Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum launches 17 Year Old Legend

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Appleton Estate, a global leader in premium aged rums, has launched its limited-edition 17 Year Old Legend – an exclusive and faithful recreation of the legendary 17 Year Old rum crafted by J. Wray & Nephew on the Estate in the 1940’s.

The J. Wray & Nephew 17 Year Old is known around the world as the inspiration for the creation of the Mai Tai cocktail.

The rum has become one of the most sought-after bottles in the world, and today, a tribute to this legend of cocktail history returns to the world stage as a limited offering – good news for both rum connoisseurs and classic cocktail enthusiasts.

Appleton Estate rum

Appleton Estate 17 Year Old Legend is an emblem of the distillery’s unrivalled history of crafting exceptional aged rums.

Referencing original manuscripts and formulas, legendary Master Blender Joy Spence created this one-time release using four very rare distillates set aside to rest on the Estate to best recreate the taste profile of the prized golden blend.

17 Year Old Legend is the gift of one of the oldest aging rum libraries in the world. Due to the rarity of the distillates, only 1,500 bottles are available globally.

To those bartenders at the forefront of the emerging Tiki cocktail movement in the 1940’s, the J. Wray & Nephew 17 Year Old was one of the most sought-after rums in the world and set the gold standard, prized for its gilded colour and sensual, smoky, orange top notes.

In 1944 in California, far from Jamaica’s tropical shores, legend has it that this exquisite spirit caught the imagination of one notable bartender in particular – Victor Bergeron, founder of the famous Trader Vic’s bar in San Francisco.

While experimenting with friends, it’s said that he reached for a bottle of 17 Year Old rum, blended by J. Wray & Nephew, which would become his rum of choice.

Medium-bodied, beautiful, and golden, the hues were evocative of the Jamaican sun. Protective to not overpower this special blend, Victor paired it with a subtle range of ingredients, to complement the rum’s top notes.

Shared with his friends from Tahiti, it was declared ’Maita’i roa a’e’, or simply translated, ‘the best’, and thus, a legend was born.

Today, Appleton Estate is proud to pay tribute to this enduring spirit. Crafted with Jamaican limestone-filtered water, with no added flavours, 17 Year Old Legend displays rich, caramelised pear and banana notes, mingling with warm, nutty, oak, and floral herbal notes.

The full body crescendo culminates in a lingering, silky-smooth finish.

Lewis Moberly Legend design

Appleton Estate has partnered with leading brand design agency, Lewis Moberly to create the name, packaging design and launch campaign for Legend.

The precious liquid is held in the brand’s iconic glass bottle with a tropical interpretation of Appleton Estate’s visual codes in its neck label and vivid and engaging gift box, exemplifying this release’s role as a true taste of Jamaican luxury.

Appleton Estate has many stories to tell. The Lewis Moberly challenge was to tell this one with contemporary relevance.

The new label design with its gilded centrepiece and crafted story is an invitation to participate in the joy and passion of Jamaica.

There is a nod to the heritage label, while new cues underscore the product credentials and super-premium positioning. Past and present are united elegantly and eloquently as the pack captivates as a luxury limited edition.

The Lewis Moberly launch campaign stretches from physical to digital and from pack to New York launch party, targeting both bar tenders and rum collectors. With just 1500 bottles of this special expression

produced and available for sale, 36 NFTs, redeemable for bottles of Appleton Estate 17 Year Old Legend, were made available on

Appleton Estate and Lewis Moberly have collaborated with Jamaican Visual Artist, Oneika Russell to develop the artwork for each NFT exclusive to BlockBar – a first from Appleton Estate.

Mary Lewis, Creative Director at Lewis Moberly, said: “We have lived the legend. This has been an adventure through time. Our challenge has been to engage bartenders and aficionados alike, while inviting new enthusiasts to experiment and discover.”

Dave Weiss, Global Senior Brand Manager Rums at Campari, added: “This project is certainly a game changer for the Appleton brand and what will be a best-in-class LTO launch campaign for Campari Spirits brands.”

The 17 Year Old Legend will also be available at select premium retailers starting in June, 2023, in the United States, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, and Hong Kong for SRP $500.