Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Real McCoy Rum Tasting

OK, OK, OK, yes it's a whisky blog, I know, I know but I got offered the chance to try some rum and as I'd never had any before I thought - "well why not?"

The #TheRealMcCoyTT twitter tasting was arranged by TheFloatingRumShack (what a brilliant twitter handle!) and he wanted to include some whisky drinkers to see what we thought - you can say no to that can you?

So as is usual with these things a small parcel arrived a few days before the tasting:

As you can see the rums were all from The Real McCoy brand, this is one of many from the Foursquare Distillery on Barbados, and has an interesting back story:

So, What's The Story of "The Real McCoy?" 
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 Prohibition in America. 
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." 
Our multi-award winning collection of rum is produced in honor of McCoy using his Prohibition Tradition®. The rum is completely unadulterated -- there are no added sugars, flavors or perfumes – and we use only the finest blackstrap molasses and pure spring water. The rums are small batch single-distilled in a rare artisan combination of column and pot stills, then authentically aged in heavy char American Oak bourbon barrels for a full 3, 5 or 12 years.

You can find out more, including their video, on their website.

So on to the rums:

First up was the 3yo at 40%

The distiller says : Comes out of the oak barrel with a light amber color, then we CHARCOAL FILTER it to remove the color and still maintain the COMPLEX FLAVOR and AROMA

My thoughts:

Character: Clear, although some say it was a pale brown tinge!
Nose: Cream Soda, foam bananas and maybe a hint of pineapple - very tropical!
Palate: Unexpectedly smooth! tropical flavours - coconut and pineapple but also hints of orchard fruits.
Finish: Smooth but short.
Notes: I think is is aimed more at the cocktail market that to be drunk neat but it was nice all the same unlike some cheaper whiskies!

Other tweeter's thoughts:

Next was the 5yo at 40%.

The distiller says : The 5 Year Old is a complex, medium bodied blend of rums from the Double Retort Pot Still and Coffey Column still. It is aged for a minimum of 5 years in heavy char ex bourbon casks. Again, no added sugar or flavouring agents. I don’t like telling people what they should taste, it’s so subjective, but what I love about this is the balance between the spicy, fruity and mellow caramel notes.

My thoughts:

Character: Light gold - more whisky like in appearance but the smell is definitely rum!
Nose: Very sweet smell - banana caramel and coconut with hints or apples and pears. Develops as it's in the glass - butterscotch with a hint of vanilla
Palate: Surprisingly whisky like but with the tropical notes - a little spicy kick that was missing from the 3yo, creme brulee with orchard fruits. Light and fruity on the palate.
Finish: Slightly drying with a kick of peppery spice on the finish.

Other tweeter's thoughts:

Third was the 12yo at 40%

The distiller says:

My thoughts:

Character: Much more like a whisky in colour
Nose: more of the same but more intense - as you'd expect? Foam bananas and coconut again, hinds of butterscotch and vanilla - yummy! later a hint of almond or marzipan?
Palate: Immediate notes of coffee on the palate - sweet like a liqueur. Very drinkable! Again after warming in the glass the banana seems to fade away and the creme brulee comes back, it's more intense than the 5yo but equally as drinkable!
Finish: Lovely light burn with tropical overtones, lovely gingery spice.

Other tweeter's thoughts:

Next was the 12yo Distiller's Proof at 46%

My thoughts:

Character: Similar gark colour to the normal 12yo but...
Nose: Definite alcohol kick on the nose with this one - molasses, butterscotch and a hint of orchard fruit on the nose!
Palate: Loses the coffee taste from the 40%, the extra 6% giving rich rummy fruit cake notes! Lovely spicy notes on the tongue and a long burning finish! This is more like it!
Finish: Lovely spicy burn with the trademark tropical overtones. This is a very nice dram - comparable to a good whisky - I am very impressed!

Other tweeter's thoughts:

The final rum was the 12yo Limited Edition at 46%

My thoughts:

Character: Lighter than the two other 12yo's
Nose: More rich fruit cake, almost whisky like, spicy, fruity, hints of honey and vanilla too - Yummy!
Palate: On the palate there's an almost sherry feel to the 12yo LE - nice and chewy, honey notes and a gentle spice which builds as it goes down your throat! This is a completely different beast!
Finish: The 46% really knocked it out of the court for me and the extra Madera notes were brilliant! Lovely spice with sherry and pineapple on the finish.

Other tweeter's thoughts:

Wow, what an experience! My first try of rum and I was extremely surprised, I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't as smooth and as nice as this! Yes the 3yo is meant for cocktails not for drinking neat but it wasn't bad, the 5 yo moved the chinning bar up a little, the 12yo knocked it out of the park!

The 12yo was like a good whisky, but different, lovely complex nose that you could spend a good while exploring, it changed as the glass was warmed in your hand and as the air got to the alcohol. On the palate it was surprisingly smooth, tropical and a good dose of gingery spice, this followed on to the finish - well worth trying!

Then came the Distiller's Proof which knocked the ABV up to 46% - amazing - I am definitely going to buy a bottle of this if it comes to the UK. The extra ABV just racked everything up a little bit and hit the perfect sweet spot.

Finally the Limited Edition with the mix maturity in Bourbon and Madeira casks - this was as good as the standard 12yo and nearly as good as the Distiller's Proof - maybe it was the hints of sherry that I got, which reminded me of the whisky I love, which knocked it down a point or two - I can't quite but my finger on it but again definitely worth trying if you can get hold of some.

A great evening excellently run by @FloatingRumShac with help and information from @ukrumrunner and all my fellow twitter tasters. Thanks to @TheRealMcCoyRum for some great rum and completely changing my opinion!