Appleton Estate & New Yarmouth

Located in the St. Elizabetzh Parish, Appleton Estate combines a 400 hectare sugar cane plantation with a sugar refinery and distillery. Dating back to 1749, when it was less than a hundredth of todays size, the estate has quickly been sold to the Dickinson family, whose ancestors played a crucial role in conquering the island alongside Admiral Penn. After changing ownership a couple of times, it has eventually been bought by J. Wray & Nephew in 1916. They are responsible for the perhaps most sought after bottle of rum ever, the Wray & Nephew 17YO which has been used by Trader Vic in his original Mai Tai recipe. In 2012, the Campari group bought out J. Wray and Nephew now operate almost 4500 hectares of plantation land and two distilleries on Jamaica. One is Appleton, the other New Yarmouth in the Clarendon Parish, where the unaged Wray & Nephew Overproof rum is produced (other brands produced at New Yarmouth include Coruba, Conquering Lion, Charly’s JB and Edwin Charley).

Appleton’s fermentation lasts for one and a half days, which is initiated by the distillery’s proprietary yeast strain. While Appleton can distill the resulting wines with one of their five 22,750 litre pot stills, the largest part of their blends is produced by their column still. Both, pot- and column still make are barreled separately and only blended right before being bottled. Today, Appleton is said to have some of the oldest rums in the Caribbean (are we going to get any? The barrels should be almost dry by now) and about 70% market share on Jamaica, mainly due to the Wray & Nephew Overproof. This also makes it the world’s 5th largest rum producer.

pot stills appleton
Pot Stills at Appleton. Photo by Matt Pietrek.

(Some of) Appleton’s marks are:

  • APEL
  • APCC

The first two might stand for Appleton Extra Light, which would have been examplary for Worthy Parks WPEL, and Appleton Common Clean, respectively.

New Yarmouth’s marks all cary NYE (New Yarmouth Estate) at the beginning and then another token for the ester range as follows:

95-150:       P
150-250:     W
250-350:     CR
500-700:     HM
900-1000:   RR
1300-1400: WM
1500-1600: WK

Corresponding brands:

  • Appleton
  • Blackwell
  • Charley’s JB
  • Conquering Lion
  • Coruba
  • Edwin Charley
  • Wray & Nephew

Tasted Appleton branded rums:

Tasted New Yarmouth Rums by independent bottlers:

Wray & Nephew