Rum is a strange category because of its loose rules. The Real McCoy Rum seeks to provide transparency in the production process and age statements that are akin to whiskey instead of a marketing ploy. This means:
The age on the bottle is the minimum time spent in the cask. This is similar to the nomenclature used in whiskey. This differs from other rum brands where 25 Year Rum does not equal 25 Year Old Rum.
Age statements are used because Gold Rum and Dark Rum can be non-aged rum with food coloring therefore making the nomenclature useless when it comes to flavor.
No additional sugar or propylene glycol (a sweetner and emulsifier) is added to the distillate before bottling.
Full disclosure: Propylene glycol is used in the production process of The Real McCoy . . . as a refrigerant that never comes in contact with the spirit.
The Legendary Distiller
In July, 2018 for the first time ever, a rum won the International Spirits Challenge’s Supreme Champion Award. That rum was produced by fourth generation Barbados rum distiller Richard Seale. Beyond this win, Mr. Seale is known for producing highly coveted and collectable bottles due to the qualit y and value that he produces. His Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, is known for producing “The Pappy of Rum”, according to Fred Minnick’s article “Velier Foursquare 2006: The Greatest Rum I’ve Ever Tasted” (https://www. fredminnick.com), and referenced by Matt Pietrek’s “How Foursquare Became the Pappy of Rum” for Punch Magazine. The distillery is also the last locally owned Barbados Rum Distillery. Unlike private labels that source through a rum broker like E&A Scheer in the Netherlands, Real McCoy is a “private label” directly from the Foursquare distillery in Barbados.
Locally sourced black strap molasses, water and proprietary yeast
40 hour long molasses fermentation occurs in a pressure and temperature closed top fermenter and uses proprietary yeast. This guarantees a consistent molasses wine (fermented molasses), as no “unwanted” yeast or bacteria enters the fermentation tank. Richard Seale puts heavy focuses on creating the qualit y of the “molasses wine”.
Both pot and column Forsyth Stills (http://www.forsyths.com) are utilized to create two different distillates. Column provides a clean distillate, and the pot still provides rich flavors and aroma. Forsyth stills are also produce Yamazaki, Glenlivet, and Glenfiddich.
The column still and pot still distillates are blended together in the Scottish model of creating a light distillate for aging and heavy distillate for aging.
Oak casks from American Whiskey production are used for aging. What separates The Real McCoy from other spirits is that none of the ages are blended. The age statements on the bottle follow Scottish laws in that the age statement is the youngest eu de vie. For the Three Year, all the product is aged three years. For 5 year old, all the product is aged 5 years.
Note that rum has a particularly high Angel’s share, so at 12 years, there is only 1/3 of the original liquid left in the barrel. After maturation, barrels are blended together and Barbados spring water to bring to proof.
Though not the cheapest product, this rum provides substantial value. By value we mean lots of utility (the economic term for “enjoyment”) per dollar. Given the various products within the rum category, Real McCoy provides great value to elevated bar programs due to its complexity and product integrity while maintaining a solid price point to hit a $9 cocktail.
From a purchasing perspective, Real McCoy produces a heavy rum due to the high quantity of pot still distillate in the blend. We would suggest supplementing your current Jamaican Rum purchase with Real McCoy, as Jamaican Rum is lighter in style.
(more detailed notes will be available at hawaiibevguide.com/bevguide):
Three Years Old: Daiquiri style rum due to its complexity which make for an interesting cocktail
Five Years Old: Easy Bridge for Bourbon drinkers. Also works well with fresh fruit.
Five Years Old vs Twelve Years Old: The Twelve Years Old Expression has a longer finish and deeper vanilla, tobacco and star anise notes.
The Real McCoy’s website is also particularly helpful as there will be an interview series coming up with master distillers of different products.