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Terroir is a topic of frequent discussion when it comes to wine, and has even entered the whiskey world in recent years. Now Barbadian rum distillery Mount Gay is joining the conversation with its new Single Estate Series 23_01, which is an attempt to highlight the flavors provided by sugarcane harvested from specific fields over two years.
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Of course, this is not the first rum that is centered around the concept of terroir. Renegade Rum in Grenada has made that its sole mission, releasing a series of single farm expressions over the past few years. Most rum is made by turning sugarcane into molasses, and then fermenting, distilling, and aging it (there are exceptions, like rhum agricole which is made from sugarcane juice). Single Estate Series 23_01 was produced using sugarcane harvested in 2016 and 2017 on land acquired by Mount Gay in 2015, distilled in a copper pot still, and matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Master blender Trudiann Branker expounded upon the process in a statement. “Growing Barbadian sugar cane to make Barbadian molasses and bringing every element of the rum production together at our home in St. Lucy, the birthplace of rum, was a unique journey,” she said. “We learned to farm sugar cane, we learned to mill sugar cane. We created Barbadian molasses that, for the first time, was not a byproduct of making sugar, it was the product focus. The Single Estate Series rum speaks to this quality of molasses, and of Barbados rum making.”
The rum was bottled at a strong 55 percent ABV and is non-chill filtered to preserve maximum flavor. It’s a bold and tasty spirit, with notes of spice, leather, citrus, stone fruit, and tropical fruit on the palate. The suggested serve is a neat pour, but of course enjoy this rum any way you want to. It comes in a bottle made from 70 percent recycled glass, and has a QR code on the label that allows you to explore the journey from field to bottle even further. Single Estate Series 23_01 is available in select markets now (SRP $400), but there are just over 4,000 bottles available. You can find one online from Master of Malt, and the rest of the Mount Gay collection is available to purchase from ReserveBar.
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