Terranea Blog

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Guest Post: Mount Gay Rum

Hear from Mount Gay Rum's National Brand Ambassador about the featured rum at this week's Rum Tasting at mar'sel


RUM, considered the world’s most varied spirit, made in dozens of countries, many with their own long standing style of productions. Usually found in a warm climate with much humidity and is the most important ingredient in the bar for a tiki mixologist, it is what sets tiki drinks apart from other cocktails.

It is made by fermenting fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, cane sugar, or cane sugar by products (most commonly molasses), then distilling, and in many cases aging the resulted spirit in oak casks. Rum is never filtered, because it would then remove the unique flavors that rum makers try to bring out in their spirits. It very much has a strong sense of terroir. In fact, rum really has no designated classification determining its processes. Only two countries have that approach and it is Jamaica and Martinique.

For our purpose, however we’re going to speak about Mount Gay, the world’s oldest documented rum brand, 1703 and where it originated, Barbados. It is the island that has a long history of rum production, mostly because that is where large scale sugar cane production originally took off, and its rums are known for being aromatic and sweet, with distinct sweetness and pronounced fruit flavors, but less of the extreme tropical fruitiness one would find in Jamaican rums. Mount Gay, has 5 different products under the same brand: blanco, eclipse, black barrel, XO and their grand master 1703. I have personally invited Scott Fitzgerald, Mount Gay’s US Brand Ambassador, to discuss their brands as well to discuss the WHY, on when selecting a rum, to choose Mount Gay.

1) At Mount Gay, despite being the world’s oldest and most historied rum, we prefer to keep ourselves grassroots and organic in our marketing. We have existed for over 300 years and kept our production and team in the same spot in the Parish of St Lucy in Barbados. We want to keep true to our small-batch, hand-crafted production process. Production is handled in two stages, first in distillation where Glen Stuart, our distillery manager, is responsible for overseeing our fermentation and distillation process. Uniquely, we utilize an open air fermentation process, which allows us to shape our fermented molasses wash into a product that is uniquely Bajan. Glen then distills using either a copper or a column still. Each of our rums contains both copper and column still rums, and each still brings a very different characteristic. Then we turn to Allen Smith, our talented Master Blender, who is responsible for maturing and blending our distillates. Blending is incredibly important for us, as the high amount of product that we lose to Angels share means that our product reaches maturity at a rate three times faster than most whiskeys.

2) Food pairing and rum is a fantastic way to expand your palate and add a little character to any meal. Traditionally I prefer to pair rums like Mount Gay Eclipse or Black Barrel with lighter proteins like fowls, or fish, and with spicier or skier sauces. A beautiful plate of Mahi with a tomatillo sauce, or yellow pepper sauce in perfect as a main course. Mount Gay XO, with its richer and more sumptuous favors, works perfectly with opulent desserts like Sticky Date Pudding, dark Oaxacan chocolate, and Bananas Forster.

3) In the coming months, you will be seeing a product called Mount Gay Origins Series, a dual-pack showing the effect of "Finishing Casks" - that is a cask that we use after blending, but before bottling, to shape the flavor of the rum. The two finishing casks that we use are Virgin Oak - an untouched cask, and Charred Oak, - which previously contained Bourbon under a heavy char. This is one of the first releases that we have done in quite some time. We like to remain true ourselves, so we put special care and attention into any releases that we make.

4) I'm a very simple man when it comes to drinking rum. Mount Gay with a splash of soda and a squeeze of lime is all I need. However I do love cocktails, a Mount Gay Black Barrel Sazerac is my favorite evening drink, and my favorite day time drink would be a Mount Gay Hemingway Daiquiri.

Scott Fitzgerald | National Brand Ambassador Mount Gay Rum


For more information or to attend a Rum Tasting event at Terranea, please call 310.265.2701 or CLICK HERE.


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