Mount Gay Rum, Barbados
You won’t have even left the airport terminal on your first visit to Barbados before you realise that rum, and in particular Mount Gay Rum is synonymous with Barbados. It is where rum was first made, as a by-product of the sugar trade, and it was on ships leaving Barbados that sailors discovered the longer the rum stayed in old oak whisky barrels the better it got.
The rum is named after Sir John Gay Alleyene who was the first manager of the original distillery, bought by John Sobers. When Sir John died in 1808 the Sobers family decided to rename the rum in his honour and so Mount Gay Rum was born.
You can find more about the rum by visiting the distillery, just outside Bridgetown on the island. Don’t come along though expecting a full blown distillery tour. This is not that at all because the original buildings were never designed for visitors and it would be dangerous to have people wandering around whilst the alcohol is being distilled.
Instead you are guided through the history of rum and its association with yacht racing (and the significance of the red Mt Gay caps) and shown a short film. Then the fun starts
Tastings of six of Mt Gay’s rums. Everything from the white rum, through to the XO (Extra Old). If you want to try all six I would seriously consider going by taxi! Our tour guide, Romal, was superb. Telling the story of each rum with a real passion, flair and humour. We even got treated to a Lion King rendition as he held one of the bottles above his head.
Then if that wasn’t enough you then finish in the bar where you can buy a cocktail (discounted on production of your entry tickets).
Tours are timed throughout the day so do check their website for timings, and current charges. When we visited it was BDS$20 per head. There is also a well stocked gift shop that you can visit even if you don’t want to do the tour.