Friday Happy Hour: Mount Gay 1703 Oak Cask Selection, Perfected by Tradition

BIM's finest | Credit: Patrick Bennett

BIM’s finest | Credit: Patrick Bennett

Some rums simply occupy the Top Shelf. Oh sure, they belong there. They’ve got the pedigree, centuries-old blending and aging techniques and other assorted artisan touches… but they’re not elite. They’re not among the very select, choice few rums that actually define the term Top Shelf. These are the world’s most exceptional blends. Rums against which all others are measured. Rums that inspire. Rums that tantalize. Rums of legend. Rums like 1703.

The very finest blend from the very island where rum was born, Mount Gay 1703 is the fulfillment of most any connoisseur’s wildest fantasy, its greatness embossed in all caps right on the bottle:


Perfection. Yes. Indeed.

Originally introduced in 2009, 1703 takes its name from the year that Mount Gay was founded. To me, the pedigreed designation is well placed as this stuff is simply masterful in every way.

Mount Gay 1703, Top Shelf Defined | Credit: Patrick Bennett

Mount Gay 1703, Top Shelf Defined | Credit: Patrick Bennett

A whopping 44 blends were combined to achieve its distinctive, refined flavor. The different blends, all aged in former bourbon casks, range from 10 to 30 years-old, so you’re assured to enjoy a mature, sophisticated taste of Barbados in every single drop.

Personally, I used to prefer Mount Gay Extra Old, a slight step down, but a nice sipper nonetheless.

As my tastes have evolved over the past couple years, however, I’ve learned to better appreciate the exceptional refinement of 1703.

Caramel and spices are in perfect balance and harmony here, with wondrously smoky oak notes encouraging you to keep your glass close to your nose til the last drop is gone.

Make no mistake, 1703 is to be savored slowly. No ice. No mixers. No nothing.

In recent months, I’ve had occasion to sip it in New York, Grenada, Barbados and here in South Florida. Each and every time, 1703 put me instantly at ease, melting away whatever cares or stresses I might’ve been experiencing in a wash of warm rum goodness.

Other rums have had a similar effect on me, but none have quite the calming effect as 1703 for me.

A bottle will run you about US$100, but you won’t find a better, more refined taste of Barbados on any Top Shelf.


Last updated by Steve Bennett on .