Rum Review: Rasta Morris Foursquare 2005 14y

Rasta Morris review #3. And this one should be no surprise… Yes! It’s a Foursquare. Because every Indy rum bottler should at least attempt to get a Foursquare in their portfolio.

In the short time, I’ve had this blog, I’ve written about Foursquare quite frequently. With the distillery being the golden standard for non-Jamaican rum (as this is a whole different category to me) it’s more a question about picking a favourite kid at the moment. It’s hard, some of the crazier (think Sassafras) or the more accessible expressions (think Détente) really make me happy. These are the kid’s that are either great athletes or are on their way to becoming doctors or something.

However, it must be said that the other -meaning ex-bourbon- Foursquare rums are all very similar on some levels. Which of course is understandable… as they’re all from the same distillery, with the same finish. The only variable is the ABV. So there’s little that sets them apart sometimes.

All these consistent and consistently good rums that I’ve tried were official bottlings. OB’s will always have a certain amount of homogeneity about them, this counts for rum as much as it does for whisky. Independent bottlings, however, have the opportunity to show a different part of the much-loved distilleries. I do hope this bottling will have that. As I love Foursquare, but I’m curious about some new Foursquare aspects. Let’s see if this is a wacky and varied Indy or bottling of a palate we all know and love.

For the specs: this is a 14-year-old Foursquare, distilled in 2005, aged in the tropics for 11 years and bottled in 2019 at a cask strength of 63.6%. Only 273 bottles were released.

Colour:

Somewhere between gold and copper. Nice orange hue

Nose:

Ah yes, typically Foursquare. Be it with a slight twist, it smells a bit fresher and vegetal than what I’m used to. The slight glue/polish scents from the other high ABV Foursquare releases are present, along with a certain minerality. This minerality helps give the fruitiness of the rum a new definition. Making it more juicy and fresher. Mango, guava and fresh pineapple are the notes I’m getting. The longer the rum breathes the more the fruit fades away for the dark tea, caramel and leather notes we’re more familiar with when it comes to Foursquare. Anyhow, nice complexity on the nose.

Taste:

The taste leans more towards the classical, browner vanilla, caramel and spice Foursquare palate. The warm spice of Foursquare along with its trademark glue/polish and the ever-inviting fruit-caramel combo should be the stuff of hymns.

This bottling does have something extra though. It’s hard to describe, but it’s almost something dirty. A bit of rubber and lots of leather and tobacco. This makes the palate increasingly heavy, along with the spice this is becoming a hefty fellow.

Finish:

The finish is very extended. With the heavier flavours remaining, the leather, caramel, tobacco, and glue are present from start to finish (apart from the nose).

It should be no surprise that a Foursquare release is good. It’s become a familiar and continually satisfying palate. The nose gave the initial indication of a very fresh palate, this seemed not to be the case. The palate instead was heavier and darker than any Foursquare I’ve had so far. This gave the rum a very dynamic and complex experience from the fresh start to the dark finish. much of the same goodness with some elongated pleasures on both side of the spectrum. so yeah, pretty good.

9/10

Rum Review : Foursquare Sassafras

Today’s rums in one many of us eagerly await every year. It’s the Foursquare Velier weird name collaboration!

Yes! The absurdity has diminished somewhat from last year’s Plenipotenziario. I didn’t review that expression because there were already plen(t)i out there. But since I’m only behind the incomparable Fat Rum Pirate, I’m pretty happy to post this.

So, the rum of the day is Foursquare Sassafras. First off, let’s get the name out of the way; Sassafras is a plant of some kind with a certain aromatic property. Apparently, it was used for medicinal reasons and it was also used in root beer as flavouring. This vague explanation goes together with the apparent lack of any connection I’ve found with the rum… after a five-minute search.

Anyhoo, the name doesn’t really matter though, does it? As long as the rum itself is good. Let’s see what’s supposed to make this a blasting rum which goes for about €170-€200.

The rum is a blend of the classic Foursquare Twin column Coffey still and copper double retort pot still. It was then matured for 3 years in ex-bourbon casks, followed by an astonishing 11 years in ex-cognac casks. This should result in a pretty impressive double maturation in terms of tropical ageing and cask influence, much more so than that other rum brand that mainly does double maturation. Finally, the rum was bottled after a total of 14 years (still a very impressive feat for tropical ageing) at a barrel proof strength of 61%.

