Mount Gilboa White Rum

Mount Gilboa White-RG1-USE

Product of:  Barbados
Aged: Unaged
Price:   $25
Alcohol 40% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:  Premium White Rum 
RG Rating:  9

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.  Mount Gilboa White Rum is crystal clear, and swirling produces a tremendous number of closely spaced, long thin legs that release a bouquet I describe as “Fresh.”  Then a sip; Hello!  Is this a white rum?  Molasses dunder reaches deep into mildly sweet aromas – Mount Gilboa White immediately impresses with the telltale smells that only a Pot Still can create.  Then come lesser notes of mint and copper, leaving the ethanol odor well veiled. Initial tasting brings slightly sweet, buttery, coconut and white bread flavors on a medium body.  The rum continues clean and mostly dry into the finish, with subtle white pepper before a final residual sweetness.  

Mount Gilboa White Foil Top-RG-USE

Anecdotes
Triple distilled in copper pot stills from fermented molasses wash, and aged in used American oak bourbon barrels at the Mount Gay Rum Refinery.  Operated by Managing Director Frank  W. Ward Jr., fourth-generation descendant of Aubrey Ward, said:  “Dave, Mount Gilboa white is an unaged triple pot distilled white rum. The cuts for each distillation are more aggressively done than for the aged variant. I had a 100% agave tequila in mind when developing it. Get it while you can.”   Thank you Mr. Frank Ward , for producing a real Caribbean white rum worthy of the name Bajan.

To clarify, the facility called the Mount Gay Refinery located in St. Lucy, Barbados’ northernmost parish, is actually where the stills and aging casks are located.  Confusingly, the facility where Mount Gay rum is bottled is called the Distillery, and it’s located south in the parish of St. Michael near Bridgetown, capital city of Barbados.  While seated in his office discussing the distillery’s history during November 2011, the always-precise Dr. Ward made sense out of confusion telling an interesting historical footnote about the famous Bajan rum.  Frank quipped something to the effect of “Maybe a little too much rum was consumed while filing  the government papers, and the names got switched.”  

Mount Gay Copper Pot Still #3

The Mount Gay rum brand is owned by Rémy Cointreau, and all of its rums are blends from the Refinery’s column and copper pot stills.  An important difference between Mount Gilboa and Mount Gay rums is that Mount Gilboa rums pass three times through copper pot stills only, whereas Mount Gay rums are distilled in the Refinery’s copper pot stills twice and once through the column still.  The difference in distillation technologies produces a naturally heavier rum base for Mount Gilboa.  Pot still photo at right courtesy of Nicholas Feris of The Rum Collective.

Opinion 
You wouldn’t expect Mount Gilboa’s unaged White Rum to offer complex aromas or flavors, but you do hope it delivers authentic Bajan pot still funk to liven up the generally uninspired clear rum category.  In that regard, it excels.  Priced toward the high end of the mix at $25 per   bottle, Mount Gilboa White is worth spending a little extra for.  You can sip it neat when a clean spirit is what you crave, or preferably use it in more delicate cocktails when you need some rum flavor to balance out the other ingredients.  I’m glad tp see Mount Gilboa has stepped up production and is now distributed in the USA.

Reviewed: Bottle 1486 from batch #1 in August 2013 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017