The Duchess: Barbados 13yo (Foursquare)
Single Blended Rum – A blend of only pot still and traditional column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 59% ABV @ 20°
This rum has been exclusively selected for the 12th edition of the “Whisky & Rum aan Zee festival” 2018. It is from a single cask (number 44) yielding 294 bottles and is from one of my favourite distilleries in the world, Foursquare in Barbados.
I have written many times before about Foursquare rums so I won’t repeat myself here today. Suffice to say, I think that everything coming from Foursquare is top notch.
As is always the case with Foursquare, there are no additives in this rum. Furthermore this blend of pot and column still rums has no added colouring and comes in at a stonking 59% ABV. It has been aged for 13 years, three in the Caribbean and ten in Europe.
The bottler, “The Duchess”, is an independent bottler of fine whiskies and rums. According to their promotional material “All rum releases by The Duchess have an excellent flavour and character, and are always free of colourants and flavour additives. An honest rum for an honest price!”
The UK and Europe do seem to be very fortunate to have so many independent bottlers of fine spirits.
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. When tested with my hydrometer, I measured 59% implying no detectable additives in the rum.
The rum is presented in a standard size bottle with a synthetic cork and is adorned with a beautiful picture of a flower aptly named “The Pride of Barbados.” The artwork was created by painter Hans Dillesse.
The label has lots of useful info regarding the rum’s age (13 years), ABV (59%), number of bottles (294) although there is no reference to the stills used.
In the glass, the rum is a medium to deep amber. As I have been told that no colour has been added, that means it is the 13 years of barrel ageing that have coloured it. Swirling the rum around my glass leaves dotted lines and thick legs that are very slow to descend the sides of my glass.
The nose immediately reveals the unmistakable Foursquare-esque toffee and varnish. This has more wood/oak notes than many other Foursquare rums I have tried. Even with a deep inhalation, this does not take my breath away, which is surprising given that it’s 59%. The toffee becomes burnt with further nosings and is joined by green bananas, apricots, dried fruits and orange peel.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
Soft and slightly oily on entry. Beautifully dry and easy on the palate despite the high ABV. A touch of dried fruits balances the oak and after multiple sips the rum tastes less dry. Light vanilla, orange peel and raisins too.
Taste, Middle/Throat 37/40
At times the rum is buttery, but is always, very smooth. At the mid-palate, a touch of freshly milled black pepper tickles the tongue. This pepper continues to the rear of the mouth creating a spicy finish. The dried fruits merge with the pepper and orange peel creating a delicious ensemble.
Towards the rear, the dry oak continues to produce more tannins. The toffee returns too balancing the oak influence.
The rum has a medium-long and dry finish. The pepper is still there but it does not dominate.
As always, rum produced by Foursquare’s Master Distiller Richard Seale is of the finest quality and free from gimmicks and additives.
This is a really fantastic bottling. It has lots of superb Foursquare aromas and flavours and at 59% it has a real presence to it. I found that two or three drops of water opened the rum up without removing the rum’s power. Some will probably find that they want to water it down further – sometimes a rum needs that but in this case, the rum’s ABV is just about spot on, reminiscent of Foursquare ECS VI 2005
This latest offering from Dutch Indie bottler The Duchess is a great example of a fine single cask expression. Looking ahead, there will be a Worthy Park bottle coming in the Autumn.
The Duchess Barbados 13yo Foursquare Rum is available to buy direct from https://www.zeewijck.nl/en.
Richard Blesgraaf (Photo below) from Zeewijck co-produced this rum and the service you will receive from his online shop is second to none!
Review No. 118
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