It was a glitteirng evening at Jamaica House in the island's capital, Kingston. A balmy evening in a superb setting. The Jamaican prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, more than played her part in launching Appleton Estate Jamaican Independence Reserve, which coincides with the island's celebrations to mark ithe anniversary of 50 years of independence.
Wray & Nephew md Paul Henriques and his team must have been delighted. Once Miller had got her inevitable political speech out of the way, she noticeably relaxed and seemed happy to be pictured holiding a glass of the 50-year-old rum and even sipping it. She winced at the strength of the neat spirit.
It was a glittering evening and the PM had a navy blue dress to match. The 'great-and-the-good' of Kingston turned out for the evening. Henriques reaffirmed Wray's commitment to Jamaica and said that they will do a 100-year-old for the island's centenary celebrations of getting independence from Britain. Be interesting to see if the rum survives another 50 years. Sadly, I'm not likely to be around to try and compare it with what we tasted last nignt.
The rum was rich and complex with a great deal of wood as you would expect from a spirit that had aged for somlong in this hot and humid climate. I'd like to see them send some barrels to Burn Stewart in Scotland and maybe Hine in Cognac, both also part of parent company, CL World Brands. Forget them for 10, 20 years and see how they fare. The rum aged in cool Scotland would be particularly interesting.
It was a delightful evening. Today we travel to the north of the island to see the Appleton estate which is apparently situated in a beautiful valley. Having seen my fair share of vineyards down the years, I'm looking forward to seeing a sugar cane plantation.