The Real McCoy Aged 14 Years Limited Edition

The Real McCoy Aged 14 Years Limited Edition Rum review by the fat rum pirate The Real McCoy Aged 14 Years Limited Edition. It has been pretty difficult, make that nigh on impossible to keep track of every bottling that has hailed from Foursquare over the past few years. There are a huge variety of Official Bottlings (OB’s), Independent Bottlings (IB’s), collaborations between OB’s and IB’s and finally Rum Brands such as The Real McCoy working with Foursquare.

The sheer number of bottlings that have been released over the past 5 years is by comparison to the previous 20 or so years – staggering. At one type Foursquare was famous for Doorly’s XO, R.L Seale’s 10 Year Old, Foursquare Spiced and John D Taylor’s Velvet Falernum. They did license other brands such as 10 Cane Rum but these were short lived.

Going back to around 2013/14 we had no idea that Foursquare 2006 would arrive in the sexy Velier bottling to be followed by a resurgance in the “Exceptional Cask Series”, which incidentally up until that point consisted of a singular, long sold out release. The now must sought after 1998.

Much has changed since then and one of the brands Foursquare now works closely with Bailey Pryor, the owner of The Real McCoy Rum. Although The Real McCoy brand’s core offerings the 3,5 and 12 Years are available here in the UK, distribution of the Limited Edition offerings such as the Madeira Cask Matured 12 Year Old and this 14 Year Old Ex-Bourbon Cask rum have been much easier to find in the US and have only really seen shelf space here in the UK as US Imports in 750ml size bottles. Much the same goes for mainland Europe.

The Real McCoy brand of rums have offered a more “charred” approach to Barbados rum. Comparing the Doorly’s range to the Real McCoy if you are looking for some kind of comparison might be like comparing regular Jim Beam White Label to something like the Double Oak. The whiskey is pretty much the same but the finish gives it something a bit different. Something like that anyway.

The Real McCoy Aged 14 Years Limited Edition Rum review by the fat rum pirateSo what do we have here exactly? Well we have a blend of Pot and Column distilled Barbados rum from the Foursquare Rum Distillery. It has been aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon casks at the distillery. It is distilled, aged, blended and bottled at Foursquare. I know because the labels tell me this.

Like Foursquare’s OBs The Real McCoy have also been upping the standard strength of their rums from the baseline 40% ABV. This limited edition release is bottled at 46% ABV. In the US where it is still available it retails at around the $70 mark. It was released in 2019. If I see a bottling in the UK I would expect it to retail at around the £70-75 mark maybe slightly more if it is indeed a US import. I’m pretty sure Europe didn’t get an allocation of this rum. Though as I mention in my opening paragraph keeping up with all these releases is pretty difficult.

Which brings us to the consideration. Like the other limited edition Real McCoy bottlings this comes in the usual stubby 3/4 bottle. With a synthetic cork enclosure (Foursquare have grown tired of issues with natural cork, as have many consumers). The colour scheme of white, black and gold also is in keeping with previous releases. The bottle is big but not huge on facts about the rum rather than to much of the “The Real McCoy” story.

So I think that is everthing so lets see how this one drinks.

In the glass we have a dark brown liquid with a reddish/orange hue. A classic aged rum colour if you please.

The nose offers little surprises but it is very strong on the coconut and vanilla notes. Coconut Ice (British Confectionary a mixture of Coconut and sugar mostly) and some vanilla ice cream. Reminds me of a Baked Alaska or (and yes this is a thing) Deep Fried Vanilla Ice Cream.

It’s a very light and quite sweet nose, there is a little oak and barrel influence but not a great deal. It doesn’t feel as “heavy” on the char as some of The Real McCoy releases. It’s really easy going and very nicely balanced. It is perhaps not as complex as I might expect but it’s very pleasant nonetheless.

On the sip it is more complex than the nose was suggesting. Immediately I am getting more barrel influence and more spicy bourbon-esque notes. There is an oakiness and a bitter edge which mingles nicely with the sweeter coconut and vanilla notes. The initial entry is sweet with lots of the coconut but the entry quickly changes and the mid palate has more going on than just the sweeter notes.

On the mid palate I am getting a slightly medicinal note to the rum. Something a little denser, richer. A big hit of blackcurrant and juicy raisin integrate amongst the spicy ginger and oak.

At an ABV lower than most of the Exceptional Cask Series and the Velier collaborations this may feel a little soft or easy going at first. You may have gotten used to a bit more oomph from the Cask Strength rums. However, this is still a very complex sip and at 46% ABV hugely drinkable. Dangerously so perhaps.

The more you sip the more you uncover with this rum. It is a classic ex-bourbon tropically aged Barbados rum. No mucking around just well aged and well blended.

I was worried this might be a bit too oaky or a bit too charred. Fortunately, much like the 12 Year Old Madeira Cask Limited Edition, this is different to the core The Real McCoy range. Much less wood and char on this one.

The Real McCoy Aged 14 Years Limited Edition Rum review by the fat rum pirateFinish wise it’s a nice length and it fades out gently with a really nice balance of spice, oak, fruitiness, with just enough vanilla and coconut to keep the sweetness going.

Aside from the Port, Zinfandel and other “finished” or “second maturation” Foursquare releases this is about the “sweetest” rum I have had from Foursquare. Note that says sweetest not sweetened. There’s been no jiggery pokery here to get more of the coconut and vanilla flavours. Unlike a particular XO bottling I could mention from another producer…..No “enhancements” needed.

A surprisingly light 14 year old rum. The Real McCoy Aged 14 Years Limited edition lot different to the other similarly aged rums in the Foursquare cannon.

 

 

 

 

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