Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend

Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend rum review by the fat rum pirateMount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend. For once in the rum world new packaging does 100% mean a change in the blend. It is not just the work of conspiracy theorists, who can remember exactly, what a rum tasted like 20 years ago and immediately notice tiny little differences to the blend – but only I hasten to add once the bottle shape and/or label have changed……..

Perhaps one of the most iconic rums in the world MGXO for short, has been a constant and readily available companion for the Barbados rum lover since it’s launch in 1992.

Sales of Mount Gay rum have always been strong, particularly their Eclipse expressions. However, it has been felt in some rum enthusiast circles, that Mount Gay have been left behind a little recently, by Foursquare in terms of innovation and overall product portfolio. They had until fairly recently stuck stubbornly with their tried and tested rums with no Limited Edition or particularly show stopping releases.

That has definitely changed over the past 3-4 years as Mount Gay have upped their game and put out some very interesting limited edition releases. Such as a Cask Strength XO (I wonder if we see this as Cask Strength in the future?) and a Selected Blend bottling for The Whisky Exchange, amongst others.

The original blend of Mount Gay Extra Old, as it was commonly known back then, was devised by then Master Blender Jeremy Edwards. He was assisted with this blend by Allen Smith, who became Master Blender in 2010.

Towards the end of 2019 and after over 25 years with Mount Gay, Allen Smith stepped down. His replacement as Master Blender Trudiann Branker, has wasted no time in making her mark. In 2019 Mount Gay released a Pot Sill only blend. I haven’t actually bought a bottle as yet, so alas no review.

Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend rum review by the fat rum pirateTrudiann has now turned her attention to this new blend for Mount Gay XO. She has also revised the blend for Mount Gay Black Barrel. The Eclipse blend currently remains unchanged.

The first thing that will be noticed by a lot of consumers, is the increase in price. Mount Gay XO was available typically in the UK for around £35-38. You would occasionally find it discounted at between £30-33 and if you didn’t shop around you could pay over £40 for a bottle.

This Triple Cask is currently available at Master of Malt for £53.75 or House of Malt (where I acquired my bottle) for £46.99. It came pretty swiftly as well. So they come recommended.

Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend comes in the “flat” almost flask style 3/4 stubby bottle. The little details that were there with the previous XO are all present. The Barbados flag on the seal, a good quality wooden topped artificial cork stopper and the Master Blender’s signature. Which confirms Trudiann is responsible for this blend.

Presentation wise, Mount Gay have adopted a cleaner colour scheme. More in keeping with their more recent Limited Edition bottlings. This is a good move as the previous XO’s colour scheme, did look a little washed out. Almost like camouflage!

Particularly the card sleeve. It’s worth noting that whilst the new brown and gold card sleeve looks better, its isn’t as sturdy as before. Nit picking I know but I guess you all want to know all the differences!

As before Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend is presented at 43% ABV. It is a blend of Pot and Traditional Column (not huge industrial multi columns) rums. The age of the rums in the blend has been altered from between 8 and 15 years to between 5 and 17 years. So we have a mixture of older and younger distillates. I am unsure of the exact ration of each. As Mount Gay XO is a continuously avMount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend rum review by the fat rum pirateailable product made to a particular flavour profile, it is highly likely the rums used in the blend will change over time.

Now the other big difference between Mount Gay XO and this new Triple Cask Blend is, errrmmm….the use of three different types of cask in ageing.

So we have some of the rums aged in ex-bourbon barrels, some in ex-whisky and finally (and perhaps unsurprisingly as Remy Cointreau own Mount Gay) ex-Cognac casks.

I think I’ve exhausted all the information I have. Most of which is provided on the very informative bottle – hats off to Mount Gay for that as well.

Now for the review and this will be in two parts. First up I am going to review Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend on it’s own. With no comparisons to it’s predecessor. Then I am going to try it alongside a glass of my freshly opened Mount Gay XO non Triple Cask Blend.

Here is a tip you can pick up both these XO’s at the minute for less than £80 for the pair. Amazon have the “old” XO for £33. I’d be keen to hear how others find these side by side.

Right okay so lets deal with Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend on it’s own to start with.

In the glass the spirit presents itself as rich dark brown with an orange hue. It’s a “traditional” dark spirits colour. Maybe a dash of E150 for consistency. Mount Gay do not do any other additives.

Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend rum review by the fat rum pirate

Nosing Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend, I am immediately reminded of just how nice the nose on MGXO always was. The signature coconut aromas burst out at you. There is nice fruity note on the nose as well as the coconut – a kind of rum and raisin like aroma going down.

