Mount Gay Rum: Alive and well

When American writer Mark Twain’s cousin James Ross Clemens was seriously ill in London, there were confused reports that claimed it was Twain who was ill. To clarify the situation, the New York Journal of 2 June 1897 published Twain’s infamous quote: ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration’.

Same goes for Mount Gay Rum.

For over 30 years, Mount Gay Rum has been a sponsor of competitive sailing, playing host to over 150 regattas around the globe each year. But an article last week sent shockwaves through the sailing world, casting doubt about one of the sport’s favorite drinks and fervent supporters.

The Jamaica Observer reported on March 13 that the future of the Mount Gay rum refinery, reputedly the home of the world’s oldest rum and the birthplace of the alcoholic beverage, remains uncertain six months after rum-making ceased there, amid a ‘setback’ in talks on a buyout deal.

“This is a case of mistaken identity,” clarified Jean Song, head of marketing for Mount Gay Rum.

“What the article was referring to is a different company than Mount Gay Distilleries, which ages, blends… are the ones that make Mount Gay Rum. There is absolutely no cessation at Mount Gay Distilleries.

“The confusion happened because there is an ongoing negotiation between Mount Gay Distilleries and The Rum Refinery of Mount Gay, which is one of our historic suppliers. The article was related to some of the negotiation that is occurring between the two companies, but there again is no cessation of any form at Mount Gay Distilleries, the maker of Mount Gay Rum.”

While both businesses are located in Mount Gay, Saint Lucy, Barbados, they are two separate and distinct entities.

“There is no concern for the consumer, and there is no shortage of Mount Gay Rum,” Song stated. “We are open, and are actively making Mount Gay Rum as we speak.

“We are proud to be part of the sailing community,” explained Song. “It is part of our heritage; Mount Gay Rum was introduced to Europe and the Americas by sailing ships, and we remain connected to this lineage today through our support of sailing events.”

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