Let’s dive in


Colour:

Deep orange, dark copper

Nose:

A very classic foursquare nose in the beginning. Dried fruits and oak, raisins, and some dried plums. Along with this comes a very present cognac influence. Some pungent old grapes that remind me of an older powerful cognac. This is very well supported by another layer of vanilla, and the slightest hint of glue. The nose has a grandpa-in-a-cardigan-who’s-telling-old-war-stories kind of vibe.

Taste:

Ooh, Grandpa’s a badass, and delicious… I mean the rum, not grandpa. Great rum, from the first sip. An intense palate combined with a certain grape-y crispness really makes this an interesting rum. All the scents come back in the palate but more refined and with a bigger punch. At 61% it’s certainly powerful, but once again it’s for the better. The ABV gives the liquid that extra bit of bravado.

There’s an amazing combination of the dark and heavy flavours with lighter fruitier ones. The good amount of tannins and tiny bit of bitterness from the wood, the deep vanilla, leather and tobacco are perfectly complemented by the crispness of grapes, raisins and maybe even a bit of apple and pear.  Stunning rum.

Finish:

Even the finish inches as close to perfection as possible. An extremely long finish slowly releases all the flavours like the second half of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’. Slowing down and leaving you to linger with a masterpiece with the occasional yelp of greatness.

The last flavours I get are those of the classic foursquare palate and an exuberant cognac.


Incredible rum. I previously gave the Détente a 5-star review (and it’s definitely worth that), but this is on a whole other level (it’s a different cask combination too but still). It appears that the solely ex-bourbon cask don’t particularly do it for me with Foursquare, but these 11 years in ex-Cognac really do something for me. An amazingly complex, deep and multi-faceted rum. Seale truly showed the world how to double mature on ex-cognac casks. The rum is a proper statement piece and even at the retail price point it’s more than worth the money.

10/10

Review #23: Nectar of the Daily Dram 2007 Foursquare 13y

I’m back with another 2 rums selected by The Nectar (BE). What can I say? They’re just really good at what they do, and that’s selecting spirits. This time it’s from a self-owned company Daily Drams. Here’s a link to the other one

The Nectar was born in 2006. The creation of 2 whisky-lovers Jan Broekmans and Mario Groteklaes, the company was founded as a passion project, especially to bottle great, fun and tasty tipples. Passion projects as companies or independent bottlers are always a good idea, this ensures the first goal of the company is to bottle the best possible product out there; profit often takes a second place and this is something to be applauded.

This year’s rum selection consists of a 13 year old Foursquare, aged in an ex-bourbon cask and bottled at 50%. The second bottle originates from Le Galion Distillery in Martinique, and has been aged on an ex-PX sherry ex-DOK cask. Yes, you read that correct. The gorgeously juxta positioned (this is my word of the day… am I using it correctly?) Pedro Ximenes and DOK-rum filled this cask before the current Le Galion was laid to rest in there for 6 months.

The selection appears to be geared towards 2 kind of consumers. This one is the old reliable. Foursquare never disappoints and the only discussion is about the degree of awesomeness This rum is targeted towards the loyal army of foursquare fanatics for one. Also for your whisky-turned-rum drinker, people who’re looking to go into more premium rum and people who like something smooth to drink in their lounge chair after a long week, and for everyone who has working tastebuds.


Colour:

Golden orange.

Nose:

Classic Foursquare: vanilla, woody bourbon, a tiny bit of nail polisher and some citrus . All very light and almost fresh. From the nose alone I wouldn’t expect this to be 63%. Which for a Foursquare I like very much.

Taste:

Chocolate and vanilla goodness. Wow, I think I’m in Madagascar picking fresh vanilla beans. With the first sip, the delightful rum fills my mouth with excellence. This is exactly what I want from a Foursquare. Deep dark and (dare I say) smooth tones. The vanilla, chocolate and orange really dominate; which for this rum is perfect. There’s also just the right amount of spice to make it that extra bit more interesting. Though it’s not overly spicy and this makes it very easily drinkable. The 13 years on bourbon barrels have done their work incredibly well, even better than some of the similarly aged bottlings released by Foursquare themselves. The rum again has the right amount of acidity from the barrel without being meek or disruptive.

