The Bajan rum producer, Mount Gay, has been making rums for centuries; indeed, many trace the estate as far back as 1493. The Mount Gay Rum Estate sits atop a ridge to the north of Barbados. During the first few years of the 18th century, the locality was acquired by William Sandford who continued to use it as a sugar plantation. He named his purchase Mount Gilboa. The estate was inherited in 1747 by his son, the ironically named, James Sober.
During the latter part of the 18th century, both James and his son, Cumberbatch, spent a good deal of time in England, thus they were unable to properly regulate their property. Accordingly, Cumberbatch appointed his friend, Sir John Gay Alleyne, to control the estate. Sir John died in 1801 and Cumberbatch named the estate, Mount Gay, in his memory. The plantation remained with the Sober family until 1860.
The Mount Gay plantation was acquired by the business man Aubrey Ward in the early part of the 20th century. He expanded the company and marketed the product with his business partner, John Hutson. Darnely DaCosta Ward, Aubrey's son, continued the business until his death in 1989, at which point Remy Cointreau bought up the majority interest. Under the new French ownership, Mount Gay enjoyed a wide distribution network and, consequently, became rapidly popular.
Mount Gay XO is a small blend of carefully selected mature rums, chosen by Mount Gay's new master blender, Trudiann Branker. The rum is a blend of rums distilled in a traditional column & a double retort pot still. The rums are aged in American white oak casks, ex-bourbon casks and also ex-cognac casks for a rounded, complex and spicy character.
Nose: Spicy apricot, ripe banana and vanilla with rum and raison ice-cream.
Palate: Velvety, honeyed palate with cooked fruit, ripe banana, toffee apple and sweet pastry notes overlaid with spicy oak - cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Finish: Long dry oaky finish. Light-bodied but very rich and full-flavoured.