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My Wandering Eye: Mount Gay Barbados Rum: Black Barrel

Posted on by Eric Burke

As we all know, Bourbon prices are creeping up. So much so that even average products have hit the range where they compete price-wise with other types of aged spirits. There was a time when Cognac in a snifter was visual shorthand for rich luxury. But these days a $50 750 ml bottle of Cognac or Armagnac doesn’t sound outrageous next to a $50 Old Forester 1870 or a $50 375 mL of the Jim Beam Harvest collection. As a response to this, my eye has started wandering down other aisles of the liquor store just to see what I thought price had kept me from checking out.

When my eye first wandered down the rum aisle, I found an inexpensive rum that sadly tasted like an inexpensive rum. After checking in with a friend of mine who is a rum aficionado with what I should be looking at for a rum that might appeal to a bourbon drinker he quickly told me about the Mount Gay Black Barrel. 

By a strange coincidence my wife, who was unaware of the previously mentioned conversation, was looking for a gift for me. She was talking with one of the employees at my local liquor store. The guy is pretty knowledgable and so she asked him what she should pick up for a bourbon drinker who was looking to branch out. He recommended the Mount Gay Black Barrel and so she bought it.

Well that was enough for me. The question was asked twice, to two very different people, and the answer was the same both times. I had to try it and I had to share the findings. 

Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum

Purchase Info: ~$35 for a 750 mL bottle, Viking Liquor Barrel, Prior Lake, MN

Details: 43% ABV, Bottle number: AZ 86491

Nose: Molasses, caramel, wood and hints of banana

Mouth: This tastes like a soft, warm ginger/molasses cookie in a glass. Ginger spice, molasses, sweetness and yum.

Finish: Continues the mouth. Fades gently.

 smile since I really like this

Thoughts: This is really tasty. I wouldn’t call it a bourbon replacement—if I want a bourbon I won’t reach for this—but if I’m not feeling particularly specific on what I’m looking for then this will certainly be in the conversation. It tastes like one of my favorite cookies without being too sweet about it. Big fan of this one.