Mount Gay, the world’s oldest running rum distillery established in 1703, unveils a new chapter for the brand in 2020. Harnessing over 300 years of experience, Mount Gay will reset the brand to pay homage to its rich heritage of passing down craft and expertise in Barbados, the birthplace of rum. In doing so, Mount Gay will embrace more transparency, providing an in-depth look into the brand and its rum, and will look to the future ensuring continued innovation and growth honoring the genuine rum tradition of Barbados.
With the introduction of Master Blender Trudiann Branker in April 2019, the distillery’s and Barbados’ first female master blender, Mount Gay began a new chapter for the distillery’s rich history. In her new role, Branker revisited Mount Gay’s core blends whilst simultaneously considering the discerning palate of the high-end brown spirit enthusiasts and appreciating Mount Gay’s steadfast brand loyalty. As a result, Branker has created a new blend for Mount Gay Black Barrel and an enhanced blend for Mount Gay XO, both of which she is thrilled to debut to global markets this year.
Mount Gay Black Barrel benefits from an older selection of rums being used for the blend, moving to a blend of three to seven-year-old rums as opposed to the previous two to seven years, with a higher content of double distilled pot still rums. The finishing period, still taking place in deeply charred Bourbon casks, will be extended to six months, greatly lengthened from the previous four week finishing period. These changes better reflect Black Barrel’s bold and robust flavor.
In addition to the work that she has done on Black Barrel, Branker revisited Mount Gay XO where she enriched the blend. From April 2020, XO benefits from a broader palette of rums selected for the blend, individually aged in three different casks – American Whiskey, Bourbon and Cognac – for five to 17 years, rather than the previous eight to 15 years. Overall, her adjustments to the blend aim to enhance the liquid’s ultimate complexity.
Throughout the core range, each expression will be placed into new bottles with updated labels intentionally designed to give ultimate transparency to the rum inside showcasing further detail on casks used, style and tasting notes. Each change has been a conscious decision to appreciate the true value of Mount Gay and honor its significance on the spectrum of high-end rum.
Underpinning the packaging and liquid changes is a refreshed creative platform that promises to honor the genuine rum tradition and focus on what makes Mount Gay More than a rum through education, exploration and discovery. Each touch point of the platform pays homage to Mount Gay’s Barbadian heritage, the people who craft the rum and its unrivalled terroir carefully harnessed since 1703.
“It is an honor to be at the forefront of the exciting changes that Mount Gay will see in 2020, and I’m proud not only to be the first female master blender in Barbados but to be part of the team that will take Mount Gay from strength to strength,” said Trudiann Branker, Mount Gay Master Blender. “I am wholeheartedly committed to embracing the expertise that we have inherited for over 300 years and am passionate about looking ahead as we combine both science and craft to explore what makes Mount Gay more than a rum.”
“This is an important step change for Mount Gay, one that will see us explore and showcase our roots whilst embracing what is truly important to us – our people, our land and our heritage,” said Raphaël Grisoni, Mount Gay Managing Director.
“We are confident that the changes we make now will cement Mount Gay’s position as a leading high-end rum brand for many years to come. It is with great honor that I have worked alongside Trudiann and the entire team at the distillery to consider each change that we have made along the way is the right one.”
From April 2020, Mount Gay’s new Black Barrel blend and its enriched XO blend will be on shelf throughout all markets and global travel retail. Suggested retail pricing across the core range will be updated across all markets as: 1703 Master Select ($199.99), XO ($64.99), Black Barrel ($44.99), and Eclipse ($21.99).
Trudiann Branker will continue to develop limited editions with a new release of 1703 Master Select and a new Master Blender collection due out before the end of 2020.
About Mount Gay
A legal deed dated from February 20, 1703 confirms the existence of a “pot still house” on Mount Gay’s sugar cane Estate in Barbados, establishing Mount Gay as the world’s oldest rum producer. Our distillery name honors the pioneering Sir John Gay who perfected the distinctive Mount Gay style. Still today, only the finest sugar cane molasses and pure water filtered through the coral heart of the island are selected to create Mount Gay rums. Perpetuating a long-standing Barbadian tradition for more than 315 years, Mount Gay rums are handcrafted from a blend of single column and double copper pot distillates and matured in toasted oak barrels, delivering aromatic, flavorful taste, body and refined character.
The Mount Gay portfolio includes 1703 Master Select, XO, Black Barrel, and Eclipse. Mount Gay is owned by Rémy Cointreau SA.