I thought my first post about rum be about the brand that made me love rum: Mount Gay. It is the world’s oldest rum and established on February 20, 1703. Named after Sir John Gay Alleyne, a British descendant that also happened to part of Barbados’ parliament and was a financier of education, Mount Gay Rum has a fascinating history. I highly recommend the rum tour at the Mount Gay Visitor’s Center in Barbados. I’ll touch more on Mount Gay over time as they have a number of products (ie. Mauby, XO, 1703, Silver, Eclipse, and a small batch collector’s series). More important, Mount Gay is a staple in my booze collection – always.
So the Black Barrel is one of the newer installments to the Mount Gay Brand (roughly 3 years). It replaced a previous rum that I was a fan of (Mount Gay Black) and it’s one of my go-to rums for mixing. I must admit I drank it out of a flask recently because a security guard said either drink it or dump it prior to boarding a party boat here in Fort Lauderdale. Everyone knows you can’t let good rum go to waste. So if you’re someone who likes to drink a rum neat, this one is acceptable but not nearly as smooth as say a 12 year or a blend. Honestly, if given the choice, I would prefer a chaser for this rum. I’ve seen reviews that say the rum is harsh or too strong and I can see how some may not favor this over others. For me, I love the flavors in the Mount Gay line of rums, so I’ll take Black Barrel over other mass-marketed rums in a heartbeat.
In a nutshell, what separates Black Barrel from other rums is its aging process. Aged in charred bourbon barrels, the common notes are caramel, vanilla, and spice. There is a familiarity about all Mount Gay Rums and with the exception of the Silver, any Mount Gay employee will likely say there are common aromatics to be found in all of their rums: sweet almond, ripe banana, mocha, and vanilla. I have a small batch Mount Gay to try soon: Charred Cask. I will be sure to update once I crack open that bottle. Perhaps I should do a back to back with the Black Barrel.
I recently had the chance to learn how to make a Rum Old Fashioned with the Mount Gay Rum Ambassador, Karlene. It’s a pretty easy process for anyone that has never made one and I would say to use different types of bitters or even rums. While daiquiris and mojitos make for a nice fruity experience, they also mask the rum flavor. I have another review soon which discusses another Old Fashioned experience which has a completely different flavor. Thanks for reading.