By Sacha Delfosse
J. Wray & Nephew’s Master Blender, Joy Spence, has been awarded the ‘Rum Experience Pioneers Award’ for outstanding rum achievement at the Golden Rum Barrel Awards, which were held in London as part of the UK RumFest exhibition.
Spence joined the J. Wray & Nephew team in 1981, staring off as Chief Chemist and holding a range of positions before becoming the first ever female Master Blender in 1997.
Since then she has created many rums for the company, including Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum, Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old and Appleton Estate Master Blenders’ Legacy.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the panel of the Rum Experience for recognizing the work that I have done in the rum industry. I would also like to thank my family, friends and my colleagues at J. Wray & Nephew Limited for their support,” Spence said.
She explains that a good blender requires sensory expertise and a good understanding of the chemistry of the process, as well as a creative flair, an attention to detail and a passion for the art.
“To create a new rum you first identify the style of rum you want. You then look at the stocks of rum that are available to you, bearing in mind the compatibility of the different marks, the effects of ageing, and the chemistry profile. Once you have done this, you decide on the best artistic combination of the marks.”