Smacking of lips from the sharp, smooth flavors of the 'browning' that fuzzies your insides and warms your inner circles. T'was a spiritual affair. The Appleton & Me.
Do you remember going on school trips back in the day and how excited you were? You could hardly sleep the night before because the next day was gonna be so AWESOME! Well folks, that was me two Friday nights ago. Though I knew this was no school trip, and I was the one who was going to be driving, I was so excited I could hardly sleep. Yup, a trip on a rum tour would probably do that to you. Haha.
And so it began...
An early morning ride along the countryside listening to my bestie tell me about the history of all the little townships. None of which I can recall here as my mind was absorbed elsewhere. But the laughter that emitted from both of us on the journey was that of pure joy and friendship of many a years.
We got to our destination feeling like two teenagers. Stepping through the gates we were like, 'yeah, let the fun begin.' And so it did...
We were greeted by the most pleasant set of staff. My mug-fetish self was overjoyed when they gave us a mug to commemorate national rum day, which was the Friday before. Then we were treated to our 1st Appleton mixture, 'Stormy Valley,' and, well, the rest is history😆.
Rum in hand and off we went. It started with a movie presentation about the history of rum making. Next we visited Paz the donkey who was busy chewing away at some cane, showing us how it was done back in the day. We learnt about the types of sugarcane grown (and had some), tasted raw molasses (still yucky for me), and then went on to the swirling, smelling and tasting of three of their rum blends: Signature Blend, Reserve Blend and Rare Blend 12 Year Old. Oops. Hold on! We visited the distillery and aging room too and learnt about the old and new production processes, fermentation and distillation. Sorry, I got ahead of myself. The swirling and tasting was beckoning to me, 'come hitter my goodly friend, come taste and be merry.' Don't worry about getting drunk or tipsy, the tasting is minimal. If however you get drunk at the very smell of alcohol you may want to reconsider this tour, or go for viewing purposes only, and though tasting is minimal, you might get a bit heated.
At the end of the day we had a sumptuous Jamaican lunch in their restaurant and meandered around the hallways. You can also visit their gift shop to purchase rums as well as other memorabilia.
Things to know
Tour is approximately 2hrs. A little more or less depending on size of group.
Wear light, comfortable clothing. St. Elizabeth is hot 🥵 99% of the time and when it's humid, like it was that day, dear Lord. Rum and humidity is like producing your own rain fall. Semi-naked is not such a bad idea on days like this. Now, imagine me in my cute up white pants and 3/4 sleeve shirt. As cool as I thought they were I began to wonder what the Owners would think if I just went and sat in one of the mini ponds I saw around the property.
Charge your phone or have a battery pack. There will be lots of picture taking opportunities.
Practice your picture taking poses. As I said, lots of opportunity for that if you are so inclined. And, make sure your photographer wears their glasses so you don't come out headless or cut in half (she going to kill me when she sees this 😂).
Walk with your water bottle to stay hydrated. Humidity and rum are instant dehydration methods.
Walk with a towel or rag to sap up all that sweat.
Carry a backpack. You will need it to carry your stuff around, especially if you are buying things. Ladies, the cute purses and cross-body bags are gonna annoy you, well it did for me!
Plan another activity for the day. Sad to drive that far just for one thing. You can check out the Black River Safari Tour (great), YS Falls (lovely), Floyd's Pelican Bar (next on my list). And you can always overnight at Jake's (still one of my favourite places) or any AirBNB or Guest House in the area.
The smell of the environment can be a bit pungent. It is a working farm area so be prepared for a little off scent from time to time.
That's it folks, enjoy the pictures and if you haven't experienced it yet, please give it a try.
I wonder if there is ever going to be a white rum tour? Now that my friends would make me ecstatic! You know, you can learn how to bake with it and mix drinks with it. Just a thought.
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