The rum as a whole is incredibly approachable, yet complex. A combination of easy-going and very interesting hints.

Absolutely stunning rum this.

Finish:

The finish is medium long and keeps up the theme of the rum. Full, warm chocolate hug; like spooning with a moelleux and vanilla ice cream.


The Foursquare is unbelievably good. For me this is one of the best foursquares I’ve had. It’s full, inviting, with the right amount of interesting quirks and extra’s to make it thoroughly enjoyable for foursquare fanatics and the general public alike.

I always envisioned Foursquare as being the stately, reputable and nearly perfect rum comparable to some of the great names in Scotch Whisky. And throughout my travels (read: sitting at home and drinking Foursquare) I’ve found this to be true. Soon whisky will have to start comparing itself to Foursquare.

I’d easily order this in a dark moody jazz-club with a velvet evening jacket and smoking a bit fat cigar, because this is that type of rum. Easily drinkable and even easier to enjoy. Or even introduce this to a tough rum- or whisky-tasting crowd, because it’ll hold up regardless. I’ll definitely be picking up a bottle (or two).

9.5/10

With this year’s Daily Drams, The Nectar has released a bottle for both the main market segments: the casual drinker, and the nerd. Both are done well and succeed in their respective purpose. I expect/hope to see the Foursquare in a lot of bars and the Galion in a lot of rum tastings.

Here you can find the link to buy the bottle. The webshop only works for Belgian customers or for people who have “Bancontact” at the moment.

If you aren’t from Belgium and are still interested in this bottle. Send me an email on robin@crombewines.com

We only have 10 more bottles of this rum at the moment of writing, so be quick!

Disclaimer: I work at the store of which I included the link. I do not however receive any money or incentives to sell these rums. I just like them, put them in the store and share them with you all.

Review #20: Foursquare Détente

Another Foursquare review? Yes! I’ve got some catching up to do when it concerns this distillery. Today I have another ECS on my plate/glass, the Détente. This is was the last release of 2020 and it’s supposed to be a banger, what did you expect? (no, not a Schweppes commercial)

The Détente has been aged for 10 years in ex-bourbon and ex-port casks. This continues the “tradition” of Foursquare ageing some of its rums on Fortified wine casks, a habit which has worked out for a long time in the world of whisky and its doing pretty fine in the rums of Foursquare and other distilleries.

These ex-port/madeira/sherry casks always seem to be a hit, since the flavours given to the barrels by their respective fortified wines are accessible, full and generally delicious. This will be the first time I’ll try a port-cask Foursquare so I’m psyched *self-five!

This rum (to my completely uninformed megalomaniacally self-inflated guess) is geared more toward people who are newer to rum and haven’t quite visited the fringes of Hampden, River Antoine or even the Foursquare Velier releases. Due to its popular cask selection and its relatively low ABV (51%) this seems to be more approachable than a 60% 2008 or a 63% Nobiliary. This doesn’t mean weathered foursquare fanatics won’t like it, they’ll probably love it just the same… maybe even more.

Once again this rum is the result of a blend between pot and column still, which makes it a single blended rum. These blends were then aged for 10 years in ex-bourbon and ex-port cask. Bottled in August 2020 at 51% ABV


Colour:

Straight up orange/copper

Nose:

The nose is timid, very low profile to begin with. I really have to dig my nose in there to get a good scent. This “effort” reveals a fruity bouquet, some red fruits, grapes, peaches and apricots. Still the nose is very subtle and light. Some vanilla and wood pop up after a couple of nosings. Very approachable to begin with

Taste:

Great first impression, the first sip comes in perfectly. Not to strong, not to light, not to sweet, not to tart, not to spicy, not to mellow. Just right!

The fruit of the nose carries over on to the palate but now combined with more wood and vanilla, a bit of caramel joins the party too. The rum is at once sweet (in the good pure way) of fruit, some chocolate and hazelnut, spicy and dry. A marvelous balance is found here. Raisins appear when breathing out to give yet another layer to this complexity.

This is a real people pleaser

Finish:

The finish leaves a dry mouthfeel which then again encourages another sip, this combined with more spice and wood leaves a long complex grandfather-clock like feeling. Very interesting rum from start to finish.


