The Real McCoy 12 Year Old Rum

Difford's Guide

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Product Information

Barcode UPC: 8 52355 004017
Bottle Size: 700 ml
Closure: Natural cork stopper

More about The Real McCoy 12yo

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alc./vol: 40%

Proof: 80°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: 12 years

Product of: Product of Barbados Barbados

This rum’s name is inspired by Prohibition rum runner, Bill McCoy, whose rum, gin and whisky were said to be The Real McCoy due to their quality. It is aged ten years in American oak ex-bourbon barrels before a further and final two years aging in French Limousine oak.
Bailey Pryor researched and produced an award-winning documentary about the legendary Prohibition rum runner, Bill McCoy, whose rum, gin and whisky were said to be The Real McCoy due to their quality. During filming Bailey realised the brand potential of The Real McCoy and set about launching this rum.

McCoy never bribed politicians or law enforcement officers and proudly sold unadulterated, uncut and clean alcohol. Hence his reputation for selling “The Real McCoy”. Bailey set out to create a rum worthy of The Real McCoy name, one made without additives, and was introduced to Richard Seale of Four Square distillery in Barbados, a man with a well-earned reputation for rum making. The resulting Real McCoy Rums launched early 2013.

During Prohibition, William Frederick McCoy (1877 – 1948), a boat-builder by trade, legally purchased rum in Nassau and Bimini in the Bahamas and sailed this cargo in his schooner, the Tomoka and five other ships, to anchor in International Waters off the coast of Long Island. Rum runners in small fast boats would make their way to the anchored ships (which became known as Rum Row) to load up with booty and then outpace the U.S. Coast Guard on their way back to supply the speakeasies of New York.

Bill placed his ships under British registry, flying the Union Jack, anchored three miles off the U.S. shoreline so that he did not cross into U.S. territorial waters. By so doing, McCoy was not actually breaking any laws himself but his reputation and the press coverage of the gentleman rum runner made him something of a celebrity and public enemy No.1.

The U.S. Coast Guard eventually arrested Bill on-board his ship on 23rd November 1923 while still in International Waters. He pleaded guilty at the ensuing trial and spent nine months in a New Jersey jail. After serving the sentence he returned to Florida where he and his brother returned to the business of boat building.

Review and Tasting

Sampled on 13/10/2013


Clear, deep golden amber.


Buttery oak, dried fruit and Christmas cake with spicy notes. Warm and inviting rather than nose tingling.


Gently spiced with pronounced orange zest and tobacco.


Peppery spice emerges in the buttery tobacco finish.

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