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Mount Gay Eclipse (Gold)

Review: Mount Gay Eclipse (Gold) 87/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 15, 2010

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 Rum. The Eclipse is a traditional double distilled gold rum produced from copper pot stills and aged in white Kentucky oak barrels which were previously used to age bourbon. I found that when I was patient with the spirit, I could catch glimpses of the Kentucky Bourbon in both the aroma and flavour.

For more information on the history and production of all Mount Gay Rums it may be of interest to you to visit the Mount Gay Rum website.

In the Bottle  4/5

Older Bottle Design

Although Mount Gay Eclipse Rum can be found in a new bottle design.  The sample bottle provided to me for review is the older design. It is a typical bar style bottle pictured to the right and in size and shape it is similar to many other bottles in use by other spirits companies. This older design is based upon a size and shape which will fit most bartenders cabinets and is easy to hold and pour.

The newer bottle design (pictured below) is a modern, slim, oval-shaped bottle.  I like the change and will enjoy the new bottle when it arrives on the store shelves in my locale.  This new design is slick and attractive while still conveying the tradition and style of the Mount Gay Brand.

One fault with both the old and the new design is the metal screw cap enclosure. As I have said on many occasions, I remain convinced that metal toppers do not work well in my climate, a plastic topper or cork style closure is preferred.

In the Glass  9/10

The Eclipse Gold Rum is an amber coloured spirit which displays nice yellow flashes in the light. The tilted glass shows a moderately oily sheen which very slowly releases stubborn crawling legs in a manner very similar to the Silver Eclipse. The initial aroma from the glass is laced with caramel and orange peel.  Allowing the glass to decant reveals the scents of deep brown sugar and toffee spices. Interestingly I also catch wiffs of a nice woody apricot brandy, a ribbon of bourbon and vanilla, and more subtle smoky aromas of dried fruit, tobacco and oak tannin.

My overall impression is that of a very complex rum full of aroma and character.

In the Mouth  52/60

New Bottle Design

I began by sipping the Mount Gay Eclipse neat in my glass without ice. The initial flavour was very complex bringing a bevy of flavour forward, and it was initially quite difficult to separate them individually.  After a few sampling sessions I decided that I tasted a dark caramel dripping with treacle; hotter spices which were loaded with citrus peel and a touch of cinnamon; rich vanilla sprinkled with a light bourbon; Christmas style fruit cake filled with raisins and dates; and a light smoky presence of tobacco.  These flavours  seemed be in harmony filling my mouth but not overwhelming me.

The overall sensation was perhaps just a little sharp with the orange peel and oak tannin tasting and feeling a little younger in the mouth than most rums I have tried recently.  This sharpness was not a deterrent to my enjoyment as these elements seemed to liven up the mouth feel and seemed to invigorate the rum.  I enjoyed the Eclipse as a sipper, but these sharper flavours seemed to be inviting me to mix the rum with cola.

Deciding to go with this impulse, I began to add a small splash of cola to my glass.  Unlike the Eclipse Silver which did not seem to enjoy the cola, the Gold Eclipse Rum tasted absolutely wonderful with a dash of cola. I added only a small splash and the sharper notes of citrus peel and oak tannin melted into a wonderfully smooth cocktail.

I mixed a few more cocktails, a daiquiri, a mojito and a few of my favourite rum cocktails  and was quite content with everything I tried. This Eclipse Rum is a good sipping rum and an excellent mixer.

In the Throat 13/15

The Mount Gay Eclipse has a medium to long finish which leaves trails of hot baking spices kicking you gently in the tonsils and warming your throat. A touch of caramel sweetens the finish which also is complemented by the appearance of vanilla and that woody Apricot Brandy.  I think the overall effect is just fine.

The Afterburn 9/10

The Mount Gay Eclipse is a very nice rum, decent for sipping and excellent for mixing. I found a full robust flavour and much more complexity than I was anticipating.  The rum also displays an excellent balance of flavour with most everything appearing with just the right nuance.  I am very impressed!

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

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Suggested Recipes

I tried quite a variety of cocktails with the Mount Gay Eclipse and did not really find any disappointing combination. When I mixed with cranberry juice however, I seemed to find a new level of enjoyment. So I have decided to share two cocktails which embrace cranberry juice mixed with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum. The first cocktail is one I designed and wrote about in November, but it tasted so good with the Mount Gay Eclipse that I have to recommend it again.

The Harvest Cocktail

2 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
1/8 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
Dash of Angostura Bitters

Ice
Frozen Blackberry

Chill a small cocktail glass until it is very cold.
Aromatise the glass with Maraschino Liqueur. (This can be done by pouring a little in the glass, swooshing it round and expelling any excess. The object is to coat the inside of the glass with a film of the Maraschino liqueur.)
Place the aged Rum, Dry Vermouth, and Angostura Bitters into a metal shaker with cracked Ice.
Shake until the shaker chills.
Strain into the chilled glass.
Garnish with a Frozen Blackberry.

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The next recipe is based upon a cocktail recommended on the Mount Gay Rum website called Fresh Breeze which mixes Passion-fruit and Cranberry juice with the Eclipse in a nice long cocktail. Since fresh Passion-fruit juice is not really available in my locale,  I decided to substitute fresh grapefruit juice in its place.  The resulting cocktail is absolutely wonderful and I call it the Cool Breeze.

Cool Breeze

1 1/2 oz Mount gay Eclipse Rum
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3 oz Cranberry Juice
1 bar spoon of Grenadine (or simple syrup)
ice
lime slice

Mix all ingredients over ice in a Collins glass
Garnish with lime slice and enjoy!

And Remember to Enjoy yourself Responsibly at all times!

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You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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

7 Responses to “Mount Gay Eclipse (Gold)”

  1. David Wallace said

    I look to Mount Gay Eclipse Gold as my “Go To” rum. It is the stamdard by which others are judged. Having said that, there are a number that I like better. But mixed with tonic and a wedge of lime it is the perfect mixed drink.

    I am convinced that the Mount Gay Eclipse that we get in the U.S. is not the same rum you get in the Caribbean. Back in the 80’s I noticed that the Caribbean Mount Gay came in a square bottle and had a somewhat different flavor. I think the rum that I remember from the 1980s as the Caribbean Mount Gay is now the Mount Gay Black Label. Both are very nice, but I encourage you to try the Black Label.

  2. HeWhoIsSloshed said

    Weird how this one is reviewed higher than the Extra Old (which is insurmountably superior rum). I love this if I want a solid, cheap mixer but XO is my favorite liquor of all.

  3. Try mixing the mount gay with a dash of cherry cola and feel the flavours smooth out into near ecstacy.

  4. AJ Murray said

    This is my go-to rum as it works as a sipper and a mix. The classic Bajan rum punch recipe is fantastic – 1 part lime juice, 2 parts simple syrup, 3 parts rum and 4 parts water, with a splash of Angostura bitters and a pinch of grated nutmeg. Served over ice, this goes down like liquid sunshine.

  5. Mount Gay is my favorite distillery and judging from your review, I gotta lay my hands on a bottle of this somehow. As usual, the government controlled liquor store does not carry the gold.

 
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