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Now this is some good stuff
I like mount gay rums, and I love the 1703 Old Cask. I drink the XO regularly, but this "Master Select". is disappointing. I have a bottle of the 2017 batch and its dry and confusing. For a premium rum, I have found it difficult to appreciate this bottle for what it is, as it is overshadowed by what it needs to be. alcohol on the nose, too complex to the point where it leaves you wondering and then finishes you with a dry mouth. I sip Old Cask and while I can sip this? why would I? the experience is on par with XO, which is a fraction of the price of this bottle. It mixes terribly with coke. While I would never mix a premium, they rarely take away from a rum and coke...this one does. Enough said. Disappointed.
Sugar: 0 gpl.
The 1703 Master Select has a similar taste profile as the 1703 Old Cask. Nice blend of 10 to 30 year old rums with no sweetness factor. At 43% you can detect the alcohol aroma and a bit more burn than standard 40% abv rums. The good news in the flavour profile aspect is that the oak, vanilla, caramel, and some spice (nutmeg comes to mind) are all present and well balanced in this blend. Like the Old Cask version this one has an initial strong alcohol taste, that moves through the flavour profile and then fades to a nice long afterburn. It's a strong rum that for some drinkers it might require a piece of ice, but for a whiskey drinker it will be just fine. It's a bit pricey and needs to be smoother and more complex to rate any higher.
This is a very nice gentle rum.
The nose is good with mostly vanilla and wood.
In the palate it’s also vanilla and wood, plus some caramel and citrus.
Finish is solid.
Overall this is a soft gentle rum with great taste.
When i first tasted this rum, i initially thought it was a regretable purchase because the first taste and smell was surprisingly alcoholic. However, i did a few things to condition this rum to bring out it's true potential. I put the bottle in the sun by the window with the cork off for 30 minutes and it did the trick. The taste of this rum is super smooth, balanced sweetness, has a manageable oak presense, burnt sugar, ripe bananas, toasted nuts, molasses, cinnamon, grilled pinneapple,and tobacco. It has a little burn at the end that fades away. The smell is a reflection of those same flavors. Master Select is a blend of rums 10 to 30 years old. However, id say 70% is probably 10 years old and the other 30% is older. If you can afford this bottle, you will be happy.
My bottle of MGMS was released in 2016 and is bottle 11430/12000. Great colour and smell, but was surprisingly sharp. Given that I am a BIG fan of Mr Gay XO I had great expectations for this bottle, but given its price point I have to say it did not meet expectations.
I rated the Old Cask1703 quite low. Probably because it was my first contact with the English style of rum.
Three years later after tasting lots of English styled rum I’m appreciating this one and also probably the Old Cask if I make a retest.
This time I won’t give you my exact tasting reflections, just give you my overall opinion which is that it’s an superb Bajan rum.
Both my bottles are from the 2018 edition.
Pictures: My opened bottle & My Bajan shelf.
Tasted this one at the mount gay destillery.
Very strong oak aroma, that is the destillery character. It's not bad but pricy.
I'm not a big fan of rums with wood character, because I prefer some special aromas.
Would still go for the old Mount Gay XO reserve cask (price of 40$), it offers more value for the price.
But when money doesn't matter and you love woody rum, enjoy it.
Smell: oak, vanilla, caramel, orange zests, dry fruits
Taste: oak/earth, caramel, vanilla, orange zests, some tannins, spice, some salt
Finish: spicy and balanced, cherry
Value (150$): 2/5
Did a Masterclass with Mount Gay ambassador, Mr Chester Browne, who was really fabulous and a great man. Had this one as the last one in the tasting, and I don't know if it was because Mr Browne was so enthusiast about this and I felt his emotions through his words but this one has some real layers. First you can feel apricot right after that vanilla, but it is subtle, it doesn't bother you (I'm not a vanilla fan), then it comes to you freshly baked pastry, and then the wood. It's really round in the mouth, complex, no burn at all, and a very long finish, I wish it never ended. Truly an experience to be done at least once. Not an everyday rum, just for special occasions. After this one I didn't had any other rum that day, it was the perfect ending.
I always wonder when you purchase something that has the same description as a similar rum from the same maker; if it is just a marketing ploy to get you to purchase something you already own. All be it, in a different bottle and packaging.
I have gone down this road before with Bacardi Gran Reserva Limitada and Bacardi Reserva Limitada.
That being said, there is a difference between the Master Select and the Old Cask Selection but unfortunately it is not for the better. The Master Select seems to have a little more bite and a lot more oak.
I hope this is not the future of rum where they just market the same rum to you with minor tweaks and adjustments.
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