. Wray & Nephew’s Global Brand Public Relations Manager, Catherine McDonald.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has lauded Appleton Estate master blender, Joy Spence, for 20 years as creator of some of the world’s finest aged rums.
  • Ms. Spence is credited with creating the popular Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old Rare Blend as well as the limited editions: Appleton 30-Year-Old, the 250th Anniversary Blend, and Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has lauded Appleton Estate master blender, Joy Spence, for 20 years as creator of some of the world’s finest aged rums.

Ms. Spence, who has been with the Caribbean’s leading rum manufacturing company for the past 35 years, has the honour of being the first woman to hold the position of master blender in the spirits industry.

At a function held at the Embassy in Washington DC recently to honour her achievements, Ambassador Marks said Ms. Spence has blazed a trail in a field that is dominated by men.

“We are proud of your achievements and that is why we are honouring you tonight in recognition of your 20th anniversary… creating and promoting Jamaican rums of the finest international quality,” she said.

Ms. Spence is credited with creating the popular Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old Rare Blend as well as the limited editions: Appleton 30-Year-Old, the 250th Anniversary Blend, and Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum.

Most recently, she created the Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, which will be released later this year to mark her 20th year as master blender. This 25-year old minimum aged rum includes rum aged up to 35 years.

The reception at the Jamaican Embassy featured the tasting of various Appleton blends created by the master blender, including the popular 12-Year-Old Rare Blend and the premier Appleton Estate 21-Year-Old Jamaica Rum.

Ms. Spence, in her reply, said she was honoured to be recognised by the Embassy of Jamaica.

She indicated that she would be promoting her special Joy Anniversary Blend internationally, and Washington would be her first stop.

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

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