Joy Spence

Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, Joy Spence, has the honour of being the first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry.
In this role, Joy is responsible creating new rum blends. Simply put, it is Joy’s job to ensure that that all Appleton Estate rum blends meet the high standards that consumers have grown to love and expect.
Joy joined Appleton Estate as Chief Chemist in 1981 where her passion for the art of creating rum-blends was inspired by her predecessor and mentor at the company, then Master Blender, Owen Tulloch. When Owen retired Joy was appointed the Master
Blender in 1997.
The Creator of Fine Rums and Spirits
Over the last 20 years Joy has created some of the finest rums that the world has ever seen including Appleton Estate Reserve Blend and Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old.
Most recently Joy created the Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend which was released in 2017 to mark her 20 th 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.
According to Joy, 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, and have a passion for the art and pay attention to the details.
Honoured by the Government of Jamaica, Academia and the Industry:

  • 2005: Government of Jamaica - “Order of Distinction” Rank of Officer, (OD); in recognition of service and outstanding contribution to the spirits industry
  • 2011: Joy received the Golden Rum Barrel Pioneer’s Award for outstanding rum achievement
  • 2014: Honoured by the International Spirits Challenge with the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Award
  • 2014: University of Loughborough UK- Honorary Doctor of Science
  • 2014: University of the West Indies - Honorary Doctor of Laws
  • 2016: Received the Golden Rum Barrel Award for the Most Influential Rum Blender of the Last 10 Years
  • 2017: Government of Jamaica- “Order of Distinction” Rank of Commander (CD) in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of Jamaica’s rum industry and Brand Jamaica, globally
  • 2017: Tales of the cocktails Grand Dame Award as most influential female in the Spirits Industry
  • 2017: “Food & Wine Magazine”, in partnership with sister publication, “Fortune Magazine” named her in the top 20 ‘Most Influential Women in Food & Drink’