Review: Foursquare 2004 Fine Blended Rum by Jason Hambrey

Foursquare 2004 2.jpg
11 years; Ex-bourbon barrels
From molasses
Distiller Foursquare Distillery (St. Philip, Barbados)

Foursquare is becoming an exceedingly popular rum brand, offering high proof, quality rums with transparent information (cask type, aging, etc.). Sadly, I've never seen it in Canada but it's not too hard to find in the states. They produce rums from pot and column still, and this is a blend of both distillates bottled as part of their exceptional casks selection.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: Exceptional Cask Selection Mark III

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Bright, earthy, interesting – orange, molasses, sweet oak, butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut – still very sweet and dessert like - some spicy grassy notes balance it out on the backend too. Oak is quite dominant for an ex-bourbon cask – the warm weather must really work on the oak extraction.

Palate starts slightly sweet, with more orange, blueberry, before finishing in a slightly earthy, molasses laden and spicy finish. The oak fits in very nicely – I imagine it’s a rum bourbon whisky drinkers might relate to because of the big oak integration. The finish builds very nicely, seemingly picking up flavor and viscosity as it builds – starting with dried fruit, then adding in dry spice and eventually oak – in the end drying out. Nice dried berries on the finish, too. I really like it at full strength – it swims well but there is a bit of tarry, medicinal notes that seem to be lost as water is added.

Very nice. Stylistically, I like sharper pot still rums (like the Jamaican Smith & Cross, which is sharper and almost smoky) – but this is terrific, complex, balanced, and interesting.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: Average. While it’s hard to find high quality, cask strength rums for this price, it still comes at a decent price (~100 CAD).

Review: Mount Gay Extra Old Barbados Rum by Jason Hambrey

8-15 years
From molasses
Distiller Mount Gay (St. Lucy, Barbados)

Another classic premium rum, from the Barbados producer who is also well known as a sponsor for sailing events. The rum is produced with open air fermentation and pot distillation - some single and some double distilled. The XO product contains relatively more of the double distillates, which, presumably, are quite a bit lighter.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Nose: spicy and rich, and dry too. Lightly bitter with some lighter fruit lifting the aromas a bit out of the darkness too. Rum soaked raisins, and some dusty earthiness. It is too bad about the bitterness.

Taste: Very rich, though a bit flat. The length is good, and it does develop well. Some decent spice on the end too. Enjoyable, but perhaps there is a bit too much in the way of bitterness there. Medium level sweetness.

Finish: A bit of spiciness, but there isn't a whole lot of complexity or body, and there's a bit of a saccharin staleness too. These are relatively minor points - it is a good rum. Some cinnamon spice too.

This would work well in cocktails that embrace dark rum.

Assessment: Recommended.

Value: Average. Not a bad rum for the price!