When Bailey Pryor was doing research for his award winning The Real McCoy documentary, he traced the origins of Captain McCoy’s 1920 rum to Barbados and the Foursquare Distillery. When he decided to produce a rum he chose to partner up with Richard Seale and Foursquare to create his 3, 5, and 12 year old rums. For this 12 year old rum, Foursquare uses a combination of pot and column stills to create the rum, which is then aged onsite in used America Oak Bourbon barrels for 12 years. The product is then blended and bottled for distribution in Europe and the U.S.
The bottle is the same design as the 3 and 5 year old rums with a black, white, and gold label. The synthetic cork is secured to the glass with a black wrap that has a pull tab just below the cap.
In the 750 ml bottle, the rum has a dark mahogany color that lightened to a dark cherry wood when transferred to the glass. Swirling the liquid created a nice thick band around the perimeter that then created thick slow legs. No surprise the slight green halo -indicating the oak aging- appears around the glass.
When I poured the rum, a toffee aroma drifted up from the glass. I covered it and let the rum settle. I uncovered the glass and detected a quick release of higher alcohol which settled into a pleasant balance of smoky oak, dark chocolate, honeyed banana, with a hint of nutmeg and baking spices at the fade.
The rum had a warm, full -bodied entry with sweet treacle forming the mid-line, while the smoky oak and dark chocolate from the aroma formed the foundation. The fruit and spice notes danced with the treacle notes creating a high quality flavor experience. Out of curiosity, I added a couple of drops of water to the glass and the warm entry immediately mellowed, subduing the char of the oak and really highlighting the fruity sweet notes in the profile.
When I began my journey of exploring rums, Foursquare and Bajan rums in general were a big part of the experience. For that reason my expectations are pretty high as I enjoy other offerings from this distillery such as Doorly’s XO , R.L. Seale and Rum 66. The Real McCoy 12
year old rum does not disappoint. Sold at around 45 dollars a bottle this 80 proof spirit is well balanced and stands out with the complexity I expect to find in a rum from this age range. With the gift giving season fast approaching, you may want to consider adding this to your holiday list or gifting it to a rum lover in your life.
This review first appeared in Got Rum? magazine.