The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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Page 87 of 140

october 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  87 In his 2013 documentary The Real McCoy, Bailey Pryor sought to discover the true origins of the phrase. While researching photo archives for the film, Pryor noticed the rumrunner posed with custom-stamped barrels from Barbados. He hopped a plane to Barbados and was directed to the 1906 R.L. Seale Company, the oldest rum- trading family on the island, which now operates Foursquare Distillery. Pryor approached fourth generation distiller, Richard Seale, with the idea of replicating a rum that had all but disappeared from the public imagination—"Dry Style" rum. To tackle this dream, Seale uses molasses—no colors, no sweeteners and no juice— blended from local sources (every plantation's sugarcane is pressed by the state-run sugar mill) and from a long-time supplier in South America. Once back on the estate, the processed material is distilled using a mix of modern and heritage stills. Seale uses a combination of a three-column still and a 1,500-liter pot still. The rums come in three-, five- and 12-year expressions, aged in first-use American oak bourbon barrels. The Real McCoy launched in 2013 in Pryor's home state of Connecticut and is now in 20 states. In its first two years, it won more than 60 awards worldwide including Double Golds in San Francisco, New York and London. It looks like Pryor found what he was searching for! —Edited by Emily Coleman WWW.REALMCCOYSPIRITS.COM Not everyone can jaunt off to the Caribbean, but sipping a luxurious rum may be the next best thing. Añejo rums are lush, elegant spirits similar in complexity and depth of flavor to well-aged brandies. Equally attractive is that they're surprisingly inexpensive. Spirits mature faster in the heat and humidity of the Caribbean basin; as a result, rums barrel-aged for 12, 18 or 21 years often cost about half of what a comparably aged single malt or alembic brandy would. And then there's its romantic allure to consider. These tropical gems are imbued with tantalizing aromas and rich palate-pleasing flavors. The combination can be rather intoxicating. Why is aged rum shooting up the charts? One explanation is that it is a dynamic and diverse spirit with a "fun in the sun" image. Rums are made in exotic places in a broad range of styles—from clear and light-bodied to dark and full-flavored. Rum is also a spirit that adapts well to barrel aging, and, unlike vodka, rums are graced with brilliant hues and captivating aromas. An approachable taste profile means that there's no learning curve necessary to enjoy rum. "The explosion and popularity of brown spirits, specifically premium whis- key, has created an outlet for rum brands to highlight their iconic aged items," says Martin Peters, Spirits Portfolio Director at Palm Bay International Imports. "The consumer has become more comfortable paying higher premium prices for high quality aged products." Whatever the reason, aged rums have become the new darling of the snifter set. Salud! Rediscovering the Joys of Aged Rum Tasting Notes The Real McCoy 3-Year-Aged Rum Dusky clay with warm vanilla is soothing to the nose. The spirit brightens on the palate with lavender, toffee and white pepper. Nutmeg and melting marshmallow sweeten the tongue on the finish. 92 —Meridith May The Real McCoy 5-Year-Aged Rum Light amber color; soft, sweet nose; precise, balanced and toasty with sleek, elegant flavors; long and easy- going. 93 —Anthony Dias Blue The Real McCoy 12-Year-Aged Rum Orange cedar is striking, as are the antique varnish notes: an intriguing "scentual" greeting. The smooth entry of stone fruit, cedar-cherry and spiced vanilla make it texturally pleasurable as well as genuinely noteworthy when it comes to flavor. 94 —M. M. Living Up to Its Name wh The Real McCoy The Real McCoy by Robert Plotkin The rums come in three-, five- and 12-year expressions. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG

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