Skip to content

Rum Review: Mount Gay XO

Mount Gay Extra Old

Mount Gay Extra Old Rum

Up for review today is Mount Gay’s Extra Old rum. Mount Gay doesn’t provide any age statement on the bottle or their Web site, and while I have seen references indicating the product contains rums up to seventeen years old, the Ministry of Rum contends it’s a blend of seven, eight and ten year-old rums. Not in dispute is the fact that the Extra Old is aged in used Kentucky bourbon barrels and bottled at 83 proof. Let’s take a closer look at this fine Bajan product.

The bottle is substantial but plain. The shape is fairly unique, however, and the bottom of the bottle is quite thick. The black ink chips away easily from the gold label revealing unattractive nicks, but all in all, it’s a good presentation. Let’s remove the thick foil covering from the natural cork stopper and see what’s inside. (It should be noted that this particular bottle has an ill-fitting cork. It’s quite loose and I imagine if I turned it upside down, the rum would coming pouring out. Cork is a natural product and variations are to be expected, but this is a quality control issue, and will lead to rapid oxidation.)

In the glass, the rum is gold, copper and bronze depending on how it’s struck by the light. A swirl of the snifter yields an oily ring atop the glass that gives way to numerous legs that recede slowly.

The nose has a mild astringency, but it’s not unpleasant. The first scent is of banana, followed by oak, vanilla and cream. Let’s take a sip.

The mouth feel is slick, and my mouth is quickly and thoroughly coated with flavors and sensations. There is a significant heat that moves uniformly from front to back, leaving a lingering burn in the back of my throat. I realize at this point that the feeling of the rum is detracting from my ability to enjoy the flavors. Time to dig deeper. The flavors present are as in the aromas—banana, cream, vanilla and oak. There is a lingering toffee flavor that combines with a black pepper note throughout the long finish. The taste is decidedly dry. There is virtually no sweetness here.

The Mount Gay Extra Old is a solid product, and it’s hard to quibble with a distillery that’s been producing rum for over three hundred years, but I must admit I was expecting more from this rum. The mouth feel left something to be desired and the flavor combination left me a bit flat. Now if you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll note that I do tend to prefer Central and South American rums, and they are certainly sweeter than Bajan rums in general. That said, the Plantation Extra Old is also from Barbados, and it’s one of my favorites. In summary, the Mount Gay Extra Old gets a solid “B” grade as you’ll see below.

Now for the scores:

  •  Appearance 1/1
  • Aroma 1.5/2
  • Mouth feel .5/1
  • Taste 3/4
  • Aftertaste 2/2
  •  Total 8/10

Buy Mt. Gay Extra Old online

Have you had Mount Gay Extra Old? Do you think it deserves a higher score? Let me know in the comments section below.



7 Comments leave one →
  1. Temple Grassi permalink
    June 25, 2012 3:35 am

    What a great rum
    Found it a The New Hampshire State Liquor Sore

  2. Pierre permalink
    June 26, 2012 9:56 am

    I was in Barbados lately and got one as i was drooling with expectations. Need not to write more about it, i totally agree with your rating (and the few other ratings i’ve read for that matter).
    Thanks for helping us load uselessly on average ooze, you are a serious reference.

    Pierre Talavéra, Montréal, Canada

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      August 6, 2012 1:02 pm

      Many thanks, Pierre. Cheers!

  3. Brendan permalink
    January 11, 2013 3:14 pm

    I bought a bottle of regular mt. Gay rum and it had a little sample bottle of mt. Gay extra old on the side of it and I am drinking it right now with coke and I really love it. My favorite rum used to be Bacardi 8 year but this is even better. I have only tried about 15 different rums and they were all $25.00 and under but out of all of the ones I tried, mt. Gay extra old is my new favorite. For the price, it can’t be beat.

  4. Alex permalink
    April 11, 2013 1:15 pm

    I was always think of this as the “single malt scotch” of rums.

  5. May 27, 2013 6:59 am

    Few will dispute the fact that Mount Gay Extra Old has been a bellweather for truly fine rum, unadulterated and a simply stunning blend of 10 to 17 year old rums. Unfortunately that has changed.

    Sue Sea and I recently found an old (2008) bottling of MGXO in the old classic bottle hidden in the spirits closet. Since the Black Barrel fiasco, we have become concerned that Mount Gay, among other Caribbean distillers, has been forced to downgrade their products in the face of the USVI subsidies. Call it survival.

    With the 2008 MGXO in hand, we decided to do a meticulous comparison with a new 2013 bottling to see how this revered spirit might be affected. The result: the 2013 is notably different, and not for the better. Although surely similar, its clear that the blend has shifted younger. The 2013 is lighter and less rich, and features more of the higher, younger tones (think orange marmalade). It is not nearly as integrated. OTOH, the 2008 was deeper, richer, more aromatic, with more of the tones and evidence of age.

    A real shame. The world of rum has now arrived at the stage of the fabled frog-brought-to-boil stage. The Big Three especially, but others, are slowly degrading the blends so that we simply won’t notice, will slowly forget what real purity and quality was, and will come to prefer crap in a bottle. A shame.

    Don’t get me wrong – the 2013 bottling is still quite good, call it an “8”. But the 2008 (and earlier? “10’s”.


  1. New Rum Review: Mount Gay Extra Old « Inu a Kena

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: