Written by Marina, Liquor Department Associate
Established in 1703, Mount Gay Barbados Rum is handcrafted in St. Lucy, Barbados. One of the oldest rum distilleries in the world, Mount Gay offers a range of different rums, all created with the finest local ingredients that Barbados has to offer. They distill their rums using artisanal, coral-filtered water from an original well dug in 1703. The rum is fermented using a combination of native as well as heirloom yeasts along with local molasses; this gives the rum a very complex flavor, as it finishes with notes of caramel and toffee.
For the first time in the history of the distillery, the master blender is a woman named Trudiann Branker, adding Mount Gay to a growing list of pioneering spirits producers who add talented women to their highest ranks. She apprenticed first under the previous master blender, Allen Smith, and then took over the position in 2019. Branker has a strong academic and scientific background, having studied spirits for over 11 years. As a native Bajan, Branker is very passionate about her work; she loves to walk through the stacks of barrels within the distillery, hand-selecting those which pay homage to the historical legacy that Mount Gay has created over the years.
As master blender, Branker does not want to change the DNA of the distillery, but rather feature “expressions” — new flavor profiles that elevate their traditional rums. One such is considered one-of-a kind: Port Cask Mount Gay Rum: a rum blend which is partially made traditionally in distillation columns, and then finished in Tawny Port Barrels. The remaining rum blend has been double-distilled, and then aged for 14 years in American Whiskey barrels. After finishing in Tawny Port barrels, the blend ages for 1 year. Incredibly exclusive, the Port Cask Mount Gay Rum has only 6,570 bottles distributed worldwide. Tasting notes include cherry, dried fruit, and oak, and aromatics such as vanilla, caramel, and almond. All of these come together into a smooth, rich finish.
Left: Trudiann Branker inspecting a glass of Mount Gay Barbados Rum; Right: Trudiann Branker tasting different barrels.
(1) “Meet Trudiann Branker, Mount Gay’s First Female Master Blender”
(2) Mount Gay Rum