The Pirate King's Private Stock

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Mount Gay XO

Category: Dark
Country: Barbados
Aged: 12-17 Years
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Almost Everywhere
Price: $30-$40 (750 mL)
Rating: Four Stars

The Review:
In the inner circle of Rum enthusaists, Mount Gay Distilleries is a name that stands out on reputation.  They have been producing rum for over 300 years and every bottle proves they really know what they're doing. Mount Gay XO (Extra Old) is the distillery's finest product, a blend of rums aged 12 to 17 years.

The bottle has wide rounded shoulders with a bubbled neck, similar to another Bajan product, Cockspur 12. Clean, simple and elegant, the desgin of this bottle is impressive but yet humble - allowing the rum inside to shine.

The rum itself is an elegantly lustered brown-amber with gripping legs. Immediately after the cork is removed, the aroma that rises is unmistakeably Bajan and heavily reminiscent of bourbon. In fact, without aeration, the Bourbon undertones almost overpowers the other aromas.  Given a few minutes to breathe, however, the warm notes of oak, nuts and caramel are released and this rum really begins to awaken.

Flavors of brown sugar, spice, vanilla, oak, and, of course, bourbon. Lingering burnt wood and molasses. Very complex and robust, this rum's bite is firm and intense, but pure.

A small splash of cool, clean water releases an additional taste of creamy bitter chocolate and maybe a very faint fruitiness. Some of its initial character gets lost when on served on the rocks, but is a fair trade with the slight gain of approachability - A perfect pairing for medium to heavy cigars.

Later in the evening we tried pairing this rum with a Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro Belicoso for a poweful combination that could very well leave the unsuspecting light-headed. Another occasion paired with an Avo LE #5, which was was also great.

Mount Gay XO is a classic standard, the rum by which all others are judged and is universally considered one of the best sipping rums on the market. I would have to agree, and believe this to be a rum of exceptional quality. 

Pick up two next time you're out, and send me one.

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