Mount Gay Extra Old Rum: 43% abv
Background: KCM has done multiple reviews on Mount Gay Rum, a Barbados distillery which tends to produce great value-per-dollar rums for the masses. Although Mount Gay Eclipse isn’t your sipping rum, the brand is still reputable. So what happens when you go up in the range? Mount Gay Extra Old is the middle range rum that offers a little bit more quality for a few more dollars. Interestingly, Mount Gay is a double pot still distilled rum, aged in ex-American whiskey white oak barrels. The Extra Old, in particular, is a blend of 8 to 15 year old rums. Extra Old is proofed modestly, as most rums are, but it is a slight improvement from the standard offering. Let’s look at if this premium bottle warrants a premium price.
Nose: The nose shows off a more clearly balanced rum aroma than you would find in other bottlings. A mixture of fragrant floral notes, strong maple, and a prevalent molasses make this a beautiful nose. Vanilla bean and banana also add mellow soft notes to the scent. There is a light spiciness to the rum, but it is mostly lost to the sweetness. Ripe apple, strawberry, and a slight pomegranate all add to the complexity of the nose, which continues to be a very pleasant experience.
Arrival: The arrival struggles to pull out a lot of flavor. The molasses comes out strong the arrival, with a small hint of caramel and apple as well. The arrival contains slight spiciness, and a little bit of oakiness, but fails to make it noticeable. There is also a little bit of cookie dough flavor in the arrival as well.
Body: The body really takes on notes of apple and caramel, as well as vanilla and doses of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spice blend in the body is very intriguing and enjoyable, coupled with a nice, balanced sweetness. This is where this rum truly becomes enjoyable. The confectionary notes from the arrival carry into the body as well.
Finish: The age in the rum starts to show a little more in the finish, with ripe fruit notes, thick oak flavor, and a complex balance. The ripe banana comes through very heavy in the finish, with ginger and cardamom being immediately noticeable as well. There is no shortage of vanilla, with a little bit of a confectionary flavor as well. The finish provides a slightly sugarcane-like vegetal note, contributing sweetness and slight bitterness.
Final Comments: This is a fantastic statement by Mount Gay. It does balance the sweetness of a rum with some subtle complexity you would hope for. I would speculate that an extra 3% would throw this over the top in terms of flavor, but it still does a great job of differentiating the brand’s range. This is a great sipping rum, and for the reasonable price it offers, we would encourage this one. That beings said, it doesn’t offer all of the complexity we would want, but it doesn’t necessarily need to. The biggest accolade this rum has is the level of balance it has. Worth a try.
Why you’d buy it: This is a good rum for a good price, and you’re looking for a sipper.
Why you wouldn’t: You are severely anti-gay, and the thought of buying a gay rum makes your bible cringe.