raw material

Raw material:




two-column Coffey still and copper pot still



5 years in heavy char American Oak bourbon barrels

sugar added

Sugar added:


alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:






History verifies theses. The Volstead Act, ratified in 1919, implemented prohibition in the US, making the production, importation, and sale of alcohol illegal. It is worth noting that this act was the only constitutional amendment that revoked civil rights rather than guaranteeing or expanding them. The legislation aimed to curb the consumption and distribution of alcoholic beverages throughout the country. Instead, the era saw the rise of widespread civil disobedience and the underground market for alcohol thrived. As the saying goes, "markets abhor a vacuum," organized crime stepped in to fill the void. The illicitly sold alcohol was unregulated, of lower quality, and came at significantly higher prices.

Enforcing prohibition incurred a cost of over $300 million for the federal government. However, the authorities encountered a more substantial setback with the loss of tax revenue, estimated at a staggering $11 billion. The Great Depression wasn't the right time for moralizing either. Farmers, aiming to recover their profits from the grain intended for alcohol production, threw their support behind Roosevelt in the 1932 elections. The "noble experiment" was finally abandoned because the math didn't work.

The controversial William 'Bill' McCoy was primarily an entrepreneur. As far as I know, capitalism encourages diligence, initiative, and hard work, and in my perspective, the prohibition opened up new possibilities. So Bill bought rum in Barbados and resold it three miles off the New York coast. These were extraterritorial waters, so he didn't break the law. Bill offered a natural product in contrast to the competition, which focused on profit maximization by diluting their products with turpentine and wood spirit. Consequently, "The Real McCoy" became synonymous with superior quality. Interestingly, Bill abstained from drinking alcohol himself. He also refused to pay protection fees to either the mafia or law enforcement officers. Even so, he soon became public enemy number one. Captured in international waters (the rule of law truly) and imprisoned, he finally abandoned distribution (because not contraband) and returned to the profession of shipbuilding.

The conclusion. Constitutionally sanctioned moral concepts restricted the rights of others. This has resulted in the criminalization of large segments of the population and the devastating impact on a previously thriving economic sector, which was subsequently taken over by organized crime. The once-standard product become an desired object that was often unattainable. Consumers lacked the opportunity to verify the quality of the available products, and due to widespread scarcity, contaminated goods often became the only option remaining. Ultimately, prohibition was abolished not primarily for the betterment of the public but rather to improve state finances.

Today, it is widely acknowledged that alcohol is the most harmful drug. The repeal of a similar prohibition would once again yield positive effects on public finances. However, as Hegel famously remarked, "the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history".


Bailey Pryor produced a documentary about Bill McCoy for PBS, and during his research, he crossed paths with Richard Seale. Together, they embarked on a mission to present the timeless Bayan rum to the world in a new light. The Foursquare Distillery, deeply rooted in the tradition of authentic rum, despises extras like sweeteners, perfumes, artificial colors, refined white sugar, chemical stabilizers, flavor enhancers, propylene glycol, plum or raisin juices. It's a slap for fraudsters lacking genuine regard for the consumer.

The Real McCoy 5YO is crafted from blackstrap molasses sourced from Barbados and Guyana. The fermentation process lasts 44 hours within closed tanks under carefully controlled pressure and temperature and using a proprietary yeast strain. The rum blend comprises distillates derived from both a two-column Coffey still and a copper still, both originating from the same year. The number "five" on the label is a binding declaration. Maturation takes place in ex-bourbon barrels crafted from solidly charred oak.

Oak, dried fruit, brown sugar, earth notes, vanilla hints.
— as they tell
Noble vanilla, almond, redcurrant.
— as examined by RumExam
Caramel, toasted almond, buttery cinnamon, bourbon-aged oak.
— as they tell
Oatmeal cookie, unsweetened banana chips, nutmeg fire.
— as examined by RumExam
Lingering with toasted coconut and hint of tobacco.
— as they tell
Cinnamon oatmeal cookie.
— as examined by RumExam



Foursquare Distillery / Real McCoy Spirits, Corp.

Price approx:






not specified



british, bajan


single traditional blended rum
⁖Reviewed on: December 29th, 2020