It’s quite spicy with a fair amount of oak and some sweet bourbon like vanilla aromas. Notes of dark chocolate float in and out giving the nose a slightly richer overall profile. Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend has like all good well aged Barbados rums – a really nice well balanced, easy going nature to us. For many this is not “extreme” enough for me not appreciating rums such as these is almost laughable.

Sipped, the rum is much drier than the nose suggested. I have always found Mount Gay XO to be quite a dry, oak driven spirit. This has not changed. Then entry has nice sweet hit of coconut, dark chocolate and vanilla. A little toffee as well.

The mid palate moves into a more “charred” note – slightly smoky with lots of ginger and oak spices. Underneath all this is a slightly honeyed sweetness which carries the rum along into its long and punchy finish.

Finish wise Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend certainly has a lengthy very oaky finish with lots of barrel char and slight hints of smoke and smidge of tobacco.

This “new” Mount Gay XO is pretty impressive I must say. However, maybe the question on everyone’s lips is “Is it better than the Old Mount Gay XO?”

Well why don’t I do a little comparison before I hand out the scores?

Mount Gay XO Reserve Cask Rum v Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend

In the glass theMount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend rum review by the fat rum piratere is no discernible difference between the rums. They could be switched around quite easily and I wouldn’t have noticed. They are your standard aged spirit colour.

On the nose “old” Mount Gay is a touch more aggressive. Just a tiny bit more “boozy” and maybe more malty..The Triple Cask Blend seems slightly more rounded – a tiny bit sweeter. Maybe a touch better balanced. I prefer the newer incarnation though being completely honest – after a few I might not necessarily notice the difference.

In many ways the rums are very similar and very typically Mount Gay. The “old” Mount Gay is perhaps more “clean and crisp” where the “new” bottling is just a tiny bit richer and every so slightly sweeter.

If you are a hardcore regular Mount Gay XO drinker then the differences may seem more dramatic. For me the rums are still pretty similar. Overall in terms of profile length and delivery, they are pretty similar both start sweet and have a fairly spicy and dry mid palate which leads to a long dry woody finish.

The “new” Mount Gay has a slightly oilier, richer mouthfeel as well and seems to balance out a little better on the finish.

I like this. I’ve always liked Mount Gay XO and I’ve had a couple of bottles pretty much every year since. That will certainly continue.

I would say that this is a tiny bit “better” (or more to my tastes) thanMount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend rum review by the fat rum piratethe previous Mount Gay XO. That said and as I’m sitting here really enjoying it – I’m not sure if it’s worth an extra point.

Maybe 4 1/4 stars?

We’ll stick with 4 stars. Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend is a completel

y solid rum, one which does sometimes fly under people’s radars. It is easily as good as R L Seale’s 10 Year and Doorly’s XO and to be fair thats not bad company to be in now is it?

Crikey this has been a bit of a monster review hasn’t it?

Pass me the Mount Gay XO………..either is fine by me.

 

 

 

3 comments on “Mount Gay XO Triple Cask Blend

  1. Thanks for a great review! I have to say, though, that it pretty much confirms my worst fears: namely, that we will now be paying 50% more in the USA for almost the same damn thing, or a very modest improvement. So I will no longer be able to afford to keep Mount Gay in regular rotation. Way to go.

    Mount Gay XO was, in my opinion, already a bit splurgy (though easily justified) at $45 when similar blends can be had from Doorly’s/RL Seale for half the price (though I always gave Mount Gay the edge on complexity and sophistication).

    Black Barrel, which sold for $30, and shared most of the same flavor notes as the XO in a shorter and more muted form, was a great middle shelf sipper at a price range that made me prefer it over a lot of the Foursquare stuff at $20 to $25 even if it cost a bit more.

    But Black Barrel is now going to cost $45, and XO is going to be priced at $65 in my state. This vaults these two absolute pillars of the rum world from staple status to special occasion status. Terrible move, if you ask me. You need to deliver some seriously, impressively improved rum with those price hikes to avoid making this look like a cash grab.

    And frankly, I just don’t think these rums compete with ANY spirit at those price points. At $45 to $60, I’m headed to high end bourbon or single malt Scotch/Irish single pot still. For the prices they’re asking now for XO, I’d like to be drinking some single pot still rum, or at least a DRAMATICALLY improved and intensified flavor, and get that ABV up to 46% or SOMETHING. What the hell justifies the price hike if the flavor tastes almost the same and there is YOUNGER rum going into the blend? Come on. Looks a hell of a lot like a cynical cash grab or stupid attempt at “premiumization” simply by raising the price. Boo.

    Please, nobody tell Appleton, but their 12 year was better than Mount Gay XO all along, and looks like an even better bargain now.

    Come on Mount Gay, how about an affordable pot still rum?

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