Seale does it again, what a man. The Détente is a great everyday sipper, it has the complexity of some of the more expensive and challenging rums without being out there. A very light nose, which evolves in a fuller palate and then finishes woody, spicy and dry. This all creates quite a ride for the good old tastebuds and with the rum being “only” 51% this complexity is made very easy-going and easily drinkable.

I have found previous Foursquare rums to be either a tad one-sided like the 2008 or a bit too “challenging” and “overpowering” like the Hereditas. Even the royal tasting Nobiliary might be a bit much for some. But this is a great rum; complex and interesting, easily-drinkable and just a delight to drink.

9.5/10

Review #19: Foursquare 2008

I’m a little late on this one… only about 6 months and almost 2 new releases late; so overall, not too shabby. So, with a bit of a delay, I’ll be reviewing the Foursquare ECS (Exceptional Cask Selection) #13, the 2008 vintage. Due to my tardiness, there has already been some writing on it, which you can find here and here.

The 2008 is the 13th installment of the Exceptional cask series and the 5th vintage (after 1998, 2004, 2005, and 2007). The ECS-series releases have quickly become essential grabs for everyone even a bit interested in rum; with Foursquare being the golden standard for general rum quality and Richard Seale being the professor of and preacher for transparency, pure production, and rum GI.

This will no doubt be a solid rum, the recent history of Foursquare shows no reason to think otherwise. Definitely for the price at which the bottles are sold primarily. At release, the 2008 will set you back about €70-80, and from previous experience I’ve never felt that a Doorly’s or Foursquare has been overpriced, more often than not it’s the exact opposite. With the primary price being rather under their worth and then picking up on the secondary market by an immense margin, as is the case for much of the Foursquare ECS rums

Now, the 2008 as a rum. Let’s quickly run over the specs; The rum has been produced by a Pot and Column blend (single blended rum) and aged for 12 years on ex-bourbon casks, it was then bottled in April of 2020 at an ABV of 60%.


Colour:

Dark orange, mahogany, copper

Nose:

The initial impression is a bit underwhelming. Some vanilla and glue are present but it’s not the full and gentle nose, it’s more sharp and alcoholic which sort of makes sense at 60%. Further notes of citrus is added in the form of tangerines. Lots of spice closes of the initial nosing.

After letting the rum rest for a while, the deeper notes start coming forward. There’s more chocolate cake and the vanilla is somewhat more pronounced. The nose is overall pretty good, but nothing that blows my mind.

Taste:

On the palate is where the rum really starts to shine. Initial sweeter notes of vanilla and marzipan are combined with woody spices and the ABV adds a bit of a kick to it, less so than what I expected from the nose. Further on there are some sherry notes by way of oranges and raisins. It also should be no surprise that the rum is as dry as you would expect from a foursquare. The rum also carries some heaviness, a certain boldness and bravado which I do appreciate.

Finish:

There is a long lingering finish filled with the transition of vanilla and sherry to tobacco and eventually leather with the woodiness and spices continuing on from the beginning and middle palates.


Overall a good Foursquare, it hits all the expectations without going above and beyond. All the purely ex-bourbon Foursquares possess so much of the same qualities (no shit, Sherlock), this of course makes them solid rums, some slightly better than others. But it also makes for a mostly homogeneous and unsurprising(ly good) set of releases. The limited quantities of the bottlings then ramp up interest and eventually prices, which for rum lovers is a damn shame.

Because don’t get me wrong. Every single Foursquare I’ve tasted so far is of the highest quality. So maybe the limited releases of vintages and expressions isn’t all that bad when they produce these sorts of rum. And every Foursquare is an outstanding rum, be it in the Barbadian segment, or worldwide. Seale really knows how to make rum.

I, therefore, look forward to tasting the Détente (the review of which is coming soon), this will be a good time to see what Foursquare does on Port cask (I haven’t tried one yet).

Anyhoo, Foursquare 2008: good, solid Foursquare; great rum. Even though it lacks that eye-widening special je-ne-sais-quoi, which makes you say “oooh Holy Guacamole, this is something”, it’s a bloody good drink.

