Mount Gay Sugar Cane Brandy/Rum

MG SCB2 Bottle-OK-USE

Product of:  Barbados
Aged: up to 7 years
Price:  $20 in the Eastern Cabibbean
Alcohol: Brandy = 43% ABV; Rum = 40% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:  Premium Aged Rum 
RG Rating:  8

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth. Color: reddish bronze.  Aromas are a bit subdued compared with those we encounter in Mount Gay’s other aged rums, yet still exude the distiller’s signature combinations of caramel, a waxy nose texture, fruit (mango, baked apple and banana), pastry made with lard, smoky wood, mild spice (nutmeg, subtle cinnamon, vanilla), mildly sweet pot still dunder and copper at the end.  Raise your glass and close your eyes before sipping, and the refreshing full bodied flavor of old world greets you on the initial taste.  There’s the caramel sweetness of a dessert so rich it will have you looking for the spoon once your eyes reopen.  The rum finishes full, sweet, and tapers medium-slowly with a pot still depth.

MG SCB&R-OK-USE

Anecdotes
Sugar Cane Rum is the product's name used outside of the Caribbean, but other than the ABV, it's the very same spirit as the one named Sugar Cane Brandy found in the tropics.  It isn’t Brandy, it’s Rum, and its distilled from molasses not fresh crushed cane juice, but hey, “a rose by any other name …”  It’s also one of those rare rums, bursting with typical Bajan flavor, that satisfies the palate whether sipped neat, on the rocks, or used in cocktails and mixed drinks.  It’s also an endangered species, as in Discontinued.  

Mount Gay Rum Shop-B.Davies-USE

Apparently, Mount Gay is prevented by law from labeling their Sugar Cane Rum “Brandy” in the USA and several other countries.  No matter, it is a wonderful, under-appreciated rum, enticing to sniff and delicious to sip. Call it Brandy, Rum or   whatever – it's one of my "go-to's"  when visiting Barbados' many rum shops.  It's always  better to sample rum in situ.  

MG SCR-Label1-OK-USE

Opinion 
Mount Gay’s Sugar Cane Brandy/Rum is an overall sweeter, perhaps more approachable spirit than their venerable Extra Old, and makes for a smoother cocktail than their Sir Mxalot Eclipse.  

Collectors: be warned.  Sugar Cane Brandy Rum is now officially an Endangered Species.  Mount Gay phased out the Sugar Cane Brandy/Rum in about 2010 to make room for Eclipse Black overproof rum in their portfolio.  All that’s available is what’s still dribbling through the distribution channels.  If you want the version labeled “Brandy” in your locker, you’ll probably have to shop in the Caribbean, at least while supplies last.  Be sure to buy Mount Gay’s Sugar Cane Brandy/Rum whenever you find it – by either name.  There’s no telling if it will ever pass your way again.

For Mount Gay execs, I have a request:  Please re-release Sugar Cane Brandy/Rum. Call it whatever your like this time.  In my opinion, it was your most affordable premium rum.  There’s more headroom in today’s resurgent rum market for a mid-priced premium aged rum than ever before.  Sugar Cane Brandy (Rum) is the perfect compromise between a mixer and a sipper.  

Reviewed: June 2012 at the Rum Gallery

© Dave Russell 2017