J. Wray and Nephew Ltd

J. Wray and Nephew Ltd.

J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. is a distiller, blender, and bottler of rum, originating and operating in Jamaica.


The history of J. Wray and Nephew began in 1825 when company founder John Wray opened 'The Shakespeare Tavern' in Kingston, Jamaica. Kingston grew steadily and eventually became Jamaica's capital in 1877, and The Shakespeare Tavern become highly successful.

In 1860 Wray brought in Charles James Ward, the son of his brother, to run the business side of the company. Ward was a dynamic and gifted entrepreneur, and under his leadership J. Wray and Nephew began a period of growth and prosperity. Wray retired in 1862 and died in 1870 leaving Ward as the sole proprietor of the business. .

Ward developed his heritage - a tavern and liquor-dealing concern, into one of Jamaica's largest commercial enterprises and a company that enjoyed international success. At the International Exhibition held in London in 1862, J. Wray and Nephew won three gold medals for its 10, 15 and 25 year old rums. The Company's rums also won several awards and prizes at international exhibitions in Paris - 1878, Amsterdam - 1883, New Orleans - 1885 and Jamaica 1891.

In 1916, the Lindo Brothers & Co purchased Wray & Nephew. Almost immediately thereafter, the new company, J. Wray & Nephew Ltd., purchased the Appleton Estate - the oldest and most famous of all Jamaica's sugarcane estates.

Rums currently produced by J. Wray & Nephew include

  • Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum (the flagship brand, an incredible 63% ABV),
  • Coruba Jamaica Rum,
  • Appleton Special Jamaica Rum
  • Appleton Estate Jamaica Rums:
    • V/X
    • Extra
    • 21 Year Old

Appleton Estate Rums are still produced on the Estate, which encompasses over of sugarcane, a sugarcane refinery, and the Distillery. .


  • It is said that 90% of rum sales in Jamaica are of this famous brand, used in Jamaican rum punches, Mai Tais and daiquiris.
  • In 1997 Joy Spence was made the master blender at J. Wray and Nephew - the first ever woman to occupy this position in the industry.
  • At 63% it is comfortably the highest ABV on the drinks menu of the popular Wetherspoons chain of British pubs - as such as it has developed something of a cult status among hard-up students.
  • One cocktail involving Wray and Nephews has achieved prominence. The 'Robert Graham' is one measure of Wray and Nephew topped up with an energy drink such as Red Bull, and the more intoxicating 'RVG' is the same, with double the rum.

Another popular drink containing Wray and Nephew’s is the cocktail “Colonel of the Ghurka” It is mixed in a pitcher and contains one shot of Wray and Nephew’s and another of Jagermeister, two shots of Southern Comfort, and two bottles of WKD Blue, then top up with a can of Red Bull or Lemonade.

External links

  • J Wray & Nephew (UK) Ltd

See also


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