Rum Sixty Six (Cask Strength)
Single Blended Rum – A blend of only pot still and traditional column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 59% ABV @ 20°
Whenever something new arrives from Foursquare, it is an exciting moment. Today I am reviewing a cask strength edition of Rum Sixty Six – the original of which was created to celebrate the Bajan year of independence (1966).
This small batch rum was recently introduced to Halewood Wines & Spirits portfolio, which also includes Liverpool Rum, the original 12 year old Rum Sixty Six and a new Six year old variant. I had the pleasure of trying these rums when I visited Imbibe in July and was especially impressed with the cask strength edition.
It is likely that anyone who enjoys drinking top quality rums is already familiar with the products from Foursquare distillery, located in St. Philip, Barbados. Speaking as a big fan of Foursquare rum, I admire the traditional methods of production along with the dedication to producing and promoting proper pure and unadulterated rums. And of course, you know with Foursquare rums that whatever it says on the label is what is in the bottle. So, this says 12 year old rum and so therefore we know that 100% of this rum is AT LEAST 12 years old. No Solera ageing, no misleading or mythical numbers on the bottle…..just an honest and transparent age statement. It is disappointing that the rest of the rum world does not take note of the authenticity that this ensures for the consumer.
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.
Presented in an oval flask shape bottle, the cask strength version of Rum Sixty Six is very similar to its regular ABV bottling. The difference being the name on the label showing “Cask Strength” as opposed to the original “Family Reserve” and the six year old stating “Extra Old.” Unusually for Foursquare, there is no reference to the stills, but the label does state that the liquid has been aged for a minimum of 12 years in small American white oak ex-Bourbon casks.
One of the nice touches I enjoy is the metallic top to the bottle (pictured) that covers the cork enclosure.
The rum presents itself as a medium to deep amber colour, almost slightly bronze. There are big, thick legs that are relatively slow to drop down the sides of the glass.
The initial aromas are those telltale Foursquare ones, notably beautiful toffee and varnish. Despite the high ABV, this does not take your breath away when inhaled. But further nosings reveal sweet marshmallows and an almost glue-like aroma (think Pritt stick). In addition, I can detect a hint of smoked wood, almost like a camp fire.
Taste, Initial-middle 36/40
The entry is deceptively light and soft, belying the 59% ABV. There is a buttery texture to the rum upon first tasting and a touch of toffee. This tasting has started off superbly!
Taste, Middle/Throat 37/40
As this reaches the mid-palate, the rum’s 59% ABV fire becomes evident. But not in an unpleasant burning way. This gives the rum presence and enhances the buttery, almost creamy feel of the rum. The initial toffee sweetness fades slightly with smoky, charred oak and a touch of mild vanilla replacing it. There are some spices to the rear of the mouth, notably black pepper, nutmeg and some dry, bitter cocoa and macadamia nuts in the background.
This rum has a lovely, long burning mouthfeel to it. It lingers long after swallowing, becoming drier over time.
Once again, Foursquare comes up trumps with another superb rum. The higher ABV really lifts this rum way above the original 12 year old “Family Reserve” which in itself is a top quality rum. The blend of the pot and column stills. combined with the high ABV helps this rum to satisfy lots of rum palates. For me, I find blended Foursquare rums are some of the finest rums around and this is a great example.
I think I would make this one of my “go-to” rums for comparisons with other high ABV products, as I do not believe you could find a better quality 12 year old, high ABV rum for the price.
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