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Mount Gay launches Single Estate Series

The inaugural release from the Single Estate Series comes from sugarcane harvested at the Mount Gay estate in 2016 and 2017.

Opaque bottle of rum with two glasses
The Single Estate Series comes in an opaque bottle made from 70% recycled glass

Mount Gay has been keeping a secret. In 2015, the brand purchased 324 acres of the old Mount Gay Estate, and started growing sugarcane. The move worked two-fold, as Mount Gay sought to honour the agricultural traditions of its native Barbados and vertically integrate its operations more fully. 

Now, eight years later, the world’s oldest running rum distillery is ready to share its experiments with the world as it launches the Single Estate Series this November. The first release, Single Estate Series 23_01, is a blend of 2016 and 2017 harvests, aged in ex-Bourbon casks, and bottled at 55% ABV. 

For master blender Trudiann Branker and the entire Mount Gay team, there was a concerted effort to understand the farming process and the history that sugarcane farming has in Barbados. They used grade A molasses, proprietary yeast, and allowed for a nine-day fermentation. 

“All of these choices really do build up and culminate in this gorgeous liquid,” Branker said. “Single Estate is the only product that is made by the house of Mount Gay that we can say every single person has had a small but very impactful role in creating it.”

Sustainability manager Jacklyn Broomes calls the initiative a labour of love. “We saw this as an opportunity to show our commitment to the local sugar industry, while controlling the entire process as sustainably as we can,” she said.

The result is a rum that boasts flavours of pear, pineapple, vanilla and citrus, notes that are atypical to Mount Gay’s core products. For Branker, it is meant to transport the sipper back to Saint Lucy, where the sugarcane was grown, milled, fermented, distilled, aged, and blended on site. 

“It’s not single estate if it doesn’t help you reminisce about the sugarcane blowing in the wind,” she said. “It’s not single estate if it doesn’t take you to Barbados. And these are all the things that I tried to capture in this blend, in this story and really in this journey.”

The Single Estate Series will be small by nature, though Mount Gay continues to harvest and understand variables such as soil and sugarcane varieties, of which they now have 13.

For the inaugural release, approximately 24 casks yielded 4,002 bottles, with 1,200 allocated for the US. The bottle is made from 70% recycled glass and priced at US$400.

“Owning the estate was really our ability to show our commitment to this industry that is the backbone of what we do, how we make rum, as well set the example,” Branker said. “If we can’t show you how to do it, then who can? And that was really our mind set when we started off on this journey.”

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