Black gold – the happy accident!
As editor I fought long and hard with myself, in a meeting with myself, over the inclusion of Mount Gay in my muses! I gave in, so here it is! It has become somewhat of a passion ever since the Barbadian nectar crossed my lips at the 1988 yachting Mecca that is Antigua Race Week, and frankly my life has never been the same since and nor have any of my nearest and dearest’s drink’s cabinets!
The rum dates back to 1703, when Sir John Gay made improvements to a spirit that was basically impossible to stomach – his input was so profound that the organisation was renamed in his honour and is today still operating from the same plot of land established all those years ago. Barbados’ ecology allows for the far and wide growth of sugar cane and in turn an excess of bi product molasses is produced (a burden for disposal at the time) which, soon became known as black gold, as its fermentation qualities, in the process to make rum, offset the costs of the refinery and has subsequently changed the economy of Barbados.
Let me introduce you to the Mount Gay family ‘entry level Mount Gay – ‘Eclipse’ (and Eclipse Silver) – the Enjoy chosen tipple, then Black Barrel a small batch blend finished in deeply charred whiskey barrels. Extra Old is an opulent blend finished in significantly older barrels and at the top there is 1703 Old Cask – a selection of the finest single and double distillates fermented in the oldest and rarest barrels.
Where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet it makes for the centre of lucrative trade wind routes – return with a barrel of Barbadian rum, aged at sea, it sets the course for the infamous relationship that Mount Gay has with maritime culture.
Almost as cherished as a bottle of the 1703 is a Mount Gay yacht-racing cap – only for those that participate on the high seas. Thankfully Enjoy still has its 1988 cap, and a tot or two of 1703…
While in Barbados do go on the Mount Gay Experience – it’s great fun, interesting and if you are as keen as we are here at Enjoy HQ, go more than once. It gives you twice the chance of remembering any of it! And then make your Mount Gay way through any number of the 1500 Rum Shacks on the island…
And why not bring a taste of Barbados home with you? The lesser spotted Mount Gay Mauby Rum is a gem!
Note from the editor – gratitude for this magazine in a bottle labelled 1703 to the publisher’s address!