From Maggie Campbell to Kyra Elton, there’s so many innovative women pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the rum industry. A name that should be mentioned in the same company is Mount Gay’s master blender Trudiann Branker, who revealed some of blending secrets on a webinar with The Rum Lab.
The webinar began with Trudiann giving a summary of her story. With a background in chemistry, she joined Mount Gay in 2014 and went on to become the brand’s master blender after working under the legendary Alan Smith. It was clear that Alan’s mentorship had a profound effect on Trudiann and that he taught her how to check barrels, get underneath the skin of the Mount Gay profile and be patient with the liquid maturation process.
Trudiann fully embraced her role as master blender, ensuring that she kept the traditions of Mount Gay alive, while not being afraid to push the envelope as well.
Walking the line between tradition and innovation
When asked how she kept the Mount Gay tradition strong, Trudiann mentioned that she was focused on promoting the fact that the brand still uses the same water source to produce rum that has been used for over the last 100 years. This is an on-site well at the distillery. Another important fact is that Mount Gay continue to use the same pot stills that have been active for the last 300 years.
With an excited gleam in her eyes, Trudiann then went through the Mount Gay portfolio, introducing the classic line of Black Barrel and XO, then shifting to newer releases like her Master Blender Collection, which included bottles like a peated smoke expression. One of the most interesting new releases was the Mount Gay port cask, a wonderfully complex rum that is sure to blow the socks of anyone who drinks it.
From start to finish, Trudiann showcased her passion for Mount Gay and rum. Her aim is to lead the conversation about rum education and bring a premium quality to the industry so people can fall in love with the category just a bit more. I’d say she’s well on her way to succeeding.
To learn more about Trudiann’s journey, be sure to check out this awesome interview with The Rum Lab.