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Appleton Estate Bartending Challenge Champion

A panel of judges had decided on the finalists but the overall winner on the night was down to the audience who voted with “Appleton Dubloon” crown coins, which they were given on arrival. These they paid to the mixologist that they felt had fulfilled the role of Appleton Champion to the fullest. The contestant with the most coins was declared the winner.

In preparation for the contest each bartender was encouraged to “get out there” and gather ingredients for their participation in the following day’s finals.  This involved touring the Kingston local markets and stores, buying their needs and understanding the palette of Jamaican consumers.

Rich Hunt, who was there as the 2008 Champion and who had judged the heats, sums summed it up: “I remember from last year - it is fun, mixing and madness all wrapped up. So its speed, chat and quality delivery – you have to get the audience on side, because you need their vote, and every one counts.”

Three gruelling hours later after a close contest, Joe Stokoe was pronounced the winner and the new holder of the title Appleton Estate Bartender of the Year.  The crowd went wild, commiserated with Sam and Tom, and then mobbed Joe. The noise was deafening, but Joe managed to say some words before someone put an Appleton Estate cocktail in his hand. This one he deserved.

About Appleton rums

The brands that make up the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum range include the flagship brand, Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum; the super premium Appleton Estate Reserve 8 Year Old Jamaica Rum; the ultra premium Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Jamaica Rum; and the luxury rums, Appleton Estate Master Blenders – Legacy and Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum.

In addition, the Company will shortly launch a Limited Edition Appleton Estate 30 Year Old Jamaica Rum.  Only 1,440 bottles of this very rare rum are to be released.

The Appleton Estate is the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica and is located in the Nassau Valley in the parish of St. Elizabeth.  The first known documentation of rum production at the Appleton Estate is dated 1749.

The Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum range, which is produced exclusively on the Appleton Estate, is Jamaica’s leading premium rum and is available in 65 countries around the World. 


Pictured top and below is (l-r) Sam, Tom and Joe with Joy Spence, Appleton Estate master blender

June 09


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1 June 2009 - Felicity Murray