Barbados is known for its rum. Any visit to the island isn't complete without lots of rum punch. If you love rum too or want to learn more about it's most famous export then I would highly recommend the Mount Gay Rum Tour in Barbados.
The Mount Gay Distillery is just outside of Bridgetown & we got a taxi from the island's capital to the tour. We arrived just in time for a tour (we hadn't booked) & jumped to the back rather than wait another hour.
To kickstart the tour we went into the distillery itself where every bottle of Mount Gay rum is made. We watched them for a little bit. When we visited they were making 10,000 bottles of rum a week! As rum is getting even more popular I wouldn't be surprised if this has gone up now.
As they have their own secret processes, no photos were allowed of the production.
Next, we heard all about the master blender Allen Smith who tries every barrel of rum to make sure it is just right! This is a commitment right there. This was followed by a short film in the nice & cool movie room which was designed like a traditional rum shop.
The film shared more of the history about Mount Gay Rum, which began in 1703 and is the oldest rum in history. It was really interesting to understand how rum came about & how it's improved a lot over the years.
After that came the tasting! We went to the special tasting bar where we had 3 rums to taste. We cleansed our palette with water and our guide explained each rum.
Tasting the Mount Gay Rum
The Silver rum we didn’t try. This was fairly new at the time of our visit & is Mount Gay’s white rum. This is mainly for mixing in cocktails, I have had it a lot in daiquiris on the island.
The first we tried was the Eclipse. This is the standard dark rum from Mount Gay. What was interesting was that none of the rums have any additives in the form of spices added to them & all the flavouring comes from the barrels.
The second rum was again a fairly new one at the time called Black Barrel. This, our guide explained, was better quality and was in the barrel for longer. It also goes well with my favourite rum and ginger! It was interesting how you could tell the difference and I preferred this to the Eclipse. This is now my favourite rum & I made sure to bring a bottle back with me on my most recent trip.
Our last rum on the tasting tour was XO (Extra Old), this a rum designed to drink neat. This was much smoother and I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to tell a difference but you could. This was Keil’s favourite!
This was the end of the formal tour element. Once we had finished we then headed to the bar and we got our complimentary rum punch (you usually receive this at the beginning but as we arrived just in time for the tour we missed out). The rum punch was certainly one the best I've tasted on the island.
Keil also decided to taste the 1703 which is the best rum Mount Gay offer. This we were told was for special occasions and when your friends come around you hide it! It was a very pleasant rum and you should never have it with ice or anything, just enjoy the flavour.
Whilst Keil enjoyed his drink that I had another rum punch and the mixologist showed us exactly how to make it so we will be giving that a try at some point!
I filmed a tutorial on my personal vlog which you can watch here.
Mount Gay also have a shop where you can stock up on all of their rum & souvenirs.
For anyone who is visiting Barbados who loves rum or is intrigued to learn more then I would recommend the Mount Gay Rum Tour for a few hours of learning & of course, tasting!
About the author:
Caroline Towers is the founder of Dreamers who Travel. When not travelling, she is researching & dreaming of the next trip!