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Mount Gay Eclipse Silver

Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum  81.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted December 3, 2010 (Updated August 21 2017)

The case can be made that the first rum distilled for commercial export was most probably distilled upon the Island of Barbados. In fact, the tradition of producing rum on Barbados has been dated to the early seventeenth century as there is evidence of small-scale distillation as early as 1637. The first recorded written usage of the word ‘Rum Bullion’ appears on the Island in 1651. (This is the earliest recorded usage of the word ‘Rum’ as it relates to the distilled spirit anywhere in the world.) Evidence dated to 1667 indicates that there were stills in use at the location which would later become The Mount Gay Plantation, and written evidence that a spirit called rum was produced at this site comes from the year 1703. This makes Mount Gay the earliest recorded commercial producer of rum in the world, and this also makes Mount Gay the oldest Rum Brand in the world. To highlight their unique place in history Mount Gay includes the year 1703 on every bottle of rum which they currently produce.

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 branded rums. Mount Gay 1703 Eclipse Silver Rum is composed of rum distillate produced from both pot and column still distillation. Although this rum is clear, it has nevertheless been matured in charred white oak barrels, barrels which previously held American whiskey. The lightly aged rum is filtered clear and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

About six years ago, Mount Gay Silver Eclipse Rum introduced a new bottle design. Gone is the typical tall bar room style bottle which is in use by so many spirits companies. The new image for the Eclipse rum is a modern, slim, oval-shaped bottle with a bold, eye-catching label which properly reflects the heritage of Mount Gay Rum in a contemporary style.

I find the bottle and label design slick and attractive with bright colours and bold fonts which are easy to read and eye-catching. When I set the bottle in my rum cabinet, it stands out clearly against the other bottles inviting me to choose Mount Gay Eclipse rather than another rum.

I so wish that the metal topper would have been scrapped in favour of a plastic threaded closure. I remain convinced that metal toppers do not work well in my climate. Perhaps in the south, where extremes of temperature and humidity are not as variable as where I live, those metal screw caps work fine. But in my climate I always seem to have problems with evaporation after the bottle is opened.

In the Glass 8/10

The Eclipse Silver Rum is a clear spirit. I held my glass up to the light and against various backgrounds trying to detect some colour but I found no trace of any at all. The tilted glass shows a light oily sheen which very slowly released stubborn crawling legs. A gentle inviting aroma begins to creep up from the glass.

When I took time to nose the glass I found that the white rum displayed an inviting aroma to my nostrils above the glass. The scents and smells of light butterscotch were evident as was a firm presence of banana, a mild citrus zest, and a light minty aroma. As the glass decanted a vague grassy vegetal scent began to waft upwards as well. Allowing the glass to breathe resulted in a strengthening of this ‘grassiness’ which seemed to imply a more complex character than I may have originally anticipated.

In the Mouth 49/60

I began by sipping the Mount Gay Eclipse Silver neat in my glass without ice. The initial flavour was slightly acidic and perhaps a little harsh. I was perhaps beguiled by the inviting nose and was expecting more sweetness than I received. The caramel and butterscotch  flavours in the rum are soft. Flashes of vanilla flavour are present. As I sip, I taste impressions of soft ripe banana and citrus zest. As well, hints of a vague minty candy flavour are apparent.

I decided to build a few cocktails to see if I could discover the range of the rum’s mix-ability. I began with a simple rum and cola by adding a small splash of cola to my glass. Increasing the ratio of cola to rum slowly, I found that at a ratio of 1 part rum to 2 parts cola the mixture tasted nice, but throughout this cola mixing experiment the Silver Eclipse did not seem to excel. This is a white rum which definitely prefers citrus juice over cola.

Next I made a simple daiquiri. Mixed with lime and simple syrup the Eclipse rum tastes very good. The character of the Eclipse seemed to push through the daiquiri and made it more impressive. I can say with confidence that this rum is a very good daiquiri rum.  I had a similar experience when I made a mojito, andthis reinforces my conclusion is that Mount Gay Silver Eclipse Rum is particularly well suited to tropical citrus cocktails.

In the Throat 12/15

When sipped straight, the Silver Eclipse had an almost Tequila like feel in both the delivery and the exit. A spicy citrus is left in the mouth and a grassy vegetal trail is left in the throat. But when the rum is mixed in a citrus style cocktail such as a daiquiri, the sensation is much different. The finish of the cocktail is lengthened by the oily texture of the rum and the finish is long and nice.   Since the rum is a mixing rum I chose to put more weight on the finish displayed in the cocktail than in the finish displayed neat.

The Afterburn 8/10

Mount Gay Silver Eclipse is a cocktail or mixing rum. When mixed, in particular with citrus, the rum displays unexpected character and thrives in citrus fruit cocktails.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.

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Suggested Recipes

Mount Gay Eclipse Silver lends itself quite well to traditional cocktails such as Mojitos and Daiquiris. Here’s another simple drink that it plays well with.

Rum and Tonic

Tonic water contains a substance called quinine which complements the piny notes of gin, and hence the famous Gin and Tonic is a very popular bar drink. I believe that the quinine in tonic water is also a nice complement to the grassy vegetal tones I detect in the Mount Gay Silver Eclipse.

1 3/4 oz Mount Gay Silver Eclipse
1/4 Lime
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (or to taste)
Ice
2 oz Q-Tonic

Muddle the lime, rum and sugar syrup  in a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score 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 and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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3 Responses to “Mount Gay Eclipse Silver”

  1. Albin said

    Excellent review on my first taste of this rum. I was likewise surprised it’s a bit “hot” on first impression, but very pleasing with ice or mixed. Will be bookmarking your site.

  2. Would it be fair to say you prefer the standard bottling of Mount Gay?

 
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