Mount Gay Rum

Mount Gay Rum
Mount Gay Barbados Sugar Cane Rum

Mount Gay Rum is produced by Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd. of Barbados, the easternmost island of the West Indies. The oldest surviving deed for the company is from 1703, making Mount Gay Rum the oldest existing brand of rum in the world.[1] The current parent company of Mount Gay Distilleries (since 1989) is Rémy Cointreau.[2]

Mount Gay Rum is sold in 66 countries across the world, its primary export market being the United States.[3]




Mount Gay Rum has been closely associated with sailing and a popular rum preference among sailors over the many years of its existence. Barbados, the most deeply British of the West Indian cultures, is often the first landfall for ships following the prevailing trade winds and Gulf Stream currents from Europe to the Caribbean. Despite Mount Gay being favoured by sailors worldwide, the island of Barbados, rather ironically, is not considered to be an ideal cruising area for sailing yachts due to its open exposure to the frequent swells of both the northern and equatorial Atlantic, and to the lack of generally calmer seas or the true natural harbors one finds throughout the rest of the Antilles to the west (i.e. Antigua's English Harbour, or St. Georges in Grenada).

Mount Gay Rum is named for Sir John Gay Alleyne, 1st Baronet of Four Hill. Sir John Gay Alleyne was a trusted friend of John Sober, who inherited the Mount Gilboa Plantation/Distilleries from his father William Sandiford in 1747. Sir John Gay Alleyne agreed to become the manager of the company at John Sober's request. Sir John Gay Alleyne was so effective at leading the company, and earned such a widely-respected reputation internationally as a business manager and community leader, that the company was renamed in his honour after his passing in 1801 at the proposal of his longtime friend John Sober, whose estate benefited greatly over the years under Sir John Gay Alleyne's effective management. As there was already a Mount Alleyne in existence on the island of Barbados, the company was renamed Mount Gay Distilleries, incorporating the beloved Sir John Gay Alleyne's middle name.[4] In 1757, Sir John Gay Alleyne was elected to the Parliament of Barbados, for the Parish of St. Andrew, a seat he held for the next forty years, with only a break in 1771.[3] He became Speaker of the Barbados House of Assembly in 1767, serving until 1770 and after another two years was reappointed until 1779.[4] Alleyne was named a Baronet of Four Hills on 6 April 1769.[5] According to Hilary Beckles, historian and principal of the University of the West Indies - Cave Hill Campus, Sir John Gay Alleyne was a popular leader among the planter elite and a great philanthropist. He was also one of the most influential voices of his time to speak out against the institution of slavery. On April 29, 2010, while speaking at the Founder's Day service for the Alleyne School, which was founded by Sir John Gay, alumnus and guest speaker Monsignor Vincent Blackett stated that Sir John Gay Alleyne should certainly be named one of Barbados’ National Heroes.

Visitors Centre in Parish of St. Michael

The little red star on the image of the island on Mount Gay Rum's famous bottle label represents the capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, not the location of the distilleries, which are actually in the northern part of the island.[5][6] In the Bridgetown area, Mount Gay maintains the Mount Gay Rum Visitors Centre on the Spring Garden Highway in Brandons, Saint Michael, Barbados.[7][8]

The company throughout the 20th century was in the hands of the Ward family in the parish of St. Peter. The Ward family resides in the northernmost parish of St. Lucy, where they have extensive agricultural holdings, and where the best of the sugarcane on the island originates.

Sailing traditions

The distributors of Mount Gay rum company are today among the main sponsors of the United States Sailing Association.[9] They also sponsor over 110 regatta events worldwide, with approximately 50 of those based in the United States. Of these the Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico race is one of the largest private yacht races in the world. Also, Mount Gay gives away distinctive red hats to top competitors at its sponsored regattas. These hats are prized amongst top sailors.

In 2010, Mount Gay launched the Sailing Spoken Here website (, a Social Networking site aimed at the sailing community.


Several varieties of Mount Gay Rum are produced, including: White, Extra Old, flavored (both mango and vanilla flavors are produced), as well as the flagship brand: Mount Gay Eclipse."

Mount Gay also produces a "Pure Sugar Cane Rum", occasionally known outside of the U.S. market as "Sugar Cane Brandy".

  • Mount Gay Sugar Cane Brandy (Discontinued)
  • Mount Gay Silver Eclipse
  • Mount Gay Eclipse Black
  • Mount Gay Eclipse
  • Mount Gay Special Reserve
  • Mount Gay Extra Old
  • Mount Gay 1703
  • Mount Gay Flavored Rums
Available in vanilla and mango

In mixes

Mount Gay is also one of the key ingredients in Stirling Punch, a drink named for famous yachtsman, America's Cup winner and Vanderbilt Sailing Club founder Harold Stirling Vanderbilt.


Mount Gay Eclipse rum has a very distinctive flavor. There are other rums made on the island, but they are only made in very small batches, and are never seen anywhere outside of Barbados.[10]

Notable Spirit ratings for Mount Gay rums include scores of: 95 ("Exceptional") for its Extra Old offering at the Beverage Tasting Institute's 2008 Competition and a Gold rating for Eclipse Gold at the 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.[11])

Quite notably, the first drink Daniel Craig orders in Casino Royale (2006) is not his trademark martini but a Mount Gay Rum with soda. Author Ian Fleming was a well known rum drinker who had a home on the island of Jamaica (Appleton Estate was his preferred Jamaican rum).


  1. ^ site manager (06 2010) "Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd." Totally Barbados Retrieved 6 June 2010 
  2. ^ "Mount Gay brings visitors to Barbados". Barbados Advocate. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Howard, Randy (19 July 2007). "Mount Gay doubles sales in US market". Barbados Advocate. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010. "OVER 65 visitors were in Barbados (February 17–21, 2010) enjoying a welcomed break from their cold countries thanks to Remy Cointreau, the parent company of Mount Gay Rum." 
  4. ^ Staff (2007) "St. Nicholas Abbey" St. Nicholas Abbey Retrieved 1 January 2010 "Sir John Alleyne, as he later became, was a very close friend of John Sober. John Sober inherited Mount Gilboa Plantation/Distillery from his father William Sandiford in 1747, and upon doing so he appointed Sir John Gay Alleyne as the manager. Sir John did such a good job at managing the plantation that it was renamed Mount Gay in his honor after his passing in 1801." 
  5. ^ G., M. (20 July 2007). "Mount Gay opens new blending facilities; Prime Minister lauds project". Barbados Advocate. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "EU Rum Project finances Distillery blending and ageing facilities in Barbados". Barbados Advocate. 20 July 2007. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Fun Barbados: Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd. - Visitor's Centre Rum Tour
  8. ^ "Mount Gay Rum Visitors Centre". Fodor's. 2008-12-31. "Without question, Barbados is the "most British" island in the Caribbean." 
  9. ^ US SAILING Sponsors
  10. ^ "Mount Gay top Luxury brand". Nation Newspaper. 24 January 2006. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  11. ^ " Website". Retrieved 2009-08-03. 

External links

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