8.5/10

Review #10: Foursquare Nobiliary

Richard Seale and his foursquare is having a pretty good 2020 considering everything that’s going on. With the releases of the mindbogglingly ridiculously (but aptly) named Plenipotenziario, the regal Nobiliary (great comparison on these two here) and later in the year the 2008.

It’s safe to say that Foursquare is digging itself in more and more as THE golden standard for rum quality, pureness and straight taste with each bottle new expression. A very passionate following (of which I am becoming one) leads the charge with declarations of love all over, rum reviewers give the tipples from the distillery’s stills a constant stream of good to great reviews. This effort leads to a wider respect and hopefully a further normalization of this rum; meaning that -thanks to the frequent releases of new bottlings surrounded by quite some hype- foursquare will be more available wherever you go. Perhaps even kicking Plantation of the pedestal on which it was placed by the larger mainstream consumer market.

Wow, that last sentence sounded a bit Fox news-y.

Back to the rum at hand, today I’ll be reviewing the Nobiliary. This is the 12th “installment” of the Exceptional Cask Selection and is named for its noble character, hence the name and the royal purple lettering (love that detail). Why royal purple? Well, little history lesson; back in the time of the Great empires (think Persian, Roman, Byzantine) purple was the color of royalty (or nobility), simply because the clothes with this pigment were so exorbitantly expensive. Rulers liked showing of their power and wealth by flaunting purple (in this case the emperor does have clothes, purple ones at that). Now that you know this, you can dazzle all your friends with your knowledge of the letter colouring of the Nobiliary and its meaning. (thank god for The Rum Robin, right?)

After this history lesson, let’s go through the specs: the Nobiliary is aged in Barbados for 14 years, all of which in Ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 62%. The distillate in this bottle is a blend of a continuous twin column still and a double retort pot still and there are absolutely no additives (sweeteners, flavourings, colouring) or take-aways (chill-filtering).

Okay, let the regal tasting start

Colour:

Dark orange-brown, very apple juice-y

Nose:

Boy, that is a lovely sniff. The rum first presents itself as quite dry with a lot of interesting and intense smells just around the corner. The nose gives a powerful impression, with a pleasant first oomph and lovely fruitiness. The most notable scents I get are raisins and plums. I also get some funky varnish and a bit of darker leather-y notes. Some sourness also sneaks in, which gives the rum a fresher nose.

Flavour:

Ooh, that tickles the tongue in a nice way. The first sip brings along a fair amount of spiciness and fruit. The varnish smell is almost unrecognizable on the palate, instead I get some more bourbon influence. A hint of vanilla, with some acidity which combines in a great dry mouthfeel, but with a full flavour.

It takes a couple of sips to get used to the intense spices, which bring some amazing notes themselves. It’s after these sips that the rum really opens up completely. The vanilla notes are coming to the forefront, together with some dark chocolate. Though the 62% ABV keeps the rum punchy and quite an experience with every sip.

Finish

Thanks to the intense flavours of the high ABV and the many years in the Barrel, the finish is really long and almost as complex as some lesser rums in their entirety. After the sip, everything mellows out, the dark chocolate loses some of its cacao and the vanilla combines with yet a new hint, one of caramel. A nice relaxing end to an intense, dry and flavourful rum.

Wow, this is one hell of a dram. From what I’ve read about and have tasted from foursquare before, I always thought Foursquare was a rather composed and quiet sort of rum. Like Speyside or Lowland whiskies, great quality and more missionary than kinky.

But was I wrong, after drinking this truly noble rum it seems that I still have quite a while to go in my rum-journey and a lot to learn.

This is truly a noble rum; and not some weak nobility, but more of an emperor Augustus or King Louis XIV. A Nobility out of this world, which only deserves to be praised. An intense opening palate and a complex, satisfying middle palate and finish make sure of this. Truly a stunning rum.

8.5/10

Review #9: Veritas/Probitas Rum

Veritas: latin noun: Truth

Probitas: latin noun: Honesty or Goodness

Veritas or Probitas rum (depending on where you live) was made with the intention of truth and honesty. Something that has lacked in the rum world for years and something that many people in the world of rum have been advocating. Think of Luca Gargano and his pure single rums, Richard Seale and his expansive facebook-teachings about pure rum making in accordance with rum heritage. There are also some bloggers and general enthusiasts that are deeply passionate about this honesty in the product (one of the most outspoken has to be Ivar).

