Rum Runners of Prohibition & a History of Barbados Rum

January 17, 2020 | 11am-12:15pm | $40.00

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Llano Room

Richard Seale & Bailey Pryor


We trace Barbados Rum from its origins in the 1640s, through the golden era in the 17th and 18th centuries, the crash of exports to post revolutionary United States and the role prohibition and post prohibition cocktail culture played its revival to bring Barbados Rum the status it has today.

January 16, 2020 marks 100 years since the inception of Prohibition and the rise of the Rum Runners in the United States. Based on his documentary film entitled “The Real McCoy,” filmmaker and founder of The Real McCoy Rum, Bailey Pryor, takes us on a journey through the history of prohibition in America, how an unlikely combination of political forces managed to proclaim alcohol illegal in the USA, and draws parallels with today's culture and political moment. Famed “Rum Runner,” Bill McCoy, used legal loopholes to defy this unpopular law and confound the US government, becoming a folk hero. He is the reason why we all know the phrase, “The Real McCoy.”

While making the film about McCoy, Pryor located evidence that McCoy was buying his rum from Barbados, where Pryor and renowned master distiller, Richard Seale, came together to re-create The Real McCoy rum. Following the traditional pot-still technique, Pryor takes us through the process of producing rum, from fermentation to distillation, maturation and blending - highlighting a new discussion about rum as a finely aged spirit, rather than just “light” and “dark.” This entertaining and enlightening seminar will give the audience a whole new perspective on rum, and an appreciation for rum as a super-premium product that rivals the finest spirits in the world.