Review of Mt Gay Black Barrel Rum

On February 4, 2014, in Rum Reviews, by admin

Our Rum Guy has been drowning his sorrows once again based upon all of the sports book bets he has lost in the last few months.  Well at least when he hits the bottle to bury his sorrows, he opens an new bottle of rum and passes on his observations.  And here is yet another. He is up to over thirty such reviews, so if he is not an expert in the normal sense, he at  least has to be revered for his motto of taste, taste and taste again.  And now from the bottom of the gutter, his review of Mt. Gay Rum.


“We Are Family” sang Sister Sledge back in the 1970’s.  “ah,ah,ah, my sisters and me”. OK. I know this dates me, but who cares, it is what it is, so just go with it. Today we review The Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, part of the Mount Gay “family” of rums which include the Extra Old which was previously reviewed.  Mount Gay Distilleries began back in 1703 on the Caribbean island of Barbados.  Rum’s origins, while murky, are forever linked with sailors.  With voyagers trading around the world, Barbadian rums and  the island’s sugar cane became known for their superior flavor and textures.  The Mount Gay rums continue that tradition.  The Distillery uses deep underground water that was naturally filtered through coral limestone, then distilled further.  Their famous sugar cane is then turned into molasses and then, according to their website, they still use the traditional double copper pot stills for distillation.  Usually, the rum is then aged, which they prefer to use the term, “maturing” in charred white oak barrels that were first used for American Whiskey as well as blended.   The Black Barrel is said to be a small batch, handcrafted blended in heavily charred oak , hence the “black barrel’ name.

 Pictured Left:   Mount Gay Rum Black Barrel

The bottle itself is clear glass, with a black and yellow label with the name quite prominently displayed and a hand-drawn map of the island of Barbados.  While the label is busy, it also advises of the source of the spring water used and the name of the Master blender as well as the type of barrels and how blended.  I felt knew what I was buying.

Removing the cork releases the aromas of the Caribbean, soft sand, palm trees swaying in the breeze, warm sun and easy nights.  This is a nice gold coloring as it slides into the glass.  First taste on the tongue is bold, and can be overpowering if not prepared.  There is a hint of spice, and vanilla, with a touch of fruit and caramel.   The finish burns a little due to the high alcohol content.  This could be a good sipping rum if you like strong rums and add a slice of lime on the side.   The  86 proof is stronger than most rums, and for some that takes some getting used to.  This rum slips smoothly into both regular and diet cola.  It works well with frozen Boat Drinks.

At approximately $30 a bottle, this is not a cheap rum, but it is a good rum for the upper-middle edge of the price range.   It is not as pricey as the Mount Gay Extra Old” but worth the cost. This rum gets a firm 7  corks out of 10 and is a welcome addition to the Mount Gay family, .”,,,come on everybody and dance…”

 Widely distributed, pick up a bottle on your own and compare…..I believe you will think the 7 corks is at least the minimum that this fine rum should fetch. Just do not let the higher proof creep up on you, especially if you are not on the couch firmly embedded in your home. Mixing can sneak up up on you.  But I highly encourage to try sipping first.  Take a long look at the depth of color and aroma….this is a good value for a rum

The Rum Quest continues…..

The Rum Guy

My latest attempt at finding the world’s best rums for the best value is called , “Old Monk” rum.  This is a 7 year old, vatted, blended rum.  Almost all rums are blended as part of the final step in making rum. It helps provide consistent flavor and color.   “Old Monk” comes in an attractive, squat bottle, with a short neck and pebbled, or almost etched glass, reminiscent of clear alligator hide.  The busy, unimpressive label is black and red with Olde-English script.  The surprising part was it country of origin: India.  This rum is a product of Ghaziabad, an industrial city  in Upper Pradesh, India.  It is in the northeast corner of the country towards Nepal but not far from Delhi.  Being unfamiliar with India, I was at first quite surprised and then pleased to try this rum.

First, a few kitchen chores:  Here is the link to the website Old Monk Rum

Old Monk Rum

Uninteresting Label Rum Guy, Really?

The dark, sugar cane rum is supposedly one of the world’s top sellers.   Upon opening the screw top and inhaling the aroma, the rich, tad-more-than-semi-sweet flavor wafted gently up.  The sugar-cane was very present and quite promising.  As I poured a shot for straight-up tasting  into my glass, the rum presented  even more, a dark maple-syrup color, and rich texture.  This 80 proof rum had a very impressive first taste.  Rolling it over the tongue, the flavor was strong, earthy, smoky, with just a little bite at the finish.   This is a rum you can drink straight, or even better, over ice. Mixed with Coke, Cherry Coke Zero, it blends very well.   Mixing it with various fruit juices it mixed surprisingly smooth, unusual for a dark rum.   Some dark rums overpower the fruit juice, some simply cover it like a heavy smog bank layered on top of the juice.  This rum blends  with a smooth teamwork where both juice and rum are present and pleasantly enhanced.   I have not yet tried it in Boat Drinks, for my “Frozen Concoctions”, but almost always it will be a similar result to mixing with fruit juices.  If it works for one, it will work for the other.  I look forward to it.

Net result:  For $18-$22 a bottle, this rum is a keeper.  Great value, very good flavor and texture.  A good choice.

Correction:  My previous Low Budget Rum Review gave a mixed grade for “Mount Gay Extra Old”.  It was a very expensive rum, very smooth, but I felt not a very good value given the taste vs. price.  I have to humbly adjust my grade.  After finishing the entire bottle, I realized my opinion had risen considerably about this rum.  If you are looking for high quality and the higher price doesn’t scare you away, I would highly recommend this rum.  It has caused a change to my rum rankings below:

1)      Pyrite

2)      Plantation Grande Reserve (Barbados)

3)      Old Monk

4)      Mount Gay Extra old

5)      Flor De Cano—12 yr

The Quest continues….

The Rum Guy….and primary Low Budget Review Guy

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