Founded in 1655 as a sugar plantation, The Appleton Estate began producing rum in 1749, making it the oldest continuously operating rum distillery in Jamaica. The Appleton Estate Special, the flagship product of the estate, was created during World War II in response to a shortage of whisky on the island. Over the decades, the distillery has survived various crises thanks to its independent supply of sugarcane. In 1997, the Appleton Estate was a trailblazer by naming Joy Spence, the first woman in the rum industry to hold such a position, as Master Blender. Highly regarded by experts, The Appleton Estate regularly wins awards for the consistent quality of its production.