USA Today’s 10Best nominates two J’can Rum distilleries
Voting closes February 3. (Photos: via usatoday.com, Fredi Marcarini, and via Island Routes)
Hampden Estate Rum and Appleton Estate rum distilleries are both nominated for USA Today’s 10Best Best Caribbean Rum Distillery.
The timing is perfect, but the current leader board status…not so much!
Though there are only two Jamaican rum distilleries listed, and notably six distilleries in operation locally, Appleton Estate and Hampden Estate Rum hold the fort and are currently ranked #10 and #13, respectively.
The Best Restaurant in the Caribbean category is a sub-category of the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards 2020 and was tallied by travel journalists Melanie Reffes and Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon.
Other distilleries from the Caribbean that were nominated include Mount Gay Rum from Barbados; Topper’s Rhum in Sint Maarten; and Cruzan Rum Distillery in St Croix, US Virgin Islands.
Appleton Estate embodies the spirit of the Cockpit Country and one of Jamrock’s prominent rum distilleries and exporter.
Appleton Estate “has the distinction of being the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica in continuous production, crafting this delicious rum with the warmth, passion and unique spirit of Jamaica for more than 265 years.” Read more here.
Plus, Appleton Estate Rum is one of few rums in the world to claim a terroir – a natural environment that replenishes the natural elements required to reproduce rum – found in Nassau Valley, St Elizabeth.
Hampden Estate Rums is another heritage rum distillery, with an estate steeped in history, primarily associated with the royal family, parts of Europe and Scotland.
The Hampden Sugar Estate is located in Trelawny, St James, and has been in operation since 1753.
Today, the distillery is a step back in time, unchanged since the 18th century.
It is the quintessential spirit lover's dream, identifiable by the heart of the distillery, Hampden’s four iconic pot stills: The John Dore, The Vendome, The Forsyth, and the fourth unnamed, built by the South African firm TNT.
It is important to note that the 2018 Best Rum Distillery Award in the Caribbean was the Barbancourt Rum Distillery in Haiti.
Appleton Estate finished in sixth place in 2018 and was ousted by Distillerie JM in Martinique, Topper’s Rhum Distillery, Sint Maarten, River Antoine Rum Distillery in Grenada, and Casa Bacardí in Puerto Rico.
In 2019, Topper's Rhum Distillery copped the award. Jamaica did not make the top ten.
Stats aside, it’s clear that USA Today editors appreciate rum as so many Caribbean natives do.
Also noteworthy is the second annual Jamaica Rum Festival, slated for February 29 - March 1 at Hope Gardens.