Jamaican Joy Spence fell in love with chemistry at age 13. She always wanted to become a scientist.
After graduating from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and the University of Loughborough with a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry, she joined Appleton Estate in 1981 as Chief Chemist and quickly became enthralled with the process of blending rum.
Joy’s prestige in the industry rose at a time when rum was primarily made and consumed by men, and her 1997 appointment as the world’s first female Master Blender certainly served to shatter the spirits industry’s glass ceiling.
There are two videos below that highlight the depth and spirit of this woman.
In the first video, you get to see the lighter side of Dr Spence.
In the second video, Dr Spencer shares her journey to masterclass.
Since 1997, Master Blender Joy Spence has created many rums, including the Appleton Estate Reserve Blend and the Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-Year-Old.
She also created the limited-edition rums Appleton Estate 30-Year-Old Jamaica Rum; Appleton Estate 250th Anniversary Blend, to honour that anniversary of the Appleton Estate; and the Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve, a 50-year-old-minimum-age rum created to celebrate the golden anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.