Brand: J. Wray
Origin: Appleton Estate, Vauxhall, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Still: Pot & Column Blend
For fans of Jamaican rum and its history, the name "Wray" should be very familiar. John Wray was one of the early figures in the story of the island's rum scene, having started blending distillates from Jamaican estates (including Appleton Estate) for his pub in the 1820s. Later on, he founded J. Wray & Nephew with his nephew C.J. Ward.
A complex web of ownership and transfers of ownership followed, until J. Wray & Nephew came under the umbrella of Gruppo Campari in 2012; three years later, the J. Wray brand was created as a value alternative to the core Appleton Estate lineup. One additional rebrand later, and we get to the modern day, in which J. Wray Gold is known as Kingston 62.
J. Wray Gold is an aged rum blend of pot & column still distillates, produced at the Appleton Estate distillery. It is aged for an undisclosed amount of time– presumably in ex-Bourbon casks– and bottled at 40% ABV.
Gold, high clarity, low viscosity
Pineapple rind, perfectly ripe banana, orange zest, sour blueberries
Banana, pineapple, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee cake
Medium length, slightly dry, funky; vanilla, cinnamon, pineapple, blueberries, grapefruit
This is a fine Jamaican rum; no more, no less. It's got generally the same profile as Appleton Estate Signature, but boosts the funk up a bit, which I appreciate.
The fruit is bolstered by the less funky and more sweet note of coffee cake, while spices of cinnamon and vanilla come forth on the back palate and finish. It is an approachable sip, while offering enough character to keep its presence in cocktails.