Last month we introduced you to Captain Bill McCoy, a famous rum runner during prohibition. He found a way to outsmart the U.S. Coast Guard by positioning his schooner just outside U.S territorial waters and letting captains on smaller boats deliver the goods to shore. Legend also has it that he was the man behind the phrase “The Real McCoy.”
Rum runners were notorious for diluting the pure Caribbean rum with turpentine, wood alcohol, and even prune juice in order to maximize their supply and therefore their profits. These tarnished products became known as “Booze,” “Hooch,” or “Rot Gut.” Not Bill McCoy. His spirits were pure, quality products that were never altered. People began noticing the difference and began asking for “The Real McCoy.”
Bill McCoy’s story is the basis of The Real McCoy rum based in Barbados. There are no added sweeteners, flavors, perfumes, or chemical stabilizers added to the rum. The base begins with blackstrap molasses and Barbados spring water. It is distilled in small batches in a combination of copper pot and column stills. The rum is aged in heavily charred American Oak bourbon barrels for a full three, five, or twelve years depending on the product level. The Real McCoy products are a part of Foursquare Distillery.
The aroma of the rum draws me in as soon as I open the bottle. It is very oak forward with molasses, citrus, and orange blossom. There is, however, a slight alcohol note which is quickly absorbed by the oak. The palate is the same as the nose without any hint of alcohol burn. There is a playful dance between the citrus notes and the molasses, each taking the lead at different times. The citrus crosses the finish line first with the oak and spice carrying the finish. This rum definitely drinks like a fine bourbon.
The color is dark amber which coats the glass leaving thick legs running down the glass.
The nose is very buttery with orange and butterscotch. I don’t get the alcohol burn nor the oak on the nose, but then again I never get oak. My first sip was extremely disappointing based on the nose. The buttery notes are gone and spice of some sort is introduced. The orange is still there but the spice hangs on the back of my palate and carries to the finish. Upon further sips, I think the “spice” is more of a burnt or charred note. The buttery notes come back once the rum opens up but the charred finish is not appealing to me.
Overall – What did we think of The Real McCoy?
If you like a more bourbon feel in your rum then this rum is for you. The single barrel aging provides all the oak you could ever want. However, if you’re like Terry and want less oak and more tropical notes this is not for you.
4 out of 5
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum