By Crystal McCormick
No trip to Jamaica is truly complete without an Appleton rum-laden cocktail.
Consistently awarded as one of the best rums in the Caribbean and beyond, this beloved spirit almost seems synonymous with the island. Tours of the historic Appleton Rum Estate therefore, have long been a favorite of Jamaican visitors.
In the heart of Jamaica’s famed Cockpit Country, the Appleton Estate has been crafting premium rums for nearly 300 years. The unique mix of Appleton’s island history, ample beauty of its historic grounds, and, of course, its continued dominance as one of the most revered spirits in the world place the factory itself among the best ways to get an authentic taste of Jamaica.
Unfortunately, the estate was closed to tourists in 2016 for renovations. Now, the tour is back - and it’s bigger and better - offering visitors a hands-on, state-of-the-art experience like none other.
The New and Improved Appleton Tour
After a $10 million-dollar facelift, rum-lovers can now enjoy a fully interactive visitor experience at the estate, learning about everything from traditional distillation methods to cane juicing. There’s also a full hands-on tour of the barrelhouse where you can learn about the rum-making process from start to finish.
Formerly known as the Appleton Estate Rum tour, the new tour now goes by the name of the Joy Spence Estate Rum Experience - named after the first woman in the industry to hold a Master Blender title.
This isn’t the first time that Appleton has honored this trailblazing figure. After being named the first female master blender ever by the Appleton Estate, 20 years ago, the estate released its first ever 25-year rum blend last year – fittingly named “Joy."
Get Your Food and Drink On
What would a rum tour be without indulging in some drinks? Well, the Appleton estate seems to agree, which may be why the revamped tour features three separate tasting rooms, each with their own bar.
And for those special events, you can reserve the private VIP tasting room, for you and 20 of your closest rum aficionados.
After all that rum tasting, you’ll definitely be feeling irie… and probably hungry, too. When you want to grab some nosh during your tour, the estate has you covered with a brand-new restaurant, bar, and lounge where you can feast on authentic Jamaican jerk dishes straight from an authentic barbecue pit.
Fun for the Whole Family
While the Appleton Estate tour is perfect for the rum-lover in all of us, this unique tour is also a perfect setting for a day trip with the family during your stay at Moon Palace Jamaica.
Aside from learning the ins and outs of how rum is made, the revamped estate tour also features one-of-a-kind exhibits and artifacts about the island’s history, as well as an observation tower where the kiddos can take in the sights of Jamaica’s unique and breathtaking views. There is also a 3,000-square-foot theater where you can watch a custom film about the estate, among other things.
You can even get in some retail therapy while on the tour. The estate features a new community center where you can scoop up goods from local artists and craftsmen. In total there is over 2,500 square feet of retail space where you can find authentic Appleton merchandise and even have your bottle of rum engraved.