The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 105 of 136

november 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  105 other rum runners were cutting their spirits with everything from prune juice and food dye to turpentine. His reliability garnered him a reputation for authenticity that spread among the local tradesman of "rum row" and along the entire East Coast, ultimately resulting in the term "the real McCoy" for McCoy's genuine product. "I was so impressed with McCoy's story, that I felt there should be a rum that honored his legacy and his name," says Pryor. "Not long after that, I found myself going into the spirits business just to make that happen." Bringing McCoy Back Pryor came across customs data revealing that some of McCoy's rum was distilled in Barbados. He was able to track down Richard Seale, the fourth- generation distiller at Foursquare Distillery, to collaborate on an authentic style of rum that fit the time period. "Seale has an innate skill that is really very rare for rum production," says Pryor. "Most producers can mask mistakes in their spirit by adding flavors and colors to it. But Seale is a craftsman, and it shows in his final product." Real McCoy Rum is made using black strap molasses, a high-grade sugar byproduct. It is fermented with a proprietary yeast and then distilled in both a pot and column still to produce a distinct flavor profile that high- lights the rich molasses. Using American oak bourbon barrels, the rum is aged for either 3, 5 or 12 years, benchmarks Seale and Pryor feel are the ideal aging limits for the rum. The 3-Year rum is filtered through natural charcoal resulting in a clear spirit that offers a nice, creamy body. The 5-Year rum has a little more weight with nutty and caramel notes and makes an excellent rum alternative for bourbon lovers. The deeper toned 12-Year rum is aged for twelve years in American oak barrels and offers smooth earthy tones and mature vanilla. Real McCoy Rum launched in Pryor's home state of Connecticut in 2013. His commitment to quality resonated with Dan Meiser, who quickly welcomed it into his bar program. The Modern McCoy in Action Though fairly small in size, The Oyster Club's bar, with its sleek zinc coun- tertops behind an expansive raw oyster bar, is one of the town's warmest and coziest outposts, managed by Mark "Sig" Signor, a local cocktail celebrity. "Oysters are a central part of our bar program, but so are our cocktails. And Sig makes some of the best around," says Meiser. The bar's signature cocktail is the smooth and tangy Dirty Barbados, made with Real McCoy 5-Year Rum, lime juice, orange bitters and a dash of salt. "It's the perfect refreshing cocktail that really accentuates the rum. You can actually taste its depth of flavor and other ingredients just make it shine through," says Meiser. For a town like Mystic, a rum like The Real McCoy has been a perfect addition to a modern seafaring culture. It's something Meiser is proud to stand by, not only for its local allure. "What's fabulous about The Real McCoy Rum is that it really fits into our commitment for sourcing local ingredients since it's locally owned. The fact that Bailey Pryor is now our own local 'rum runner' with an incredible story is great, but the reason it will ultimately be successful is because the rum is just that good." REAL MCCOY COCKTAILS courtesy of Mark "Sig" Signor, The Oyster Club Dirty Barbados ◗ 2 oz. The Real McCoy 5-Year Rum ◗ 2 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice ◗ 1 oz. ginger-infused simple syrup ◗ 3 dashes of orange bitters ◗ Pinch of sea salt ◗ Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake with ice and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wheel. Old Fashioned McCoy ◗ 2½ oz. The Real McCoy 5-Year Rum ◗ Peeled orange wedge ◗ 2 Maraschino cherries (Luxardo brand recommended) ◗ 2 dashes of orange bitters ◗ 1 oz. honey ◗ Splash of tonic ◗ Combine orange wedge, cherries, honey and orange bitters in rocks glass. Muddle above ingredients. Fill glass with ice and add rum. Finish with a splash of tonic. Garnish with fresh orange twist. Mark "Sig" Signor is a local cocktail celebrity who manages The Oyster Club's bar program.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2014