Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection XXI 2010

Country: Barbados
ABV: 60%
Cost at Time of Purchase: £80
Type of Rum: Single Blended Rum
– S * (See End)
The latest iteration of the limited edition Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection is XXI (21).
2010 is the latest ‘Vintage’ expression in the range.

We have all been here before! A new release in the Foursquare series of Exceptional Cask Selection of rums and a new unicorn for us rum fans and collectors to chase. Thankfully after the more limited outturn for Isonomy (8,400 bottles), 2010 has a more generous number of bottles available. As I write this (October 2022), the final number of bottles is to be confirmed, but it is expected to be 30,000 worldwide.

2010 was recently released in Barbados and we are expecting a UK release to be this side of Christmas but as always, dates are very much to be confirmed.

The latest in the ECS “Vintages”, 2010 has had 12 years of tropical ageing in ex-Bourbon casks and is a blend of some heavy and light marks of rums.

Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection XXI 2010 is a:
Single Blended Rum – A blend of pot still and traditional column still from a single distillery.

A reminder that Foursquare produces genuine Barbados rums, free from additives. #savebarbadosrum #realbarbadosrum

Tasting Notes:

The appearance is medium amber in colour. 2010 is clear with a medium-deep intensity.

The nose is clean and pronounced with caramel/burnt sugar aromas initially. Esters from the fermentation process have produced plenty of tropical fruits – pineapples, mangos, peaches and ripe bananas all of which are more noticeable with the addition of a few drops of water. There is also that trademark Foursquare nail varnish aroma along with a little black pepper and vanilla showing the oak-ageing influence.

2010 Front Label

On the palate, 2010 is dry in style with a smooth, satisfying mouthfeel. 2010 is astringent and is very warming and pronounced in intensity – a nod to the high 60% ABV. The entry is deceptively smooth and shows some sweet caramel notes.

Through the mid-palate, the smoothness diminishes as that 60% ABV kicks in and the warmth of 2010 is more noticeable. The sweetness dissipates as some bitter pepper (oak) notes overtake, accompanied by rich dark chocolate and vanilla. Those fruit aromas can be tasted here – lovely tropical pineapple, mango, banana and peach. With the addition of some drops of water, these are more noticeable. To the rear of the palate, the black pepper levels increase as does the warm feeling.

2010 has a long finish – the ABV produces a very long lasting warmth that coats the mouth and throat. It continues to have some complexity at this point with more peppery oak.

Overall: 88/100

All the Exceptional Cask Selection releases have some similarities, but equally, all are different enough to keep the taster interested.

2010 has some of those familiar Foursquare aromas/flavours, such as the nail varnish and tropical fruits, but the black pepper levels are different here, especially as 2010 passes through to the rear of the palate. Although Foursquare drinkers are accustomed to having rums at or around 60% (some might say, we expect it), 2010 produces considerable warmth in the tasting, more than I can remember from the other vintages. I had a little side-by-side with 2009 and think 2010 has a higher level of spicy pepper.

2010 Rear Label

Once again, we have something that sits between very good and outstanding in its quality. That Foursquare hits this level time and time again is to their credit and surely sets the bar very high for others to seek to emulate.

Value: 10/10

I always believe the price versus quality of Foursquare’s Exceptional Cask Selection of bottles is virtually second to none. Plenty of ABV, entirely tropically aged and natural, real Barbados rum.

Flavour Profile:

Links / Notes:

This review was written following tastings at UK Rumfest 2022 and a sample kindly provided by Foursquare’s UK Rum Ambassador Peter Holland. Once I have a full bottle in my hand, I will re-visit my tasting notes/review.

Useless bit of info for the day…..Along with Détente and Indelible, 2010 is the most recently distilled bottle from the ECS range (2010).

Here is some useful info for all of the Exceptional Cask Selection releases (October 2022).

Click on the MARK (left hand column) for a link to a review (if I have written one, of course).

MarkNo.NameDist-BotAgeCasks UsedABVNo.Bottles
II2Port Cask Finish2005-20149yo3y-Bourbon, 6y-Port40%30,000
IV4Zinfandel2004-201511yo5y-Bourbon & 6y-Zinfandel43%24,000
V5Criterion2007-201710yo3y-Bourbon, 7y-Madeira56%4,000
VII7Dominus2008-201810yo7y-Bourbon, 3y-Cognac56%12,000
VIII8Premise2008-201810yo3y-Bourbon, 7y-Sherry46%30,000
IX9Empery2004-201814yoBourbon, Sherry56%12,000
XI11Sagacity2007-201912yoBourbon, Madeira48%24,000
XIV14Détente2010-202010yoBourbon, & 4y-Bourbon, 6y-Port51%21,000
XV15Redoutable2006-202014yoBourbon, Madeira61%12,000
XVIII18Indelible2010-202111yo11y-Bourbon, & Bourbon, Zinfandel46%6,000
XIX19Sovereignty2007-202114yo3y-Bourbon, 7y-Sherry62%12,000
XX20Isonomy2005-202217yoBourbon Cask58%8,400
XXI2120102010-202212yoBourbon Cask60%TBC 30,000
Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selections
  • Unless otherwise stated, the Sherry ageing was in Oloroso casks.
  • The list does NOT include Velier collaborations, Habitation Velier or Private Cask Selections.

Thank you to Lance over at for compiling this info for the list up to Mark XX (so I did not have to). I have created the table and added some additional info.

Review No: 178

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.

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