Wray and Nephew

Wray and Nephew

If you’re like me, back when you were a teenager you’d be having ‘shots’ of overproof rum on a night out for cheap thrills and many a spill. But growing up, have you ever had it since, or indeed, actually enjoyed it? I have, to the point of I actually enjoy having a tot when I come across a overproof brand. One of the most recognisable of the category is Wray and Nephew, so it makes sense to take a look at the product that counts for 90% of all rum consumed in Jamaica.

The history of J. Wray and Nephew began in 1825 when company founder John Wray opened ‘The Shakespeare Tavern’ in Kingston, Jamaica. Kingston grew steadily and eventually became Jamaica’s capital in 1877, with The Shakespeare Tavern became highly successful. In 1860, Wray brought in Charles James Ward, the son of his brother, to run the business side of the company. Bringing with him qualities that made him a dynamic and gifted entrepreneur, and under the leadership of John Wray, J. Wray and Nephew began a period of growth and prosperity. Wray retired in 1862 and died in 1870 leaving Ward as the sole proprietor of the business.
Ward developed his heritage – a tavern and liquor-dealing concern, into one of Jamaica’s largest commercial enterprises and a company that enjoyed international success. At the International Exhibition held in London in 1862, J. Wray and Nephew won three gold medals for its 10, 15 and 25yr rums. The Company’s rums also won several awards and prizes at international exhibitions in Paris in 1878, Amsterdam in 1883, New Orleans in 1885 and Jamaica in 1891.

In 1916, the Lindo Brothers & Co purchased J. Wray & Nephew and almost immediately thereafter, the new company, J. Wray & Nephew Ltd., purchased the Appleton Estate – the oldest and most famous of all Jamaica’s sugarcane estates. In 1997, Joy Spence was made the master blender at J. Wray and Nephew – the first ever woman to occupy this position in the industry.

So how does this overproof fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Wray & Nephew Rum Cream
Wray & Nephew Rum Cream

Wray and Nephew Overproof – 63%

Sweet fruity aromas on the nose with a kick of corn coming through. Sharp on the palate, but develops a warm bouquet of fruit aromas that lingers for a long finish.

I picked up a bottle of this over in St Lucia too;

Wray and Nephew Rum Cream – 15%

Born from the inspiration of the mix of Supligen and White Overproof Rum. Rich cream notes on the nose, with the strike of overproof rum coming through slightly. A developing flavour of the rum as it sits on the base of the palate. The cream blends well and gives a good balance for a long, fresh cane finish.

Rum legend Ian Burrell created something a bit more palatable if having it straight is not your cup-of-tea *-

Reggae Rum Punch
Reggae Rum Punch

Reggae Rum Punch

Glass – 

Hurricane

Ingredients –

50 ml Wray & Nephew Overproof
50 ml Fresh Pineapple Juice
50 ml Fresh Orange Juice
25 ml Fresh Lime Juice
12.5 ml Monin Grenadine

Method – 

Shake with plenty of ice and serve in a Hurricane glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice.

A great cocktail idea, and one that could ease you into overproof rums. Worth a feature within your drinks cabinet, with the rum cream a great addition, especially if you have a party going on.

* Cocktail created by Ian Burrell.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Appleton Estate

Appleton Joy

Appleton Estate is one of the world’s most well-known rum brands, hailing from Jamaica and offering up expressions used by all, from cocktails to served over ice. I finally get myself out to Jamaica soon to check out their home, but it’s got me taking a sneak peak before i jet over!

The first known documentation of rum production at the Appleton Estate dates back to 1749, however the origins of the Estate date back as far as 1655 when the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Frances Dickinson took part in that British conquest and it‘s believed that the Appleton Estate in the Nassau Valley, St. Elizabeth was part of the land grant that Dickinson received as a reward for his services. His grandsons were the earliest known owners of the Appleton Estate. In 1845 the Appleton Estate changed hands from the Dickinson family when it was acquired by William Hill and later changed hands again when it was purchased by one of Jamaica`s most successful merchants, A. McDowell Nathan. He unfortunately died in an earthquake in 1907 and his vast estate, including Appleton, was eventually acquired by J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. who still own it to this day.

Appleton Estate also comes with a rather unique approach to their production.

The Estate grow their own sugar cane and ferment using soft water from a spring that originates through the limestone hills within the estate. A natural culture of yeast in the fermenting process is also used that has been handed down through generations. Small batch copper pot distillation is the preferred method, blending the rum between both copper pot and column stills. Maturation takes place within 40-gallon Number One Select American Oak barrels and when selected by the Master Blender, Joy Spence, incidentally the first woman to be appointed Master Blender in the world, they are then blended to create the Appleton Estate range. After blending, the rums are set to rest, which allows the marrying of the various components and brings the blend together.

So how does the range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Appleton Estate V/X – 40%

*NOW DISCONTINUED* A blend of rum of at least 5yrs. Light on the nose with an oak aroma coming through near the end. A slight pepper is also present. Dry spice is immediately apparent on the palate, with a vanilla flavour mixed with the oak creating a long, dry, lingering finish.

Appleton Estate Special Gold – 40%

A blend of rums distilled in pot and column stills. These are matured separately before being hand-blended, then aged in refill Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey barrels.
Plenty of caramel on the nose, although becoming lighter with hints of sweetness following. Very light on the palate, rather thin, with a slight sweetness, blended with butter flavours.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend – 43%

Launched in 2000 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Appleton Estate and uses minimum 8yr old Appletons. Lots of orange on the nose, with hints of hazelnut and soft fudge. Smooth on the palate, developing warmth. Honey, toasted fudge and hits of citrus on the lingering finish.

Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12yr – 43%

A blend of rums between 12 and 18yrs. High notes of vanilla and banana on the nose, which follows onto the palate with a punch, although it mellows with a creamy texture. Creates a long, rich ending.

Appleton Estate 21yr – 43%

Following maturation, this was blended and married in casks for two years and uses minimum of 21yr aged rums. Bouquet of floral aromas and nuts. Cocoa and vanilla swirling around slowly. Plenty of nuts, thick, stewed fruits and hints of rich molasses. Long, fresh with hints of dryness.

Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend 25yr – 45%

This special blend commemorates Joy Spence’s 20th anniversary as master blender. A combination of rums aged for between 25 and 35 years.
Fresh demerara sugar upon the nose, with hints of fresh ripe banana, clove and oak coming through. Ripe notes of red apple, dried cinnamon sticks and coffee, moving to a bold kick of cocoa and toffee. A long, fresh finish, becoming quite moorish.

 

A cracking range of rum from Jamaica, with versatility to offer cocktails such as;

Applton - Joys Cocktail

Joy’s Cocktail; crafted by the Master herself.

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients – 

25 ml Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
75 ml Ginger ale
Slice of orange
5 drops Angostura bitters
Orange peel (garnish)

Method – 

Squeeze the orange slice into a rocks glass and then drop it in the glass and muddle it. Add ice and build in remaining ingredients and stir.

Worth seeking out a couple of the Appleton Estate range for your cocktail evenings, and at least one to sip when the occasion calls for! I’ll be sure to update as and when i experience straight from Jamaica itself!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.