Friday, 6 March 2015

Review 32 - Mount Gay XO

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
The mother of all rums. 
Today we are going back to the very roots of rum. According to legend rum was ”invented” on the island of Barbados several hundred years ago. Supposedly Mount Gay was the place, and 1703 was the time it all began.

Therefore I am a little bit embarrassed that I haven’t already reviewed at least one Mount Gay product. But better late than never, so today I am gunning for the Mount Gay XO. An upper tier rum only surpassed by the Mount Gay 1703.

The rums of Mount Gay are subject to a quite extravagant production methods.

Natural spring water is filtered by natural coral limestone in the ground before being filtrated another three times before being used. Super, extra pure water.

Fermentation takes place in open air and only a very special proprietary strain of yeast is used.

The wash is then processed by a double copper pot still.

The end distillate is then aged for 8 to 15 years before being blended into the legendary MGXO.
Well, on the box of the rum it says 7 to 15 years, but who is really keeping track anyway?

The box is black and made of sturdy card board. It has an old style map of Barbados faded in grey in the background, with an overlay of all the details. Most details are printed in grey, but the ”XO” is made in huge bronze letters.

Reading the details we are promised 43% ABV, which is indeed promising.

On the back we have a short version of the Mount Gay legacy. For the full read please refer to the official website. Link supplied.

The bottle is medium tall and quite wide without being a decanter. ”Mount Gay Distilleries” is embossed at the very bottom. The top is made by a natural cork with a black, wooden stopper.

The label copies the colour scheme from the box with black, grey and bronze. It contains the usual information, but also a signature from Master Blender Allen Smith for a nice touch.

On the back we get an ultra short sales pitch in both english and french – but nothing relevant, if you read the story on the box.

Inside the bottle a beautiful dark amber liquid is helt captive. When freed into you favorite glass container, you are treated with a very heavy ring and a lot of big, fat legs in return.

My first impression was, that it is a nice and soft rum.

The molasses, bananas, cocoa are dominating, but when searching around the edges of the impressions, you could also find some orange peel and a touch of cigar smoke and vanilla.

It does have a little alcohol bite to go with the moderate complexity, but nothing too bad.

Again the molasses and bananas are dominating. This time side-kicked by some hard oak spices.
As it opens up, the spice also fans out into cinnamon, clove and peppers which coat the entire mouth with a spicy sting.

After getting used to all the spice I noticed cocoa, butter and salted crackers.

A very nice experience without being excellent. It does a lot of great things sufficiently, but it isn’t outstanding.

The finish is rather short and pleasant.

I was pleased by the medium warmth, but it could have been even warmer without hurting anybody.

The oak spice and some banana peel was the only flavours that really kept lingering, before it all turned into a mildly drying aftertouch.

Rating and final thoughts
An adequate mother of all rums in my opinion.

A more than solid sipper which beautifully displays the Bajan rum style.
It is fresh and easy going and I love it.

Yes, it could have been more complex, more rounded, more explosive, more special and more demanding. But it isn’t, and that is a quality on its own.

An for the price of less than €50 it is a must try on all accounts.

Getting down to the business the MGXO isn’t stellar og outstanding in any way, and therefore it will have to be satisfied with a…

Rating: 75/100



  1. You should try Captain Bligh XO. Similar to the Bajan rums but has an extra bit of something special which is really nice.

    1. St. Vincent is quite close to Barbados, so perhaps there is a link there :) I will definately try the Capt. Bligh as soon as I get a chance to.

  2. Quite a high rating for this mediocre rhum.