From Mount Gay, Barbados, (presumably) the oldest commercial rum distillery in the world, comes their very first exclusive bottling released in 2018 for The Whisky Exchange – Mount Gay Select Blend.
I’ve been focusing a lot on the new blends and releases from Trudiann Branker, the most recent one reviewed just a few days ago being the new MG XO Triple Cask Blend. The Select Blend however is one of the blends from Allen Smith, the previous Master Blender.
The Whisky Exchange has a track record of getting pretty unique and delicious exclusive bottlings so I’m curious how this one will stand out. Mount Gay Select Blend is a limited release of 2400 bottles coming from 20 casks, with apparently more pot still in the blend – now that’s something I like to hear.
Molasses based, pot and column still distilled and aged for 7 years in ex-American Whiskey Casks in the tropics – so not a blend of various younger and older rums like the core range. Bottled at cask strength – 54% ABV without any additives, colouring or chill filtering.
On the nose it’s very fruity and spicy. Mango, peach, orange oils and bananas. There’s a slight black olives aroma too. Almonds, allspice, cloves, cinnamon sour cherries and pencil shavings – feels pretty warm. A bit herbal with Earl Grey tea and coriander. There’s a charred oak spiciness and smokiness balanced by vanilla, something I usually find in the Black Barrel.
On the palate it’s way easier to drink than I thought. Mango and peach again, seems to be a reoccurring note in MG. There is some melon, banana, strawberry jam and yellow apple too. The mouthfeel is nice and oily with warm spices tickling my tastebuds. Black pepper, allspice, cinnamon and almonds – the nose seems to translate on the palate pretty accurately. Vanilla custard and orange zest all the way through. There’s a dry woodiness towards the end. Some white grapes and a touch cardamom. The finish is medium to long with vanilla and oak spices.
A pretty straightforward Mount Gay rum – great balance between wood, spices and fruitiness and even at 54% ABV, very easy to drink. That might also be my only tinny complaint, as the finish is a bit shorter than I was expecting, but otherwise a very good introduction to cask strength Barbadian rums. Can still be found on The Whisky Exchange for £88.
Mount Gay Select Blend – The Whisky Exchange score:
Value for money: 14/15