Mount Gay Distillery
Mount Gay, St Lucy, Barbados
But how then was the name Mount Gay derived? Well, at the time Mount Gilboa plantation was managed by Sir John Gay Alleyne; a prominent Barbadian politician. After his passing, in recognition of his commendable work the estate was partially renamed in his honour; As such, it was at that time that The Mount Gilboa Plantation changed to The Mount Gay Plantation - derived from the use of his middle name; as another plantation already existed at the time under the name “Mount Alleyne”.
Mount Gay, is documented as the oldest produced rum across the world and it began with just a pot still house developed on the sugar cane plantation in 1703. Having passed through various owners between the 1600s to the 1800s, the entire Mount Gay plantation was purchased at a later date in the early 20th century by Mr Aubrey Ward Frank. If you look closely at a bottle of Mount Gay rum to this date, you will still find the signature of Mr Ward, the English/Irish settler to Barbados who was essential in turning the Mount Gay Rum brand into the rum of Barbados. Though owned and operated by the Remy Cointreau group since the death of Mr Ward’s son, the Ward family remains a significant partner in the ageing and bottling of this wonderful product.
The glistening blades of green that blanket the environs of the home of this world-famous Barbadian rum carry a key component to this desirous blend. From these sugar cane fields, molasses, a by-product of sugar cane, is used to develop this flavourful, blended rum referred to in days gone by as “kill-devil”. For over 300 years the Mount Gay Distillery has been distilling this product and has continuously enhanced it by adding to the range of rums under the brand
Mount Gay using various ageing techniques. The Mount Gay Distillery, because of its unique development of the rum being twice distilled had a level of superiority over the other rum produced across the island and therefore fetched a greater price. The long rectangular structures at the Mount Gay Distillery are all coral limestone buildings that house the casks which are necessary for the various rums to be aged perfectly. It is the largest rum bond on-island housing just around 46,000 casks.
Today the Distillery offers unique tours of the facility, that allow visitors to experience the transition of rum from stage to stage and offers the unique ability to create your own special blend of rum as a unique memento of your visit to the distillery.
Have you ever had the opportunity to smell the sugar as the sugar cane was cut from the fields? If you happen to be in Barbados during the sugar cane harvesting season, this is an experience you should not miss out on. Open up your window while on the way to experience the Mount Gay Distillery and you drive past, take a moment to inhale acres of the freshly cut sugar cane fields in the morning, it could be beginnings of a fresh new batch of Mount Gay Rum.
- Suited for: Adults only
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Access: Vehicle is required to get to the Mount Gay Distillery
- Activity Level: Moderate walking, stairs included
- Surface Level: Combination of gravel, soil and concrete
- Comfortable shoes (preferably sneakers)
- Light, comfortable clothing
- Photos: good for photos
- Important Note: As this tour is focused on rum, it is for adults only. Bathroom facilities are available. Distillery tours are done on Mondays and Wednesdays only and bookings are required.