The Real McCoy 5YO



Foursquare Distillery / Real McCoy Spirits, Corp.

Price approx:






not specified



british, bajan


single traditional blended rum
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 ratification of the Volstead Act in 1919 introduced prohibition in the US: the production, import and sale of alcohol became illegal. It's noteworthy that it was the only constitutional amendment taking away the civil rights instead of guaranteeing them. The intent was to strike the non Anglo-Saxon immigrants communities and improve the morals of society. In fact, it has led to widespread civil disobedience carefully managed by organized crime. Markets abhors the vacuum, so the alcohol sold under the counter was uncontrolled; of worse quality and definitely more expensive.

Prohibition cost the federal government over $300 million to enforce. However the loss of tax revenue, estimated at $11 billion, was more severe for the authorities. Moreover, the Great Depression was not conducive to moralizing. Roosevelt announced the abolition of prohibition and in the 1932 elections gained the support of farmers hoping to regain lost profits for grains intended for the alcohol production. The 'noble experiment' was abandoned because it was not compatible with capitalism at the time. The math didn't work.

William 'Bill' McCoy, the protagonist of some, an anti-hero for others, was primarily an entrepreneur. As far as I know, the capitalism encourages diligence, initiative and hard work and 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 offers a natural product, but the competition is fixed at profit maximization (diluting with turpentine, wood spirit). As a consequence, The Real McCoy became indicator of quality.  Fun fact, Bill didn't drink. He also didn't pay for the protection of neither hithe mafia nor 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 resumed shipbuilding.

It has been constitutionally sanctioned that moral concepts of some restrict the rights of others. The masses of citizens were criminalized and a thriving branch of the economy was devastated being replaced by organized crime. Standard product quality from back in the times before prohibition has become an object of often unattainable desire. The consumer didn't have the opportunity or the chance to verify the quality of the currently available product, and because of the overall shortage, often the contaminated product was the only one that remained. Prohibition was finally abolished, but less for the public good and rather for the benefit of the state.

Today we know for sure that alcohol is the most harmful drug. The abolition of this still-valid, related prohibition could heal public finances, although Hegel believes that "the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history".


Bailey Pryor has made a documentary about Bill McCoy for PBS. During his research, he became acquainted with Richard Seale and they both decided to show the world in a new form the classic Bayan rum. Authentic rum is carved deep in the DNA of Foursquare Distillery, hence the litany of what has not been added is like a slap for all tricksters having dubious respect for the consumer (sweeteners, perfumes, artificial colors, refined white sugar, chemical stabilizers, flavor enhancers, propylene glycol, plum or raisin juices).

The base for 'The Real McCoy 5YO' is blackstrap molasses from Barbados and Guyana. The 44-hour fermentation takes place in closed tanks with own proprietary yeast strain and under controlled pressure and temperature. The blend consists of distillates from a two-column Coffey still and a copper still; both components are from the same year. The five on the label is a binding declaration. Rum matures in ex-bourbon, solidly burnt oak barrels.

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
⁖Reviewed on: December 29th, 2020