Single Blended Rum: A blend of pot still and traditional column still from a single distillery.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 60% ABV @ 20°
The Foursquare rums just keep coming – this is a Private Cask Selection for The Whisky Exchange entitled “Diadem”.
Diadem “a type of crown or headband worn by monarchs as a sign of royalty” (so says Wiki) is the second Private Cask offering from The Whisky Exchange, a UK-based wines and spirits emporium.
Diadem is presented at 60% ABV and is a blend of 12 year old single aged ex-Bourbon barreled rum and 12 year old single aged ex-Madeira barreled rum. It is a blend of both pot and column still distillations, limited to 1,800 bottles” and is non-chill filtered.
Foursquare “Diadem” is a Single Blended Rum:
A blend of pot still and traditional column still.
Foursquare’s Exceptional Cask Selection (ECS) bottles are housed in the [now] familiar stubby bottle, adorned with ribbons around the neck and featuring a synthetic cork enclosure.
As always, we have plenty of detailed information about the rum. The front label shows the types of distillation (pot and column blend), the barrel types used for maturation (ex-Bourbon and ex-Madeira), the 60% ABV and the Gargano classification “Single Blended Rum”.
On the rear, we have some tasting notes alongside the technical info about being non-chill filtered, as well as the reference to the rum’s genuine Barbadian heritage and the fact that there are no artificial flavours/additives.
Diadem is medium amber in colour. The aroma features notes of vanilla, burnt sugar, pineapple and peppery oak – to any drinker of Foursquare rums, it is very familiar, especially with varnish-esque undertones, although it is a bit overpowering at times. I find that with the addition of a couple of drops of water, the pepper reduces revealing some more spicy notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
The entry is lively – a distinctly fiery start overflowing with pepper that gives an instant zing-like feel on your tongue.
A few minutes in the glass opens Diadem out somewhat to reveal dried fruit and nutty influences. Vanilla and pineapple complete the opening.
For me, the mid-palate brings more pepper and it is big bodied. When I add a couple of drops of water, this dissipates leaving more oak tannins and some burnt Demerara sugar. There is an underlying caramel sweetness, no doubt from the Madeira cask influence, joined by red cherries.
Taste, Middle/Throat 31/40
From the mid to rear palate, the pepper becomes a little more like ginger and capsicum, such is the tongue tingling sensation. Once again, a couple of drops of water helps to put out this fire, revealing nutmeg and tropical fruits. It does have a bit of a temper on the rear of the palate though.
A dry astringent finish with lingering oak and pepper. A few minutes after swallowing leaves my mouth feeling quite numb – presumably the 60% ABV. A few sips of water and then another tasting leaves some Demerara sugar notes offsetting the dryness.
Whilst not being Foursquare’s finest moment, Diadem is very pleasing to the nose and palate, balancing some fire with fruity nuttiness.
I have said before, as Foursquare continues to innovate and therefore elevate their rums to ever-increasing levels, our palates and expectations continue to grow too. Sometimes our expectations exceed what a rum has to offer, which I think is the case with Diadem. Do not misunderstand me, Diadem is a really great tipple, but it it is not quite up there with Foursquare’s finest offerings. I am sure there will be rum drinkers that disagree and rate Diadem much higher, but that reflects the very nature of Foursquare – they have something for everyone’s rum tastes. That does not make someone’s opinion invalid if they prefer one over another, just reaffirms Foursquare as one of the greatest producers of rum.
I think I will file this rum under “revisit in a few months.”
I know I will like it much more than I do now.
The rear label states “Give this rum your undivided attention, it deserves it”
I quite agree, but then again, so do all Foursquare rums!
With Détente on my radar next, it will be interesting to compare it with Diadem. And as always, the new edition of the Exceptional Cask Series keep coming – it won’t be long until we have Mark XV “Redoubtable.” Plus I have an interesting new La Hechicera on its way infused with bananas and some pot still gems from Appleton’s collaboration with Velier “The Hearts Collection.”
As a Private Cask, the price is higher than the usual Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection offerings. I do not mind this, as I understand the additional costs involved and still think this represents great value for what is a decent rum.
Review No. 162
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