Review: Mount Gay Sugar Cane

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Mount Gay Sugar Cane Rum
www.mountgay.com

No, you didn’t misread. The above title claims this review is for Mount Gay Sugar Cane Rum, but the label calls it brandy. I just learned the hard way that they’re one and the same. It seems that in some states Mount Gay is required by law to label their brandy as rum – either way, it ain’t rum, and it certainly ain’t good. I used it to remove a nasty clog from my drain, and it didn’t even do a very good job of that. The flavor was vaguely reminiscent of shoe leather soaked in vinegar. If you think that sounds appealing, give it a shot. Otherwise, I’d stay clear.

Important Update! I almost let the hideousness of this “rum” scare me off Mount Gay forever – don’t make the same mistake! If you try only one new rum this year, make it Mount Gay Extra Old.

UPDATE: I’m killing comments on this post. It was written back in 2004 and it’s getting quite tedious to respond to every Sugar Cane Brandy fan that wishes to air their disagreements. So instead, here’s a generic comment and response copies from my FAQ:

Q. Are you a total dolt? (insert rum name here) is my very favorite, and yet you call it wretch – was your tongue burned by acid when you were young?

A. Rum is a very subjective subject, and while I welcome opinions that disagree with my own, I do get tired of belligerent posts that choose to question my tastes entirely – especially regarding reviews that were posted several years ago. My rum reviews can be quite opinionated – I freely admit that. I have a strong preference for what I consider to be “heritage” and “naval style” rums – meaning the dark, oaky, molassesy sorts like you often find out of Barbados or Jamaica, and the peppery, bold sorts that reflect the mixes favored by the British navy. I don’t give a flat fig what rums won awards, and if I wanted my rum to taste like cognac, sherry, or port, then I’d pour myself a cognac, sherry, or port. A high end rum that tastes like any of the above might be very pleasant on the palette, but to a swab of my preferences they taste like fail.

Comments (5)

  1. Rob

    Ur off ur trolley mate, really u are! talk about a bloke who doesn’t know what he’s on about.

    Mount Gay Sugar cane brandy is called sugar cane brandy because as mount gay rum ages in the barrel, between roughly years 4-6 it acquires a character somewhat reminicent to brandy, but in a very very rum way. Its when the palette taste really increases but before the oakiness starts to dominate.

    The same rum in the same barrel, in years 1-4 is called Eclipse, years 5-6 is called Sugar cane brandy, and years 7-10 is Extra Old.

    its all the same stuff mate. Of the 3 aged groups (sold as different rums) 1-4, 5-6, 7-10 … the brandy version is resoundingly the standout.

    When sold overseas, the brandy term for legal reasons has to be replaced with the term rum, beacuase it is a rum, not brandy.

    Rob

  2. Bilge (Post author)

    Gee, that was helpful, Rob. Thanks for nitpicking a review that was written six years ago. And hey, whether it’s made from sugar cane or not, it still tastes like suck.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    Nope, sorry, Bilge. Sugar Cane Brandy/Rum RULES. When I heard a rumor that the Mt. Gay SGR was being discontinued, I ran out and bought two cases’ worth — that’s how good it is.

    To be clear: it’s not the finest rum in the world, but it *is* the absolute best in the $20-25 range, and it’s a wonderful sipping rum for daily consumption.

    I spoke with a Mt. Gay rep the other day at a tasting, and he said the SGR difference is: a.) it’s a distiller’s blend of new and old stuff; and b.) it’s aged in used bourbon barrels, which gives it the vanilla/butterscotch note that folks like so much.

    I love the stuff, and I’m not alone; this review is a real outlier, folks!

  4. CE Behr

    Matey,

    As a practicing Pastafarian and a long time rum sipper (not mixer, as in rocket fuel that is sometimes marketed as rum) I would like to offer that your review falls so far off the mark as to be verging on laughable. This is one of the finest “sipping rums” I have tasted for the price, and I’ve got at least 20 different bottles in my rum cellar to compare it to. This Rum/Brandy is a rare pleasure and I would heartily recommend it to anyone with a little more time, experience and hair on their chest than our beloved Bilge. Get a sloop, pull up a mooring on a clear night and finish a bottle, then let’s chat…… Aaaargh! Happy Talk like a pirate week!

    CE Behr

  5. Bilge (Post author)

    CE – tastes may surely differ, and if you enjoy the Mt. Gay Sugar Cane Crap, you have my blessing. But would you really deign to suggest I’m inexperienced and unmanly, here on my own site? That would be in poor taste indeed. This site – and my reviews – heavily favor heritage and naval style rums. We are not much in the practice of giving too much kudos to brandy-style, sherry-aged, or liqueur type rums that are so commonly preferred by pretentious lubbers that can’t appreciate real rum.

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