When it comes to rum, no one has done it as consistently or as long as Mount Gay Rum. Hailing from Barbados, the spirit has been made there since 1703, making it the oldest rum in the world. The Origin Series was created by Master Blender Allen Smith to help consumers gain a deeper understanding of Mount Gay rums by offering a side-by-side comparison in one boxed set. Origin Series Volume One offered consumers virgin and charred casks varieties while this release showcases copper pot and copper column still rums.
The rums are 100% identical in ingredients, fermentation, and aging. The only thing that distinguishes the two—and what makes this release so interesting—is the distillation method. One uses 100% copper pot distillation while the other uses, as you might guess, 100% copper column distillation. Usually, these two are blended together to produce their other rums, such as Eclipse, but for this series, Smith wanted to pair them side by side to see how each still imparts its own flavors into the product.
Nose: Like many rums, heavy notes of banana and caramel sweetness that are bolstered by a slight hint of almonds.
Palate: A very light-bodied rum that tastes of almond and banana. There is a little bit of toasted oak on the palate as well. These flavors fade into sweetness with very little burn.
Finish: A very short and crisp finish. Fruity flavors that are backed by honey.
Nose: Chocolatey and predominated by almond. A darker, deeper nose than the column still.
Palate: The pot still is a little heavier on the tongue, but not by much. It still retains a mostly light-bodied character that is pleasant, considering the chocolate flavors that come through the nose. Coconut is also present, giving a nice, tropical feel to the rum.
Finish: Another short finish. A little fruitiness that is complemented by a little oak spice. Some caramel as the rum fades.
Final Thoughts: Paired together, these two rums really do showcase the differences between the two different types of stills. While the column still rum is lighter, neither presents an overwhelming sipping experience, which is how these rums should be consumed. Sipping the column still reminds me of my own time studying in Barbados and makes me want to be sitting on Crane Beach as the sun goes down, listening to some far-off Soca music, and contemplating where to get a plate of flying fish from.
The Origin Series Volume 2 set will be available starting in November and will retail for around $95.