Foursquare Private Cask Selection Elysium (The Whisky Exchange)

Country: Barbados
ABV: 60%
Cost at Time of Purchase: £86.95
Type of Rum: Single Blended Rum
– B * (See End)

Foursquare Private Cask Selections: Gotta Catch ’em All.

Something of a regular thing now are these Private Cask Selections (PCS) of rums from Foursquare.

Always limited in number and exclusively available from one unique retailer, they have added considerably to the difficulties that us rum drinkers and collectors have in emulating Pokémon – Gotta catch ’em all. But as with the game, in order to do so you need to travel around the globe as these bottlings appear in specific, unique locations and nowhere else, hence their scarcity and collectability. This has lead to greatly inflated prices on secondary web sites.

I do like to obtain as many Foursquare releases as I can, but I will not pay the silly prices on the secondary market. That leads me to think about how many of these bottles are being opened and drunk, how many stored in a cellar and how many are just flipped. When I do get a new release, I make sure it gets opened and tasted straight away. My bottle of Elysium arrived last week and was opened and tasted the same evening.

According to The Whisky Exchange “Also referred to as the Fortunate Isles, Elysium is a heavenly realm celebrated in ancient Greek philosophy and poetry.” This edition, limited to 3,000 bottles and only available to purchase at The Whisky Exchange is a 12 year old blend of batch/pot distillation and continuous/column distillation, aged in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks. As always, and I don’t like having to point this out all the time, it is as rum should be – no added sweeteners or wines and non-chill filtered. It is 100% tropically aged at Foursquare Distillery in Barbados.

Foursquare Private Cask Selection Elysium is a Single Blended Rum:
A blend of pot still and traditional column still.

As expected, Elysium measured 60% with my hydrometer, implying no added sugars/wines etc. are present.

Here is a link to all of my hydrometer tests:
RumShopBoy Hydrometer Test

Tasting Notes:

Medium amber-bronze in the glass.

Dried fruits and dusty old oak on the nose initially. Leads to light vanilla, a hint of familiar Foursquare varnish with burnt toffee. Time in the glass opens up some chocolate and sweeter caramel aromas.

Elysium delivers an initial up-front kick in the teeth with an immediate warm peppered spice. Multiple sips reveal some sweeter caramlised fruit and vanilla notes.

Through the mid-palate, Elysium has a rough leathery feel with more black pepper, spice and dark chocolate.

Towards the rear of the mouth and we have more warming pepper, spices and capsicum. Oak, leather and dried fruits, too.

There is a medium finish. After the initial power, Elysium finishes quite quickly.

With time in the glass (30 minutes plus worked well), Elysium opened up nicely into a much more approachable spirit. I am used to high ABV spirits, so the 60% is not the issue, but I think that like a fine wine, Elysium benefits from breathing. I also found a few drops of water opened up the palate somewhat – I added between three and five drops to a 50ml measure. This opened up the sweeter, lighter and fruity notes that helped to balance the powerful, warming spicy ones and reduced the warmth/burn from the alcohol.

Total Mark: 84 (Out of 100)


My first tasting of Elysium left me a little underwhelmed. But as with many fine things, time is a wonderful gift that bestows greater appreciation. And I think Elysium is destined to become one of those that is appreciated more as time elapses.

I found that the more I was tasting Elysium, the more I understood it. The more that the Sherried-fruit notes shine through rather than the initial powerful spice and alcohol that dominated somewhat. And Elysium certainly benefits from being allowed to breathe like a fine wine – pour a tot in your glass and leave it for a full 30 minutes (or more) and notice the difference. After 30 minutes in the glass, I literally added one drop of water into it and it enlivened it. Experiment with a few more drops of water too as it makes Elysium much more approachable and enjoyable.

Value: 9/10

Foursquare rums are always great value. The PCS bottles are always a little more expensive, hence this is 9/10, rather than 10/10.

Flavour Profile:

Links / Notes:

The Whisky Exchange

Elysium is also the name of a Pet Shop Boys’ album (my favourite music).

Pet Shop Boys: Elysium on Spotify

Due to be released imminently in the UK and EU is Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection XIX Sovereignty. Check out my review of it!

Next up on the ECS radar….. Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection XX “Isonomy”. A 17 year old ex-Bourbon Single Blended rum, bottled at 58%. Just coming out now in Barbados (May/June 2022) so expect it in the UK in three months or so.

Foursquare Isonomy LABEL
Foursquare Isonomy LABEL

Thank you for reading and for your support.

Review No: 173

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.

Foursquare Elysium
Foursquare Sovereignty
Foursquare Isonomy
Foursquare Elysium Review
Foursquare Private Cask Selection
The Whisky Exchange
The Whisky Exchange Foursquare Elysium
Hydrometer Test

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