World’s oldest running rum distillery Mount Gay Rum has released a refreshed core range of offerings under the guidance of recently-installed new master blender Trudiann Branker.

When you’re the world’s oldest rum distillery in operation for over 300 years, a lot of history and tradition ride on your shoulders. So if you’re Barbados’ Mount Gay Rum you don’t take the passing of the baton from one master blender to a new one lightly. But change was inevitable when Trudiann Branker took over the reins from master blender Allen Smith in April 2019, and became the distillery’s first female master blender in its history

Native Bajan Branker had huge shoes to fill; Smith has held the master blender role for Mount Gay for over a quarter of a decade, and was responsible for many of the Mount Gay rums – such as XO and Black Barrel – that we’ve come to know and love.

But Branker has gamely leapt to the task. And one of her first tasks was to relook at Mount Gay’s core range. And so it is that a year after she took over, Mount Gay has debuted a refreshed core range of rums to the international market.

A new Mount Gay core range to eclipse the old.

The Mount Gay Eclipse is the only expression in the portfolio that remains unchanged; that workhorse favourite in bars still sees the same blend from column and pot still rums that’s been matured in ex-American whisky barrels.

For now the the major tweaks have been reserved for the Mount Gay Black Barrel as well as the Mount Gay XO. Previously the Black Barrel were blended from rums that were aged from two to seven years; now it uses three to seven year old rums instead. It also uses a higher proportion of double-distilled pot still rums, and is finished in both American whiskey and bourbon casks for six months, compared to a previous four-week finishing period.

Then there’s the Mount Gay XO, previously tagged as the “Reserve Cask Blend” but now sports “Triple Cask Blend” instead. Where Mount Gay – and brand owners Remy Cointreau – were formerly cagey about the provenance of the casks used to age this expression, it’s offering more transparency now. It’s called a “triple cask blend” because it uses a combination of American whiskey, bourbon and Cognac casks to age a blend of column and pot still rums to finish the XO. The age on the rums for the blend has been adjusted too; it’s now rums that’ve been aged from five to 17 years, instead of the previous eight to 15 years.

Along with these changes will be updated packaging to reflect Mount Gay’s new formula, and which will provide more information and transparency regarding the product within.

“It is an honour 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,” shared 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,” added Branker.

And if you’re a fan of their limited edition rums like we are, you’ll be happy to know that Branker will continue to develop limited edition expressions. On the cards is a new release of 1703 Master Select, as well as a new Master Blender collection that’s due for release before the end of 2020.

For now, the Black Barrel and XO in the new Mount Gay Rum range will be available for purchase at selected cocktail bars and retailers in Singapore. You can also purchase them online at Mount Gay’s Lazada page here.


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