Mount Gilboa Triple Distilled Barbados Pot Still Rum

Mount Gilboa Barbados Pot Still Rum Review by the fat rum pirateMount Gilboa is a triple distilled Pot Still rum.  This in itself is fairly unusual, I think.  I’ve heard little about multiple distillation in rum, unlike Vodka for example.  That’s not to say it doesn’t occur just that is rarely mentioned.  Mount Gilboa is a product of Barbados and from the name and product design you could be mistaken into thinking you are getting a cheaper Mount Gay product or a copycat.

In actual fact this rum is produced at the famous Mount Gay Distillery in St. Lucy, Barbados though it should be made clear that Mount Gilboa is an independent product and the operation is currently ran by Frank Ward. Frank is a descendant of Aubrey Ward who originally acquired the estate which housed the original Fairfield Factory that produced (as a by product of sugar refining) molasses which was used in rum on Barbados.

From what I can gather, although this rum is still quite readily available online production has ceased.  I have a few ideas why this may have happened and I will explain as I move through this review.

First up, the presentation of the rum.  Mount Gilboa comes in a fairly standard bar style bottle which is easy to handle.  It has a slightly wider flared base and slightly bulbous neck.  Other than that it is fairly unremarkable.  The labelling and colour scheme throughout is a kind of maroon/pink with gold touches.  To be honest it does look a little dated when compared to other rums released recently.  The pinkish box is lighter than the maroon on the bottle (it may well have faded).  The box itself is fairly sturdy and gives some nice information about the heritage of this rum etc.  The information distances itself from the iconic Mount Gay rums by stating this is a product of Mount Gilboa Investments Ltd.  Despite a good natural cork stopper the presentation isn’t great and old fashioned.  It is to be fair, worse than Mount Gay’s presentation prior to the re-branding a few years back.  I really think that this has not helped and is probably one of the biggest reasons for its demise.  It won’t really jump off the shelf at you.

I also think that the whole Mount Gilboa name probably didn’t help.  It probably just confused and again meant people went for other choices.  This does look very much like a cheap Mount Gay knock off.

Which is a shame because this rum is not cheap.  Online prices vary from just over £30 to approaching £45. I paid just over £30 and would suggest that £30-35 is about the right price for this rum.  If you can find it.  The rum is bottled at 40% ABV and comes in a 700ml bottle.

In actual fact production of this rum ceasing had more to do with the takeover by Remy Cointreau of Mount Gay and the sugar refinery attached.

Mount Gilboa Barbados Pot Still Rum Review by the fat rum pirateEven Foursquare distillery do not currently produce an entirely Pot Still distilled rum.  Most rums are either column or a mixture of pot and column distilled rums.  As mentioned earlier a triple distilled Pot Still Rum is quite unusual.  Again this might not have helped with the rums popularity.  Without any fancy gimmicks a triple Pot Stilled rum will mean very little to most rum buyers.  Pot Still rums in themselves can be quite divisive and for many not the kind of profile they are looking for in their rum (if indeed these people really are looking for rum).

Mount Gilboa exhibits a classic Bajan style nose.  Light vanilla and gentle subtle fruity notes.  However, it also has a very intense undercurrent of heavy pot stilled rum.  It is almost like a Jamaican and Bajan blend.  It is very ripe almost getting into Hampden like intensity.  Think Smith & Cross or Hampden Gold.  This is probably another issue many may have had with this rum.  If you are used to softer Bajan style rums this would be a bit of a shock to the system.  It’s quite boozy as well on the nose.

Mount Gilboa is a nice golden brown colour, it is slightly hazy.  From what I can gather it has only been lightly filtered and no caramel has been added to alter the colour of the rum.  This is very traditional old style rum.

Mount Gilboa has a very concentrated flavour profile.  It’s very boozy and has a lot going on.  Rich intense dried fruits such as prunes and dates.  Bitter stewed apples, hints of vanilla and a little cocoa and toffee.  It is four years old and reminds me very much of Smith & Cross it terms of intense concentrated flavours but unlike Smith & Cross and possibly because it is 40% ABV rather than 57% ABV, it still displays some refined Bajan lightness which adds a little balance to the rum.Mount Gilboa Barbados Pot Still Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

As mentioned earlier this is a fairly young rum at only 4 years old.  Despite that and despite its price tag it should not be dismissed. Pot Still Rum production is less economical than Column Distilling in continuous stills.  This is single batch rum which means in theory each batch produced from the still will be slightly different, dependent on the molasses, weather and a whole host of other factors.  Whilst batch to batch may vary I have read other reviews of this rum and all have noted just how rich and fruity this rum is.

In many ways Mount Gilboa takes you back in time to when rum could only be produced in Pot Stills.  Luckily production methods in other respects have improved so although this rum is made in a traditional style it is not the Kill Devil or Fire Water that was dished out on the Plantations and Pirate ships all those years ago.

Despite the youthfulness of the rum it has quite a nice if somewhat spicy finish.  It is long lasting and quite boozy but I enjoy it.  This is not an after dinner liqueur kind of rum like some of the “premium” sippers.  If you have no appreciation for rums such as high ester Jamaican rums then steer clear.  Although this is a Bajan rum it has a lot in common with those kind of rums.

You can mix this rum but whilst it works it seems a little bit of a waste.  The flavours more than stand up but it offers a lot more when sipped.  Especially with a tiny drop of water to release more of the flavour and tone down the boozier aspects of the drink.

This is a rum which will offer the serious rum aficionado a real taste and feel for rum as it was (and how many feel should still be) back in the day before continuous still technology and premiumisation of the segment.  This is with the exception of Smith & Cross or Old Salt Rum as far away from Pyrat XO or Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva as you will get.

If you can find a bottle of this I would heartily recommend it especially if you prefer the more rummy rums such as Pusser’s, Smith & Cross etc

4 stars






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6 comments on “Mount Gilboa Triple Distilled Barbados Pot Still Rum

  1. Corps des Ingénieurs du RNI au Maroc – هيئة المهندسين التجمعيين


  2. I live in Plymouth mass and would like to know how to purchase a bottle of mount Gilboa rum
    Bob Beson

    • Try online Rob I’m in the UK so of limited help

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  4. Nice rum puts older rums to shame.

    • Indeed. Always more to rum than just ageing. Oldest
      doesn’t mean best.

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