Maturation is the phase of rum production where the distilled spirit is stored in an oak cask at a high percentage of alcohol, in order to allow the spirit to mellow and develop additional flavor compounds through interaction with the wood. The high ABV (Alcohol by Volume) percentage or “cask Strength” is typically 63% to 65% ABV, in order to stimulate the chemical interactions that take place inside the barrel. Casks of different size and different species of wood yield different flavor compounds such as lignin and tannins from the wood. The inside of the cask is typically charred or burned to create a charcoal layer and enlarge the interior surface area to maximize the wood interaction. Founder and CEO, Bailey Pryor, explains how maturation is a key component in developing the flavor profile of The Real McCoy rum.