Foursquare 11 Year Old 2004 – Exceptional Cask Selection

Foursquare 11 Year Old 2004
Barbados
59%
£45
Single Blended Rum – a blend of only pot still and traditional column still
ABV Hydrometer Test: 59% ABV @ 20°
* B

My first encounter with Fourquare and R. L. Seale was at my first Rumfest back in 2010. The first rums I tried were at the Fourquare stand and it was these tastings that set my mouth alight, which in part lead me to explore more and more rums. Subsequent meetings with Mr. Seale have inspired me to pass on the message regarding unaltered, unsweeted rum free-from dodgy marketing stories and tales of pirates and so forth.

The Foursquare 11 Year Old 2004 is a blend of pot and column still from the aforementioned well-respected Richard Seale at Fourquare distillery. This is Fourquare’s latest “Exceptional Cask Selection” and is 59% ABV, with 12,000 bottles released. It has been aged for 11 years in American oak-bourbon casks and released in September 2015. As with all Bajan (and therefore Foursquare) rums, it is a guaranteed age statement, with no added sugar.
Straight away, this makes me fall in love with it!

dsc_1478
Me with Richard Seale, Rumfest 2015

I spoke to Richard at Rumfest 2015 and at the time, I was admiring his Port Cask release. He mentioned there will be “more on the way” and so it is fantastic to have this release to savour and enjoy. It is a pleasure to encounter rum produced by someone who is so passionate about rum, ensuring his products are unadulterated and are sold at very reasonable prices. According to Richard’s (and Luca Gargano’s) suggested categorisation of rum, this falls into the “Blended Rum (a mixture of column and pot)” section and as such, the bottle describes the contents as “Single Blended Rum.”

This bottle costs around £45. Given that it is 59% ABV, it almost like getting 1 1/2bottles of rum, if you choose to dilute it to the mainstream 40% that is.

As a general rule, I find somewhere between 43-46% is my preference for drinking rum neat, but obviously with something like this, it would be crazy not to try it at full strength first and the dilute it to a personal taste if required.

dsc_3044Bottle/Presentation       3/3
Everything you want from a bottle. Nice, straight-forward label, clearly showing what it is, how it has been produced and aged, all housed in a nice bottle. The info on the front includes references to the ageing, wood-type, distillation type and release date. Reassuringly, the rear of the bottle mentions “no sugar or other flavour has been added.”

Glass/Aroma    10/10
A golden brown with hints of orangey-red colours.
Despite this being 59%, this does not smell overpowering. It has lovely toffee and orange aromas. The legs on the edge of the glass are bursting with alcohol rather than sickly sweet sugar. Beautiful!
Diluted to 40%, this still has those same aromas although naturally, it looks ever-so-slightly paler.

dsc_3046Taste, Initial-middle     40/40
At full strength, this is amazing. Yes, it has an initial punch in the teeth, but that soon becomes an affectionate stroking of the taste buds. Subtle vanilla in the background with toffee and oak dominating slightly.
Diluted to 40% tames the power and this rum becomes silky smooth. None of the undiluted flavours are lost, only the power, so it becomes a personal choice whether you want the Full Monty experience or the slightly wimpy one. Usually I would pick the latter but in this case, the rum deserves to be served at full strength.

Taste, Middle/Throat   37/40
This is where the choice to drink at full strength or diluted is probably more divisive. At full strength, the flavours develop in the middle of the mouth with some Demerara sugar tastes and subtle dried fruit or possibly orange. But when it hits the back of your mouth the 59% ABV creates a real fire. After a few tastes, the upper part of my mouth almost feels a little numb as if I have been given the world’s greatest anaesthetic.
Dilute the rum  to 40% and it loses the pzazz and fire and becomes more like your pipe and comfy slippers sitting in your favourite armchair by the fire…..warming and relaxing, delicate notes of toffee, vanilla, oak and maybe even a hint of chocolate.
Whichever way you choose, at this point the rum is simply stunning!

Afterburn            7/7
Once again, the choice between full strength and diluted makes a big difference. At 59%, this rum fights you all the way down your throat. It gives you that true rum burn that sets your taste buds on fire once again due its long and very pleasant finish. Even two to three minutes after swallowing, I can still taste this delicious nectar and feel its warmth spreading like central heating in my body.
Diluted to 40% doesn’t quite have the same effect. Sure it’s smoother and the burn is more relaxed, but I think 59% feels so much better.

Morning After Aroma
There are lingering hints of toffee and Demerara sugar.

TOTAL   97/100

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Overall
Drink this at 59% and it will blow you away as it is sensational.
Drink this at 40% and it will almost blow you away as it is almost sensational.
That said, at 59%, sip this slowly!

Once again, Richard Seale has proved that you do not need the hype and fairy/pirate-tale BS associated with many rums. Nor do you need to taint the end-product with ANYTHING.
This is how rum should be…..Well crafted in an honest way, genuinely aged to perfection, nothing added, just simply DIVINE.

One of the most amazing rums it has been my pleasure to taste!

*
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.

Marking Guide:
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7
TOTAL 100

2 thoughts on “Foursquare 11 Year Old 2004 – Exceptional Cask Selection

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