Kintra Foursquare 14Y
Pure Single Rum – 100% Pot Still
ABV Hydrometer Test: 57-58% ABV @ 20°
Another Independent bottler of rums coming from a whisky background, Kintra, hailing from The Netherlands.
Kintra Whisky have been bottling whiskies for seven years and have decided to give rum a go. According to Erik at Kintra, they have “grown into a serious business over the years. Most of our bottles are sold in the Netherlands but we also export to Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan. Since last year we also started “Wagging Finger Distillery”, a small scale distillery where we produce our own Gin. Soon to be followed by Genever and Whisky (and perhaps Rum??).” Wow, sounds pretty good to me!
It is always great to encounter someone that bottles spirits in the traditional way without altering it. I asked Kintra about additives and Erik told me “We bottle our rums in the same way we bottle our whiskies. Cask strength, no added colouring, no extra filtration and no added sugar. Straight from the cask into the bottle with only a piece of cloth to filter out the bits and pieces that come from the cask.” So far so good…..
According to Erik, he thinks that this rum is entirely Foursquare pot still, which is a first for me to try as usually, Foursquare rums tend to be a pot-column blend. I checked this with Richard Seale from Foursquare who told me “Yes that could be pot still, we sold a small parcel from 2002.”
Therefore, under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Pure Single Rum – 100% Pot Still. Having tested it with my hydrometers, I can confirm that there are no detectable added sugars.
The label is straight forward and uncluttered, but shows the kind of things, serious rum drinkers want to know. Thanks to the useful label, I know this rum was distilled in October 2002, from cask number 2469 and was bottled on 22-12-2016. I have bottle number 069 of 240, the rum is 57.7% ABV. The rum is a “natural colour”, without any chill filtration nor added sugars. The ONLY thing missing is the type of still used, but otherwise, the labelling is superb. Underneath the distinctive “Kintra” name is a strip of what looks and feels like snakeskin.
The bottle itself is a traditional style, with an artificial cork enclosure, smothered in a wax seal.
Pale, straw-like colour, similar to a light apple juice. The colouring is entirely natural resulting from 14 years of ex-Bourbon-barrel ageing.
The legs on the glass are quite faint and very slow to descend the sides of the glass.
The first aromas do confirm a pot still rum (in my opinion). First and foremost is bitter plums, followed by a hint of citrus, fusel oil and light buttery caramel. There is a slightly industrial aroma to this and unlike other Foursquare rums I have tried (and there are lots that I have tasted). This benefits from being left in the glass for a few minutes to allow the aromas to develop further, which leads to some green banana and a subtle hint of feint tobacco, spicy pepper and charred oak.
Taste, Initial-middle 32/40
This is soft on entry, with quite a relaxed feel to it. Initially, there is some light citrus and spicy black pepper. This opens out to include some oak and a little bit of fire in the mid-palate. The bitter plum aromas are noticeable as flavours here too – very distinctly pot still flavours. There is some fruitiness too, notably banana and pineapple.
Taste, Middle/Throat 36/40
At this point, the 57.7% ABV can really be felt. The rum is not rough, but packs a kick to it that needs tempering with a little water. The advantage of having a higher ABV/cask strength is that it allows the consumer to choose how strong they would like it to be. There is some cinnamon here but also more citrus and black pepper. Compared to many Foursquare rums, this is a very different profile – much heavier and more fiery and does not have those telltale varnish and toffee flavours. This is not quite like a Jamaican Hampden pot still rum, but if Foursquare were to do a Hampden-style rum, this is what I imagine it would taste like. Perhaps this is something Richard at Foursquare will be producing in the future given his Facebook picture showing a Hampden barrel at Foursquare!
There is a hint of creaminess to the rum as you sip it more, and quite an astringent mouth-feel that makes your cheeks very dry.
There is a long and dry finish to this rum. All of the flavours continue down your throat as you swallow. It has a lot of dryness, but also an abundance of persistent flavours.
Morning After Aroma
A strong and distinct aroma of pot still plums remains. Very reminiscent of an eau-de-vie.
Even if you think you have tried lots of different Foursquare rums and don’t want another one, make sure you try this. It is a completely different profile to most, if not all other Foursquare rums I have tried. I am not aware of another Foursquare offering that is entirely pot still, so on that basis alone, it is well worth trying.
That said, there is something about the blended style of Foursquare rums that is very unique, and whilst this is different and is a fine rum, it does not have the flavour profile that I love from Foursquare. This is not a funky Hampden pot-still, but is the closest a Foursquare rum is likely to get to that (at least, at the moment…..I think), but this does demonstrate that the type of still used massively affects the final juice that goes into a bottle, hence why drawing attention to what type of still is used is something that rum drinkers should continue to push to see more of, on bottles and labels etc.
As a first foray into rums, Kintra have produced a superb rum. I look forward to trying more of them in the future, especially if they are pure and unadulterated like this one.
I would like to say thank you to Erik at Kintra for the information provided to assist with this review.
Click HERE for Kintra’s web site.
Click HERE for Kintra’s Facebook page.
P Contains POT still distillate.
C Contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S 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