The premiumization of rum in Barbados in the 21st century has seen dramatic change, from the everyday expressions to the top-shelf luxury editions. Mount Gay’s classic Black Barrel rum, known for its rich boldness from dark charred barrels is no exception.

Mount Gay Black Barrel Cask Strength

The production team at Mount Gay is keen to explore potent variations of their standard bearing expressions, and fans of the brand seem just as eager to find notable Master Blender Collection editions to enjoy.

This new cask strength version of Black Barrel, released to celebrate the brand’s 320th anniversary, is bottled at 66% ABV and sold exclusively at the distillery in Saint Lucy and the Visitor’s Centre near Bridgetown. The higher ABV takes the product to another level, delivering a seriously rich flavor profile for a rum of its class.

Production Notes

The legacy double retort pot stills of Mount Gay are responsible for the heart and soul of their aged rums, but the column still components in the blend balance the rustic nature of the copper pots, providing a solid base for the profiles and, with great operating efficiency, a boost for the producer’s bottom line.

Mount Gay Black Barrel Cask Strength components are aged in American Whiskey casks before hard charred ex-Bourbon barrels to achieve the robust tannic profile.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of smoky oak dominate over walnut, cherry and rancio before peach pit, dried fruit, honey and orange oil.

On the palate, big oak and burnt sugar with smoky vanilla precedes brown butter, old leather and pungent tannins before bitter cacao nibs. The finish leaves long echoes of smoky oak with hints of brine.

Sipping and Mixing

Some rum enthusiasts will find this bold rum to be a bit rough for sipping, but a more careful inspection of small sips reveals a very satisfying profile that delivers big flavor in lesser portion. The rum stands up well in an Old Fashioned cocktail or a Manhattan, a delightful alternative to the usual whiskey standards. We enjoy a tall glass of fine ginger beer on clear ice with a generous Black Barrel rum floater on top.

On the rocks, Mount Gay Black Barrel Cask Strength rum won’t be neutered by dilution, and notes of treacle with vanilla are pronounced.

Cost and Availability

At the distillery in Barbados, we paid $69 for our 700ml bottles, but we’ve noticed the Black Barrel Cask Strength in online rum auctions offered at more than $450 per bottle, seemingly due to limited availability.


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