There was no hesitation on our part when we were invited recently to an audience with Mount Gay’s Master Blender, Allen Smith for a masterclass in rum blending. The quality and luxury nature of this brand is undeniable, hence the popularity of this rum for over three centuries. A legal deed had been discovered dating from 20th of February 1703, which acknowledged the existence of a “pot still house” on their sugar cane estate. Throughout the night, we learned about the ingredients used and the creative processes that go into producing such a treasured rum. They only use the finest sugar cane molasses and pure water from Barbados to create Mount Gay. We tried their rum with varying degrees of maturity and some which were pot distilled and others which were column distilled. The task for the evening, in true the Apprentice fashion was to come up with a master blend which would meet the approval of Allen Smith and the team from Mount Gay. And we are very proud to reveal that Candid Magazine did win the master blending competition on the night against a host of other industry experts. Part of the secret is not to go overboard with the most mature distillates possible, but finding a right balance so that the final product doesn’t come across as harsh tasting. This Christmas, Mount Gay is offering two premium versions which might just be a match for the Candid Magazine version. The first is the MOUNT GAY® XO. It’s an elegant blend using the finest spirits from 8 – 15 years. This extra old blend provides altogether more subtler tastes than the original having used significantly older barrels of mainly double pot distillates. It has a rich, sharp, oaky taste which is ideally served neat or on the rocks. The other premium brand is MOUNT GAY® BLACK, which has been created exclusively by Allen Smith. It is a small batch, artisanal blend made of matured double pot distillates and aged column distillates. It has a bolder, spicier finish than normal because it has been matured for a second time in deeply charred Bourbon Oak barrels. This is an extremely versatile rum and can be drunk neat or used in making cocktails. For more information on Mount Gay Ruml, see here.
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