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 #16: Hampden 2020 single casks, selected by The Nectar.

something kind and something wild

By now, Hampden doesn’t really need an extended introduction anymore. So let’s dive right in.

Since last year (2019), Hampden has been releasing single casks. Last year there was one for some of the major rum/whisky festivals and one for LMDW and a one off (the HLCF/DOK). Tastings can be found here.

This year, La Maison & Velier decided for a broader approach. They’re releasing a couple of single casks exclusively for some European countries: 4 in France, 2 in Belgium, and many more in other countries.

Some of the biggest and best importers/liquor stores get to select their barrels. These are then given a nice presentation showcasing birds endemic to the Trelawny Parish, where Hampden is located.

These country exclusive bottlings (much like the previous one, and probably the following ones) will no doubt make the prices of these bottles skyrocket on the secondary market or make people trade some of theirs for bottlings from different countries, because who doesn’t want to know all of the endemic birds in Trelawny?

The 2 bottles for Belgium are selected by The Nectar; the very well respected importer and bottler. The casks they selected are: #487, an 8 year old OWH bottled 250 times at 60% ABV and #498, a 10 year old LROK bottled 260 times at 62.5% ABV. Each with its respective bird (The Yellow Shouldered Grossquit and The Rufous Tailed Flycatcher respectively)

I’m not going to dick around much this time and get straight to the tasting


Cask #487: OWH 8y

Colour:

Light golden, basically identical as the standard release Hampden 8.

Nose:

The familiar Hampden notes, but tempered down. Pretty much what one would expect of their lowest ester marque. A deep fruitiness with your familiar banana-pineapple combo but all very mellow. A bit of orange and mango. All of this is combined with hints of cake. On the nose this is a pleasant summer fruitcake.

Compared to the LROK, this feels cleaner and more well behaved. Something newcomers will probably enjoy more than the heavier and somewhat “dirtier” notes that can be found in the LROK

Taste:

Pretty darn good. As the glass touches my lips and this golden fluid slowly drips in, I immediately become happy and melancholic again. The initial shot of chocolate followed by a steady flow of fruit is a welcome start to actually tasting it. There a small tingly spice, nothing overpowering though. The timidity of the nose is continued throughout the palate. All good things, in gentle amounts. Quite a bit of vanilla as well, more than what I’m used to in other Hampdens. It is a vanilla with a certain fraîcheur, kindly assimilated with the trademark Hampden flavours.

Again, a lovely little thing, mellow and kind. A bit of an underrated wallflower.

Finish:

The finish is not very long. Which was to be expected of a lower-ester rum. There is a woody quality that remains. Most of the fruit disappears after a couple of seconds. And you’re left wanting for more, ready for the next sip.


Cask #498 LROK 10y

Colour:

No real difference here either.

Nose:

The nose is immediately more pungent than the OWH. It’s definitely not up to par with your HLCF C<>H or god forbid the paint stripping goodness of DOK. Instead there’s a present fruity scent that gently fills the room, like being hugged just a bit tightly by a fruit basket. It’s very nice to smell the evolution from OWH to LROK. The particular scents are very much the same, only more pronounced and rougher around the edges. The extra 2 years does add a touch more vanilla.

Taste:

Wow, I didn’t expect this. A very different experience than what I’m used to. The first thing I notice is pepper, there’s some pepper and bread in there. The heavier notes really are more present here. The vanilla pops up again. After a while the fruitiness does start to break through. And how… spiced mango, banana and papaya. The Varnish that we all know and love also makes a fleeting appearance. These 2 sides alternate, with each one stealing the limelight from one another a couple of times.

A very interesting if at times somewhat un-Hampden like. I tasted this at the Spirits In The Skies zoom call and was blown away, and from what I remember it tasted a bit differently (then again, I did have a regular 8y, Rum fire, and the OWH before this at the time… so yeah). Its not my favourite Hampden (that spot still is reserved for the 2019 Hampden Great House), but it is an interesting showcase of the diversity that Hampden can bring.

Finish:

The finish is slightly longer than the OWH, bringing more spice and depending on the time either the fruity or the woody notes. Hardly both.


First of all, the fine folks at The Nectar did a good job at picking 2 solid casks from the Hampden warehouse. Though it might actually be harder to pick a bad one than a good one when it concerns Hampden-type casks.

I think the OWH is a great beginner’s guide to Hampden. All the necessary notes are present, but you get a nice introduction. Nothing is overpowering and all is pleasant. There’s no extremities that take getting used to, overall a good rum. It is a shame that this is a single cask, since most Hamdpen collectors or drinkers will probably enjoy the heavier stuff more. Also most beginner’s won’t have access or motivation to buy a single cask bottling.

The LROK is weird one, at my first tasting it was mind boggingly good. Today it is has shown an other side, a more experimental side. With notes I haven’t quite linked to Hamdpen at first. I do recommend trying this, even if it is mainly to broaden your perspective of what Hampden has to offer. This, for example would be more what collectors and drinkers alike should enjoy. Something unique and new.

For me the kind nose of the OWH wins me over more, the palate of the LROK intrigues me and the LROK’s finish delivers over the OWH. The LROK does walk away with the win, mainly because of its unexpected turns alongside with the familiar notes appeal me more than the easy-going OWH.

OWH

7/10

LROK

8.5/10