Appleton unveils world’s oldest commercial rumBy Richard Woodard
The world’s oldest commercially available rum has been unveiled by Jamaican producer Appleton Estate to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the island’s independence.
Only 800 bottles of Appleton Estate 50 Years Jamaica Independence Reserve have been released with a target price of US$5,000 per 75cl bottle, and will be sold through specialist rum retailers, selected on-premise accounts and in duty free around the world.
Launched immediately in Jamaica, the product will be unveiled in Canada next Wednesday and, for the US market, in New York during the week beginning 18 June.
Addressing the launch ceremony at Jamaica House in Kingston, Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller took her first ever taste of rum in unveiling the new product, saying: “Rum, as you are all aware, is part of brand Jamaica,” adding “Tonight, without getting into too much spirit, we are here to celebrate Appleton Estates’ achievements and successes.”
Appleton Estate master blender Joy Spence paid tribute to her predecessor, Owen Tulloch, who was initially responsible for the aging rum after it was laid down in cask in 1962.
She revealed that at one stage the barrels were chained to the warehouse floor to prevent their theft.
“There have been many sleepless nights as I was worried that my tenure would be very short if any of these barrels went missing,” she said.
Appleton MD Paul Henriques described the 45% abv rum as “a truly rare and exceptional rum which has a very significant meaning for Jamaica’s celebration of its independence”.
He added that, although the youngest rum in the blend was at least 50 years old, “there’s stuff in there older than that,” and said plans were already in hand to create an even more special limited edition bottling for Jamaica’s centenary celebrations in 2062.