Mount Gay: Oldest rum in the world

Visit the oldest rum distillery in the world, and it's still in use

Mount Gay is the oldest working rum factory in the world. You can visit him on the island of Barbados. You can taste that rum is more than just for mixed drinks.

The story behind this rum is intriguing. It’s actually a by-product of sugar production, a pulp that started to ferment and became alcoholic. 

History of rum making on Barbados

The name of the rum came from the Englishman Sir John Gay Alleyne, who ran the distillery for his friend John Sober (appropriate name, no?). The Brits brewed their first rum around 1620, with more luck than skill. 

The first concoction (containing more than 40 per cent alcohol) was stored in wooden barrels, because there wasn’t much else at hand. Rum was mostly used to forget about things.

But they discovered it became easier to drink after it had sat for a while on the long boat trip to England, and that’s how they discovered that maturing or aging should be done in wooden barrels. And slowly but surely they perfected the process. 

Rum Tasting in the factory

You can take a tour of the oldest functioning rum distillery, on the island of Barbados. You get a lot of information on the process, the different tastes and colouring. Of course you can taste some of the rums.

These days Mount Gay Rum is exported to more than a hundred countries around the world. During a tour of the distillery you will learn about the history of the rum, how to drink it and of course you get to taste it. You can try several kinds, straight up.

Rum tasting at Mount Gay.

Rum tastings all over Barbados

There is rum tasting all over the island of Barbados, and you can taste the difference between old and young rum, for example. Try it in some of the rum shops or at a bar.

You should also try the rum punch, where they use the age-old poem: One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak, a dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serves well chilled, with plenty of ice. The poem refers to the measures of different ingredients: fresh lime juice, sugar, rum and water.

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