I have a history with Mount Gay Extra Old Rum.  This bottle of amber flavor, filled to the top (at the beginning) with hints of gold peeking through the bottle.  The history is storied, and it honestly kept me away from this beautiful rum for quite a while.

When I was first exposed to this rum, I was in Barbados at the distillery for a tour.  It was on my honeymoon.  At the time, I didn’t know I loved rum, but then I was exposed to Extra Old, to something other then the moonshine quality I had been buying before, and my eyes were opened wide.  I was hooked on this delicious spirit, and might go as far as to say it was my true introduction to the finer sides of alcohol sampling and enjoyment.

Now, I highlight this trip for a reason.  I came back from Barbados with a few bottles for my enjoyment, and then my marriage went sour, and I looked at these bottles with a sort of sad reminder.  It was not their fault, but they sat on my shelf neglected from my enjoyment throughout the period of separation.  Ironic isn’t it?  Some might dive further in, but I held back as I didn’t want to ruin that amazing memory of discovering this rum.  I ended up passing off the bottles to a friend as I rebuilt my life.

Fast forward a year, and I feel it’s time to open that door again.  I had been craving a sipping rum, especially as the temperatures were climbing, and knew exactly which bottle was going to fulfill that craving.  Enter in a brand new bottle of Mount Gay Extra Old, added back in its place on my shelf.

Opening it again, the gentle floral notes are present, with a slight vanilla and dark caramel favor revealing itself with the taste.  Hints of bourbon linger on the undercurrent, and the final reveal is almost amber honey in characteristics.  The taste is warm at first, perfect for the cool evenings on my patio, and the spike from the alcohol in the back of the jowls are subdued by that caramel and vanilla note.  The final bitterness remaining rolls off with a hint again of bourbon.

I missed this rum.  By no means is it the most complex flavored fum, but fits extremely well with my goal of wanting a classic sipping rum on my shelf.  Priced right as well, it’s a solid staple for any bar and can provide a solid base to classic cocktails, or just be served clean on the rocks or neat.  During the summer, a sliver of lime would do wonders to keep the mouth clean and crisp.

Is it what I remember?  Yes, in every way.  It hit the right notes of that memory for me, gave me that fulfillment that I sought in the flavors and simplicity.  I love this rum with 3 rocks, sitting on my patio taking in the sun with my dog by my side.  It’s a welcome closure to long days.

Welcome back to my life, old friend.

To learn where to buy Mount Gay rums, and their history, head to www.mountgayrum.com.