STYLE Canada Changemaker Joy Spence

Joy Spence – Appleton Rum’s Master Blender – is the first female Master Blender in the spirits industry recognized as a pioneer and celebrated trailblazer in a male dominated field. With a 40-year career legacy, Joy is a champion for advancing women and dedicated to leading Appleton into the future supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Did you know? Women can have genetically superior nosing and tasting skills – a well-known fact in the global spirits industry – yet women are still in the minority!

Joy Spence knows first-hand how important women are to the future of the spirits industry, offering these tips for women interested in following in her footsteps:  

To become a Master Blender, first you should have an excellent knowledge of chemistry and excellent sensory skills. Become a sponge for technical knowledge.

Stay positive and channel any negativity as a sounding board for improvement. Throughout my career I was able to use my learning experiences to help other women in the industry realize their full potential.

She had several challenges along the way – staying focused on your knowledge and dedication to the craft is key.

Joy Spence has been at the forefront of developing some of the world’s best-in-class rums – and has been officially recognized by the Jamaican Government for her contributions to the rum craft and representing Jamaican excellence. Acknowledging her contributions to the brand, Appleton Rum named its signature distillery tour in her honour as the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience. 

For more information, visit

Check out our other Changemakers.

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