Single Blended Rum: A blend of pot still and traditional column still from a single distillery.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 57% ABV @ 20°
Today I am writing about a single cask rum bottled by Foursquare in Barbados. This rum is presented at “Navy Strength” 57% and is limited to 318 individually numbered bottles – I have number 229.
The rum was distilled in November 2005 and bottled in May 2018 as an independent bottling with the rum having travelled from Foursquare in Barbados via Scheer in Holland, over to Liverpool in England, then bottled in Scotland and offered for sale in Italy. Whew, that’s quite a journey!
The cask was selected exclusively for the Milano Rum Festival by Andrea Giannone and Giuseppe Gervasio Dolci (former creators of the Milano Whiskey Festival of excellent spirits) who confirmed to me that the single cask was aged entirely in ex-Bourbon barrels and is a blend of pot and column still distillates.
Foursquare 2005 “Milano Rum Festival” is a Single Blended Rum:
A blend of pot still and traditional column still.
The outer box is cardboard with a rear label offering some info about the rum such as the ABV and its limited numbers. The outer label is replicated on the bottle inside and features a beautiful picture of a shipwrecked pirate ship on rough seas. The rear label replicates the label on the outer box except it actually includes the number of my bottle (229 of 318), whereas the outerbox just states bottle 1 of 318. There is a natural cork enclosure.
The bottle itself looks very familiar – it is the same black opaque glass, tapered from the neck downwards that feature in Velier bottlings.
In the glass, the rum is a medium amber, slightly coppery. There are medium sized legs that are slow to drop down the sides of my glass.
The aroma has the familiar Foursquare-esque varnish. There is also caramel, pineapple, banana and vanilla. It is lightly oaked. To be honest, it is what I usually expect from my Foursquare rums.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
On entry this rum is buttery, creamy and above all, smooth. The initial flavour is butterscotch, followed by vanilla, cinnamon and some lightly oaked spices that build towards the mid-palate.
Taste, Middle/Throat 35/40
The mid-palate becomes peppery as the spice develops further, joined by raisins and tropical fruit – pineapple, banana and papaya.
Towards the rear palate and the peppery crescendo builds. More black pepper and ginger, too. It is still a creamy texture and has some vanilla and cinnamon notes. Multiple tastings reveal some oak tannin astringency. Adding water reveals caramelised tropical fruit and reduces the spice levels.
The rum is long lingering with spicy pepper notes and is a touch fiery at times.
More and more independent releases are popping up showcasing the wonderful distillates coming out of Foursquare distillery. This is another great example of a single cask, simply aged in just ex-Bourbon. Unlike Plenipotenziario and Nobiliary, which are also solely aged in ex-Bourbon casks, this is softer and easier to drink – presumably a little more column still distillate proportionately. It is very easy drinking and well worth seeking out if you get the chance to buy a bottle.
I was quite surprised to have scored this the same as Plenipotenziario and higher than Nobiliary. It just shows that sometimes a single cask really can be exceptional and can match or out perform a blend. In fact this is one of the better independent bottles of Foursquare rum I have tasted recently.
Inevitably, I compared this to the official Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection VI 2005 as it was distilled in the same year, but it is a very different rum.
A single cask of quality and well-aged rum from a trusted distillery costs a lot of cash. An official Foursquare release is much cheaper. Both are tasty, but of course, the single cask, independent bottling has to pay for an extra layer or two of costs between the distillery and the market place.
Review No. 147
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/Finish Out of 7