Established in 1655 as a sugar refinery, Appleton Estate started to produce rum in 1749. It is the oldest working rum distillery in Jamaica. Appleton Estate Special, the estates flagship product, was created during the Second World War to compensate for the shortage of whisky on the island. Over the decades the distillery has survived various crises by using an independent sugar cane supplier. In 1997 Appleton Estate appointed Joy Spence as their Master Blender, the first woman to occupy such a position in the rum industry. Highly appreciated by experts, Appleton Estate is regularly awarded prizes for the consistent quality of its products.