Truly, these people are fighting the good fight for this wonderful spirit. (Pure Single) Rum is a beautiful spirit that in no way has to bow down to the well-established Single Malt Whisky. I’d even say that some rums far outdo some whiskies… Then again, I’m quite biased.

Veritas rum is a blend of an unaged double retort pot still from the Hampden distillery, an unaged Coffey column still from the Foursquare distillery and a 2-year aged pot still from that same Foursquare distillery. The 2 years of aging explains the slight yellow colour of the liquid. as opposed to other “white” rums, which are completely clear.

As the back label clearly and with an unabashed jab at a certain company states: “unsullied by sophistic dosage”. This shows once more that Mr. Seale is an absolute purist regarding rum and a man who’s not afraid to take the piss out of, well… a certain someone (on a back label nonetheless). What a legend.

Apart from Richard Seale, this is a three-way collaboration with Luca Gargano and Vivian Wisdom, about as holy a trinity you can have in rum. These three gents have put forward a rum that should represent what “unaged” or “white” rum looked like in the distant past, before the massive industrialization of immense column still installations which basically produce glorified vodka.

For most people, the first contact with rum is the white Bacardi or Havana club or something likewise. The clear liquid that comes out of those bottles and fuels the nights of many a wild college party is widely recognized as (to say it politely) not really that great in quality. People start to think that white rum, and rum in general doesn’t really have a particularly pleasant flavour and therefore tell people who like and promote the spirit “oh I’m not really a rum person, I just don’t like the way it smells or tastes”.

This is a shame because, once again, rum is an amazing spirit. Even “White” rum is astonishingly delicious (if not distilled up to the point that it would be more at home in a hospital than on a backbar). One only has to know where to look. To give people an easier time looking, the trifecta of aforementioned people have brought us Veritas. The truth about what rum really was all along. Just a great f*cking tipple, be it neat or in a cocktail.

The rum should cost about €30, so I urge everyone to do two things; buy a bottle yourself and stalk your local bar to get a bottle. You and your bartender will thank me.

Enough promotion, tasting time


Colour:

Nearly colourless, apart from a golden wheat-y glow. It looks like a watered down white wine (boy would I be disappointed if it actually tastes like that)

Nose:

Nope, no watered down white wine here. A familiar scent of Jamaican pot still welcomes me, although it is mellowed down a bit, due to the “lighter” Foursquare in this blend. It’s like meeting an old friend whom you went drinking with back in the day (let’s call him Tony) and finding out he’s married with children; he’s a better and more complete man, but the beast seems to have died a bit.

That’s my completely out of context nose about this one. But in actual scents the comparison rings true, all the familiar Hampden notes are present, but tamed a bit. Like marriage with Tony, this makes for a more well-rounded result, though not as fun.

Noteworthy is that the scent gives a creamy and citrus-y impression

Flavour:

And again just like with good old Tony, the first sip of alcohol releases the beast… somewhat. Yes, the pot still part is more present. The rum feels quite thick, oily and full. Heavier notes are more prevalent here, some baked banana and pineapple. Also a bit of coconut. This all blends nicely with the Bajan parts, which give the rum a certain natural sweetness of caramel and molasses. Overall a pleasant and balanced blend of these 2 rum powerhouses.

Tasting the rum neat is not really what it’s meant for, it’s actually more positioned towards cocktails and mixing in general. So, let’s make a frickin’ daiquiri!

The recipe I’ve used is this: 60ml Veritas, juice of 1 lime (30ml), 2 barspoons of granulated sugar. I decided not to add too much sugar since the rum has some sweetness to it already. The verdict of the daiquiri test is marvelous, this daiquiri is amazing (if I do say so myself). The rum carries enough power without being overly dominant and the citrus to sugar ratio is just right (for me), which gives a nice fresh cocktail.

Finish:

The finish is medium. The balance continues to the end and a nice mix of fruit, caramel and coconut finish the experience in a satisfying, though not extremely exciting way.


