Mount Gay distillery, was officially founded in 1703 in the St. Lucy parish of Barbados, even though the distillery seems to be even older with the first distillations dating back to 1663, who probably makes it the oldest commercial rum in the world.
Originally called Mount Gilboa and owned by John Sober, changed its name in honour of Sir John Gay Alleyne after his death in 1801. Hired by the Sober family in 1747 and already known as a Member of Parliament in Barbados, Sir John Gay Alleyne radically and succesfully innovated the distillery introducing new strains of cane, improving crop yields and enhancing the production process, becoming its manager by the end of the century.
In 1858, the Thornhill family bought the 350-acre estate and in 1918, it was sold to Aubrey Fitzosbert Ward already owner of the Fairfield Plantation and of the Harrison’s and Ashton Hall Plantations. After his death in 1948, two of his sons, Lisle and Darnley continued to operate till 1989, when the distillery was split from the refinery: the brand was sold to the French company Remy Cointreau, originally known as Remy Martin, while the rum refinery was still under Ward family control.
The contract prior 2014 didn’t include exclusive rights, so that some Mount Gilboa appeared on the market in the last years.
In 2014 Remy Cointreau bought the remaining shares, taking control over the entire Mount Gay company.
Today Mount Gay still produces in Barbados, using a blend of continuous column stills and pot stills, aged mainly in ex-bourbon barrels.
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