DISCUS Lifetime Achievement Award
The world's first female master blender, Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence (third from left), has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
She also becomes the first Caribbean Master Blender to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) of the United States, shedding light on the calibre of rum produced by Jamaica and the region at large.
The DISCUS Lifetime Achievement Award honours an individual who supports the industry during their lifetime through significant innovation and promotion of the industry, commercial strategy, advocacy, and responsibility.
Spence, who has been the master blender at Appleton Estate for over 23 years, received the honour at the council's annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Over the course of her career, Spence has combined the art and science of rum making to create ‘some of the finest, most highly decorated rums in the world’, including Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve and Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-Year-Old. Her crowning achievement was the Limited-Edition Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaican Rum – the oldest rum blend ever introduced to the consumer marketplace.
She has also travelled the world engaging with consumers and sharing about J Wray and Nephew’s premium aged rums, and what makes them unique and different from their competitors.
Spence has received numerous honours and awards during her career, including the highest Jamaican civilian commendation, the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander in 2017, in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of Jamaica’s rum industry and Jamaica globally.
In 2018 she became the first female to receive the National Medal for Science and Technology for her significant advances in the field of science and technology and contributions to the economic, cultural and social development of Jamaica.
Additionally, Spence was named Fortune magazine’s most influential woman in food and drink, and in 2011 received a Golden Rum Barrel Award for the most influential rum blender for the last 10 years.
She has also received two honorary doctorate degrees.