Compagnie des Indes Foursquare 16yo
Single Blended Rum – a blend of only pot still and traditional column still
ABV Hydrometer Test: 45% ABV @ 20°
Compagnie des Indes is a French company paying homage to the historic East India [trading] Company, importing pure rums. Their intention is to showcase fine rums without additives.
I like Compagnie des Indes and I adore Foursquare so this rum should be a match made in heaven…..An independent bottler of rums that believes in keeping the rum as pure as possible and a distiller of rums that is on a crusade to educate the rum world regarding how rum should be made and in particular, that it should be labelled and categorised correctly. What could possibly go wrong? Hopefully nothing, but after my disappointment with the St. Lucian rum, anything is possible.
Thanks to a helpful label, I know that this rum was distilled in December 1998 and bottled in March 2015 (aged 16 years). Barrel BD24 was used yielding 354 bottles at 45% ABV. The only thing missing is a reference to the types of still used.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Single Blended Rum” – a blend of only pot still and traditional column still.
The Compagnie des Indes branding and packaging is distinctive. There is a standard outer [flimsy, cardboard] box housing an ordinary looking bottle. On the bottle is a useful label displaying info about number of bottles, distillation and bottling dates and the barrel used. It would be nice to reference the use of pot/column stills. There is a basic, but welcome, cork enclosure.
The first thing I notice about this is the colour. We know that Bajan rum does not contain additives – at most, some caramel colouring, so to see this very deep, dark brown, bronze coloured rum is quite surprising. But, this rum also has another unusual surprise…the aroma. The first thing from nosing this rum is a strong menthal aroma, like an extra strong mint. There are also some grassy notes.
Left in the glass, the aromas develop and some molasses and oak appear, making the initial mint move to the background. Further nosings lead to fruit appearing…some fresh bananas, a hint of citrus and some nuts, too. This is one of those rums where you need to pour it and then leave it to settle in the glass for a time, prior to sipping.
Taste, Initial-middle 39/40
WoW! Delicate, smooth, oak, caramel, toffee, tropical fruits…..this has so much to offer. Further tastings and there are some delicate hints of chocolate and some dried orange. Incredible!
Taste, Middle/Throat 39/40
This is the rum that continues to give more and more! After the amazing intro of flavours, as you swill this around and it reaches other parts of your mouth, the flavour profile grows and expands. The smoothness is balanced with a hint of fire that is equally balanced with a creamy oakiness. The caramel and toffee are still present in the background alongside some more dark chocolate and nuts. This is simply stunning. I adore Foursquare rums and this is a fine offering, just as one would expect.
The burn is beautiful. Not too much fire, but equally, not too delicate that you do not notice it. The dryness continues long after swallowing and the creamy oak textures continue to please, also. I think the slightly higher ABV of 45% really suits this rum.
It is stunning!
Morning After Aroma
Some toffee is still lingering along with a hint of spice and some faint oak.
The higher ABV takes this particular Foursquare to a higher plane. The flavours are aplenty throughout the tasting and the quality of this rum is above reproach. The ONLY thing lacking is the initial nosing, which is slightly off-putting but from the first tasting all the way through to the afterburn, this rum is almost perfect. I would say it is one of the finest rums I have tasted, but I have come to expect that anything from Foursquare is going to set the standards very high indeed. It is further evidence that when rum is distilled correctly, aged in fine oak barrels and then bottled at a higher strength, there is no need for additives or fancy marketing statements. Just let the rum do the talking…if it is good enough, it will sell itself.
I wonder if number three from Hampden can match this. For me, the Foursquare certainly is a massive improvement on the St. Lucia 13yo.
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.
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