Appleton Rum Estate
Appleton Estate © Acampbell3000
Appleton is considered by many to be the best rum in the world, but even for those who don't drink it this tour is interesting and entertaining. Nestling in the sugar cane fields of St Elizabeth parish, the Appleton Rum Estate near the village of Magotty offers visitors the chance to find out all there is to know about the production of rum. There is a small museum with equipment and artefacts from days gone by, and a resident donkey to demonstrate how sugar cane used to be crushed by turning the teeth of the mill.
The estate's vast acreage is still planted with sugar cane, and visitors are shown how it is harvested, crushed, fermented, distilled and aged in handmade oak barrels. Then blending is explained, before the bottling is demonstrated and thirsty tourists can end off their visit at the tavern to sample the estate's rums and liqueurs. You can drink plenty on this tour should you please, with rum punch served in the beginning while you watch a short film, and the opportunity to try out 10 of the distillery's products at the end. Tours also usually include a complimentary bottle of rum. The guides are friendly and extremely proud of their product.
Note that the roads to the estate are rather hair-raising, although they wind through some lovely scenery. Also, photos are not allowed at certain stages of the tour because Appletons wants to preserve some of its secrets!