As a neat sipper this is a solid “white” rum and it will present the drinker with a nice blend of two of the great rum distilleries in rum. Not too much or too little of either one. As a “white” sipper I’d give the rum a 8/10

As a cocktail though, this rating is insufficient. A well-made daiquiri on a sunny day can brighten ones week and give the daiquiri cocktail as a concept a ray of hope in a world of massive frozen strawberry daiquiris. As a cocktail rum, this gets a well-deserved 10/10

As an overall rating, this is a 9/10 rum, since it’s more focused on being a mixing rum and well… Tony is more of a cocktail guy anyway.

9/10

Review #3: Foursquare Hereditas 14y

Review 3 and at the time of writing the rum world is in the middle of a heated discussion about GI. Primarily of Barbados and by extension of Jamaica. I don’t think the world needs yet another opinion on this subject, so I’ll just link to some others who have written about it: The Fat Rum Pirate, Rum Revelations and Rum Diaries Blog have all written about it.

I actually prefer to look at the rums being produced and the quality and taste of these rums.

Of course we need clear rules in the form of GI’s, but as long as we all enjoy what we’re drinking and we actually know what we’re drinking thanks to increased transparency from the rum world. I think we can all live side by side without having an extreme and overly hurtful opinion about each other. Why burn bridges when you can build upon each other’s success

Now onto the thing that matters the most to me. The rum inside this bottle. What is the story behind this rum? What is the purpose of this rum? Does it smell like, taste like, feel like? And so on…

Foursquare Hereditas. That is what I’ll be talking about today. This rum is the result of the first  collaboration between the prolific and highly respected Foursquare distillery owned by Mr. Richard Seale and The Whisky Exchange owned by Mr. Sukhinder Singh

The rum is (according to the new classification system of TWE) a single traditional blended rum. This is in reference to the single distillery and the blended distillation method: a combination of pot and column stills. After distillation this rum has had 2 separate aging processes. One part has been aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon cask, the other part for 10 years in ex-bourbon cask and subsequently 4 years in ex-sherry cask (ex-oloroso to be precise). These 2 parts were then blended into the rum that we now know as Hereditas.

To round of the specs, it’s bottled at 56% ABV and there have been 2520 bottles released.


Colour

Very deep orange- brown colour, lovely sherry influence in the colour already

Nose

The first thing I notice is that there’s no real “alcoholic” smell, you wouldn’t notice it’s a 56% rum. The first notes I get are a considerable amount of vanilla and some zesty citrus, some oranges and a bit of that refreshing lime. Overall it’s quite a sweet smell but with some fun interesting hints here and there, a bit of smoked wood and leather. It’s almost whisky-like. After a while the freshness of the lime transforms to more of an apple aroma. I must admit that I also get a scent that I absolutely didn’t expect, a slight saltiness as though I’m walking on the beach on a cold autumn day and the fresh sea breeze hits my face (to me it’s quite a nostalgic smell and therefore I really appreciate it). The final nosing before I got to tasting also revealed some forest-y fruit qualities.

Taste

The nose was definitely more sweeter than the taste. It’s actually a really dry rum this. The first thing apart from this is the tannic bitterness of the wood (which at the first moment is a bit of putting to me). 14 years of tropical aging will do that to a rum. Further on I also get a tingle of ginger with some other spices, some red fruit and a bit of coconut in the background. Some deeper notes were also present in the form of smoked wood and dark chocolate.

Once again I got caught by surprise by this rum. Some anise reared its head and the saltiness came back again in very small amounts (I don’t know if it’s just me or what).

Finish

The finish on this 14 year old darling of mine wasn’t very long. The high ABV wasn’t apparent here either, it’s always pleasant not having to swallow your rum with one of those terrible “I look like I’ve never drunken alcohol before” faces and a subsequent cough.

Flavourwise I get some lingering woodiness and a bit of dark chocolate remaining.


To conclude. This is indeed a nice rum. I must say I’ve gotten used to very highly flavoured Jamaican rums as of late, so this is a nice change of pace as it’s not as in your face, but more subtle. However personally, Jamaican rum speaks more to me and this is less of an “experience focused” rum and more of like a rum you’d drink on weekdays after a day of work. But taking the rum on it’s own it is indeed a good rum. However the short finish and the instant hit of bitterness do leave more to be desired. A real sherry influence was also hard to find for me personally, apart from the nose it didn’t really live up to my expectation as a sherry-cask aged rum.

7/10