Vacation tours don’t always have the best reputation. While I personally think it’s great to travel and learn about the culture you’re visiting, they can sometimes be long and tedious. However, the Mount Gay Rum Tour is perfectly timed at 30 minutes, with tastings along the way, which will leave you an extremely happy and slightly tipsy tourist!
You wait for your tour to start in the gift shop area with adjoining bar. My boyfriend and I immediately ordered drinks (Black & Stormy was the best!!), however I don’t recommend this, because there will be plenty of samples along the tour. But then again, there’s never really too much rum..
I’ll break down the tour in 3 basic parts, to give an understanding of what to expect.
The General History – The tour kicked off with perfectly made rum punch samples. The first stop was a room which took us through the early stages of rum and had pictures, displays of old bottles, etc. After learning about how rum started out as a beverage called “kill-devil” due to it’s harsh taste when swallowing, and then evolved into an industry through slavery and trade, we were taken to another room which had tools used for producing rum.
The Tools and Tastings! (+ movie) – We double fisted our way up a flight of stairs and got to learn the specific tools needed for rum production and the barrel aging process, which was followed by a short movie (~8 minutes) viewing to reinforce everything in a concise and fun way. After the movie, it was time for tastings! Mount Gay has 5 products, and we sampled 3. The Silver and 1703 bottles were not available for tasting (left and right in the image below).
The Factory! – After the tasting we were able to see the factory as everything is bottled on premise. This is the only part of the tour where no photos were allowed.
Once the tour wrapped up, we were brought back to the gift shop/bar where there is also an outdoor eating area. Of course we needed to taste the 1703 (and bought a bottle as well!), which we enjoyed along with samosas and fish cakes.
I left extremely happy with the tour and an even bigger fan of Mount Gay. The history is strong, and the product is great. For anyone visiting Barbados, please please don’t miss out!
Tour info: http://www.mountgayrum.com/#/section/visit (we did the standard tour)
And for anyone who really wants to learn more about the history of rum, I highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/And-Bottle-Rum-History-Cocktails/dp/0307338622