Monday, October 17, 2011

Rum Review - Mount Gay Extra Old is a rum I've NOT had the pleasure of sipping, but I want to give it a go.  Next time I see it at the market, it's mine.  Mount Gay is the founder of all rum, really, and it's from the amazing island of Barbados so whats not to love?

Read this excerpt from

The Mount Gay Estate is one of the oldest estates in the Caribbean, and definitely the oldest on Barbados. Many believe rum has been produced on the estate as early as 1663, which is the year William Sandiford bought the estate.

The estate included a still that was capable of producing rum, but the only legal and the oldest written evidence of rum production in the estate is from 1703, making Mount Gay the oldest rum producer in the world.
(generally priced from $25 to $35)

Mount Gay Extra Old rum begins its life like most other rums, in the sugar cane field where the cane is harvested, crushed and the resulting juice heated to extract sugar crystals and of course, molasses.

At Mount Gay the molasses are fermented up to 72 hours, which results in the molasses having around 6 to 7% of alcohol. The fermented molasses is distilled in pot and column stills after which the distillate is transported to St. Michael for barrel aging and diluting with coral filtered water.

The distilled sugar cane spirit is matured in 200 liter oak barrels from Kentucky which are only used three times to age rum before being replaced by newer barrels. Some of the rums reserved for the blend of Mount Gay Extra Old are aged up to 17 years in these barrels before being blended in large tanks, overseen by the Master Blender, Allen Smith.

The color is sparkly amber with brighter yellow highlights.

Gentle floral and buttered aromas are drifting near the mouth when the rum is first poured into the glass, later revealing caramel and creamy vanilla with bourbon and coconut undercurrents.

The flavors are initially warm and tingly from the alcohol, but are quickly subdued by sweet caramel and light wood notes that are further softened by bourbon and vanilla. A slight bitterness remains on the tongue, however.

The rum leaves a nice spicy glow in the mouth and the bitterness from the taste has almost disappeared, allowing a few earthy bourbon notes to come through with caramel. Mount Gay Extra Old finishes in copper with bitter coffee beans that dissolve into a lasting balm of crème de caramel.

Final thoughts
While not overwhelmingly complex or mind blowing, Mount Gay Extra Old is a nice sipping rum and no doubt works well in many cocktails, the rum old fashioned being one of my favorites.  It is not too rare or expensive in such use either which easily makes it one of my staple rums that I can drink often enough without being afraid of the wallet going empty.

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