EST. 2010

Friday Happy Hour: Mount Gay Black Barrel – Top Shelf Rum, Bargain Price

Mt Gay Black Barrel

Mt Gay Black Barrel

Ever notice how big rum manufacturers tend to be on history? They’re always releasing new and ever more exquisite blends to commemorate significant events tied to their distilleries, countries of origin, etc. (Remember this?)

As a history lover, of course, I love this.

As a rum buyer… eh, not so much.

Specially commissioned commemorative rums are generally produced in limited quantities, which together with their historic cachet, often yields premium prices. The desire is there, believe me, but alas, this man cannot afford to live on Top Shelf rum alone…

Enter Mount Gay Black Barrel. The newest masterpiece from “The Rum that Invented Rum,” it’s got all the choice qualities of any other exceptional commemorative blend.

Black Barrel was produced in honor of Mount Gay’s 310th anniversary, a pretty nice milestone for the entire rum industry considering Mount Gay’s status as the world’s oldest documented rum producer. You’d have to say such a landmark occasion deserves a truly special new blend, right?

Mount Gay Black Barrel | Credit: Patrick Bennett

Mount Gay Black Barrel | Credit: Patrick Bennett

Well, I have to say that Black Barrel delivers… big time!

Mount Gay is famous for combining single column and double copper pot distillates to create their distinctive treasures. Black Barrel is no exception, of course, but in its particular case there’s a good bit more of the double copper pot good stuff in here. It’s also the only Mount Gay rum finished in charred oak barrels formerly used to age bourbon, which of course is where the whole “black barrel” thing comes from.

These unique touches are said to give Mount Gay Black Barrel a bold flavor beyond the brand’s other rums, a notion that I was happy to put to the test…

I didn’t detect it on the nose, though at first whiff I was compelled to whisper “wow.” It’s subtle, understated, and there’s some spice and wood in there, but for me the smell is all about the sweet liquid itself. The balance is exquisite, with nothing overwhelming the rum. This is truly what rum should smell like.

On the tongue, more wows. These wows were louder and more emphatic, though, as the taste just blew me away!

A slight, lightly caressing burn quickly gives way to a wonderfully warm, smooth flavor highlighted by vanilla and oak. The spices are more bold than on the nose, but again the balance is exceptional. Everything is in perfect proportion.

For my own personal taste, I might prefer it a tad or two sweeter, but then it wouldn’t really be a Mount Gay rum. As it stands, Black Barrel is an amazing new expression of the storied Mount Gay brand that I won’t soon be able to get enough of.

How so?, you may be asking. Didn’t I just note above that these types of limited edition commemorative rums are usually super pricey?

Indeed, I did, and yes, they usually are. Mount Gay Black Barrel, though, breaks the mold. Its price tag: just a shade under US$30.


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