Catalog, Mount Gay Rum

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Brochure, Mount Gay Rum

Our Roots

Many people believe that rum was being produced on the Mount Gay Estate in Barbados from as early as 1663. However, the first surviving written evidence of production is a legal deed dated 20th February, 1703. This document, which lists the property as well as certain equipment essential to the manufacture of rum, confirms that rum production was well underway at Mount Gay by 1703, making it the oldest producer of rum in Barbados, and almost certainly in the world.

The Early Years

The Mount Gay Estate lies on a ridge in the northernmost parish of St. Lucy in Barbados. In the 1600's this spot was known as Mount Gilboa, and contained several small sugar plantations named after their respective owners.

In the early 18th century, William Sandiford bought and consolidated a 280 acre parcel of land and renamed it Mount Gilboa. The land passed through his son, who sold it to John Sober in 1747. Sober and his son, Cumberbatch, operated the land from England as absentee landlords, eventually hiring his good friend, Sir John Gay Alleyne, to manage the flourishing estate in 1787.

In 1801, after Sir John's death, Cumberbatch renamed the plantation Mount Gay in honour of Sir John Gay Alleyne, and the Sober family continued to run the property until 1860.

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