Aged spirit fans are no strangers to French and American oak casks. The nerdier ones will probably recognise Hungarian and Japanese wood. But Mount Gay has turned to an oddity to mature its recently released rum in.
The Barbadian rum distillery launched Andean Oak Cask last month, a limited-edition bottling that has been finished in wood from South America. According to them, this has never been done before.
Andean Oak Cask is the fourth release under Mount Gay’s Master Blender Collection, a top-tier range that lets Master Blender Trudiann Branker experiment beyond the brand’s core range. For this expression, she turned to a single batch of rum that was distilled twice in a traditional copper pot still, then aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon casks.
To complete the process, Branker sourced barrels made from white oak trees grown in the Andean range of Colombia. The first-use casks are given a medium char, then used to finish the rum for 11 months. Bottled at 48 percent ABV, only 2,760 examples are available worldwide, with 90 allocated to Singapore.
“This release is a journey further into innovation for Mount Gay, a chance for me to be creative, and use barrels we have never used before,” Branker said. “The result is a delicate yet opulent blend.”
Non-chill filtered to preserve its colour and flavours, the rum has a festive aroma of Christmas spice, candied fruit, and vanilla. The oak has a spicy and slightly tannic pull on the palate, together with toast, almond, and marzipan, followed by the unmistakable grassy sugar cane finish of rum.
Mount Gay Andean Oak Cask follows two of Branker’s award-winning creations for the Master Blender Collection, Pot Still Rum in 2019 and 2020’s The Port Cask Expression. The first release, XO: The Peat Smoke Expression, was made by the previous Master Blender, Allen Smith.
Mount Gay Andean Oak Cask can be found on Rémy Cointreau’s official store on Amazon (RSP S$240). The rum is also available at Singapore cocktail bars including Sugarhall, Lime House, Low Tide, and The Bar at 15 Stamford.