Mount Gay Eclipse (Gold)
Review: Mount Gay Eclipse (Gold) 87/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 15, 2010
1703 is the year that the Mount Gay Rum was first produced on the Isle of Barbados, making Mount Gay Rum one of the oldest, if not the oldest brand of rum in the world. Because Barbados is situated as a gateway from the Atlantic to the Caribbean, sailors from the Old World often used the island as the first resting point on the way to the New World. This meant Barbados was ideally suited for trade between the two worlds in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Part of that trade was rum which is why the island is rightfully considered the birthplace of the rum trade.
It was in 1910 that the appearance of Haley’s comet coincided with a total solar eclipse, and this event is said to have inspired Mount Gay to create their Eclipse Rum. The Eclipse is a traditional double distilled gold rum produced from copper pot stills and aged in white Kentucky oak barrels which were previously used to age bourbon. I found that when I was patient with the spirit, I could catch glimpses of the Kentucky Bourbon in both the aroma and flavour.
For more information on the history and production of all Mount Gay Rums it may be of interest to you to visit the Mount Gay Rum website.
In the Bottle 4/5
Mount Gay Eclipse Rum is housed housed in a modern, slim, oval-shaped bottle. I like the design which is slick and attractive while still conveying the tradition and style of the Mount Gay Brand.
One fault with the design is the metal screw cap enclosure. As I have said on many occasions, I remain convinced that metal toppers do not work well in my climate, a plastic topper or cork style closure is preferred.
In the Glass 9/10
The Eclipse Gold Rum is an amber coloured spirit which displays nice yellow flashes in the light. The tilted glass shows a moderately oily sheen which very slowly releases stubborn crawling legs in a manner very similar to the Silver Eclipse. The initial aroma from the glass is laced with caramel and orange peel. Allowing the glass to decant reveals the scents of deep brown sugar and toffee spices. Interestingly I also catch wiffs of a nice woody apricot brandy, a ribbon of bourbon and vanilla, and more subtle smoky aromas of dried fruit, tobacco and oak tannin.
My overall impression is that of a very complex rum full of aroma and character.
In the Mouth 52/60
I began by sipping the Mount Gay Eclipse neat in my glass without ice. The initial flavour was very complex bringing a bevy of flavour forward, and it was initially quite difficult to separate them individually. After a few sampling sessions I decided that I tasted a dark caramel dripping with treacle; hotter spices which were loaded with citrus peel and a touch of cinnamon; rich vanilla sprinkled with a light bourbon; Christmas style fruit cake filled with raisins and dates; and a light smoky presence of tobacco. These flavours seemed be in harmony filling my mouth but not overwhelming me.
The overall sensation was perhaps just a little sharp with the orange peel and oak tannin tasting and feeling a little younger in the mouth than most rums I have tried recently. This sharpness was not a deterrent to my enjoyment as these elements seemed to liven up the mouth feel and seemed to invigorate the rum. I enjoyed the Eclipse as a sipper, but these sharper flavours seemed to be inviting me to mix the rum with cola.
Deciding to go with this impulse, I began to add a small splash of cola to my glass. Unlike the Eclipse Silver which did not seem to enjoy the cola, the Gold Eclipse Rum tasted absolutely wonderful with a dash of cola. I added only a small splash and the sharper notes of citrus peel and oak tannin melted into a wonderfully smooth cocktail.
I mixed a few more cocktails, a daiquiri, a mojito and a few of my favourite rum cocktails and was quite content with everything I tried. This Eclipse Rum is a good sipping rum and an excellent mixer.
In the Throat 13/15
The Mount Gay Eclipse has a medium to long finish which leaves trails of hot baking spices kicking you gently in the tonsils and warming your throat. A touch of caramel sweetens the finish which also is complemented by the appearance of vanilla and that woody Apricot Brandy. I think the overall effect is just fine.
The Afterburn 9/10
The Mount Gay Eclipse is a very nice rum, decent for sipping and excellent for mixing. I found a full robust flavour and much more complexity than I was anticipating. The rum also displays an excellent balance of flavour with most everything appearing with just the right nuance. I am very impressed!
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
I tried quite a variety of cocktails with the Mount Gay Eclipse and did not really find any disappointing combination. When I mixed with cranberry juice however, I seemed to find a new level of enjoyment. So I have decided to share two cocktails which embrace cranberry juice mixed with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum. The first cocktail is one I designed and wrote about in November, but it tasted so good with the Mount Gay Eclipse that I have to recommend it again.
The Harvest Cocktail
Chill a small cocktail glass until it is very cold.
Aromatise the glass with Maraschino Liqueur. (This can be done by pouring a little in the glass, swooshing it round and expelling any excess. The object is to coat the inside of the glass with a film of the Maraschino liqueur.)
Place the aged Rum, Dry Vermouth, and Angostura Bitters into a metal shaker with cracked Ice.
Shake until the shaker chills.
Strain into the chilled glass.
Garnish with a Frozen Blackberry.
The next recipe is based upon a cocktail recommended on the Mount Gay Rum website called Fresh Breeze which mixes Passion-fruit and Cranberry juice with the Eclipse in a nice long cocktail. Since fresh Passion-fruit juice is not really available in my locale, I decided to substitute fresh grapefruit juice in its place. The resulting cocktail is absolutely wonderful and I call it the Cool Breeze.
1 1/2 oz Mount gay Eclipse Rum
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3 oz Cranberry Juice
1 bar spoon of Grenadine (or simple syrup)
Mix all ingredients over ice in a Collins glass
Garnish with lime slice and enjoy!
And Remember to Enjoy yourself Responsibly at all times!
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping