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The Real McCoy

Thu, Dec 01, 22  |  molly's spotlight

Behind The Barrel

The Real McCoy Rum is based on the story of Bill McCoy, the pioneer rum runner of the Prohibition era. In January of 1920, McCoy was the first to fill a boat with alcohol in the Caribbean, sail it up to New York City and legally act as a floating liquor store three miles off shore. McCoy was careful to always stay outside the three mile limit, which was international waters in the early days of U.S. Prohibition. 

McCoy made a name for himself because he never adulterated the alcohol. While copy-cat rum runners would dilute their alcohol with wicked chemicals like turpentine, wood alcohol and prune juice, McCoy never did. The sullied products were nicknamed “Booze,” “Hooch” and “Rot Gut,” while McCoy’s quality spirits became known as “The Real McCoy.”

The Real McCoy Today

Fast forward to the twenty first century, Founder and CEO, Bailey Pryor, came up with the idea to make The Real McCoy Rum while producing a documentary film about Bill McCoy for Public Television in the United States.

During his research for the film, Bailey traveled to the Caribbean island of Barbados, where he met Richard Seale, the 4th generation Master Distiller at his family-owned Foursquare Distillery.

Together, Bailey and Richard developed a classic style Barbados rum, adhering to McCoy’s strict regimen of never adulterating the rum with added sugars, flavors or perfumes. The resulting rum is artisan crafted in small batches, using a rare combination of column and pot still distillate, and authentically aging in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. The goal? Make a rum that actually lived up to the name “The Real McCoy.”


The Real McCoy is proudly crafted at Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, where they support ethical, sustainable practices in every aspect of production.

They use closed-top fermenter tanks to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. The CO2 captured during fermentation is then used for soft drink carbonation. During distillation, heat is captured and re-used to minimize energy consumption. A sophisticated water treatment facility converts effluent into irrigation water and animal feed, so there is no discharging of waste into the environment.

Additionally, no chemicals, sweeteners or flavorings are added to any of their rums. We love this commitment to natural ingredients and eco-conscious business practices!


Profile: Soft, smooth, well-balanced, luxurious texture

Nose: Oak, dried fruit, brown sugar, earth notes, vanilla hints

Palate: Caramel, toasted almond, buttery cinnamon, bourbon-aged oak

Finish: Lingering with toasted coconut and hint of tobacco

Pairings: American-style barbecue and chocolate covered fruit for desert 

Molly's Staff Thoughts - Justin's Pick

“Considering the quality and flavor, this is a great value for what you’re getting. This rum’s toffee palate is delicious and incredibly smooth. I can’t recommend it enough.”

Find out more about Real McCoy Rum and the rest of their products here