Another must-see at RumFest is Richard Seale and his rum from the Foursquare distillery. Much of his high-end rum can be found at the Velier stand. Both Richard and Luca Gargano have worked in partnership with each other for years and have a shared position regarding the new classification of rum [for another blog at another time.
First up are four Foursquare rums from last years show. Yes i’m at least a year behind.
[Foursquare] R. L. Seale ‘Finest Aged’ Barbados Rum  46%
- C: Decent, rounded though indistinct rum, no doubt perfect for mixing. Isn’t that what rum and other spirits over the centuries has all been about? – i’m not talking 1970’s Caroni here.
Scores 79 points
Luca doesn’t like the term cask finishing, whereas Richard appears more at home with it. But when the finish is twice as long as the initial cask[s], isn’t it time we came up with an alternative/more glamorous term for re-racking? This spent the first three years in bourbon casks before six years collectively in a port cask. On the other hand, maybe it’s not an issue if, like Luca and Richard, everything is clearly explained on the label. It’s nice to know these things, it’s interesting.
- N: Maybe a slight detection of port on the nose but i wouldn’t have thought it without being prepped. Mainly it’s straight ahead bourbon-rounded rum. So can we then assume the port casks were old refills?
- T: Bourbon<port sweet – the port clearly more evident on the palate.
- F: Now the vanilla really stretches out.
- C: This works for me. The port really only features on the palate, otherwise it’s bourbon-business as usual.
Scores 85 points
A single distillery blend of pot & column still rum, bourbon & Zinfandel cask matured.
- N: Caramel=column<pot still distillate.
- T: Lighter than the R. L. Seale ‘Finest aged’ and rounder. Sugar-sweet>funk developing.
- F: Nothing spectacular, nothing out of place.
- C: This works i think, given how little Zinfandel cask rum experience I’ve had – exactly none.
Scores 84 points
Foursquare 2004/2015 11yo Ob. R. L. Seale 59% WF90
Another single distillery blend of pot & column still rum, matured in ex-bourbon casks.
- N: I nose vegetal tomato stock, so we’ve a funkier spirit than the last three.
- T: With a large presence, it’s dry & woody yet chewy – taste & mouthfeel.
- F: Vegetal & fruity, heading in the latter stages somewhat inevitably towards vanilla.
- C: No theatrics, just excellent rum.
Scores 90 points
Now i’m up to date, here’s two from this years show.
‘This premium rum from the Foursquare distillery is made by blending three vintages (2004, 2005, 2007) from three different types of cask (bourbon, Madeira, virgin oak): hence the name Triptych’. TWE
- N: This really works. With natural chemical reactions like this, who needs botanicals/gin? Later, banana sweet with a little smoke/burned distillate.
- T: Needs a little water though there’s still some soft heat at the back of the throat. There’s a simple cohesion to this, much like a single malt.
- F: Malty=cognac. Good stuff, no fuss.
- C: A malternative, but now an expensive one on the second-hand market.
Scores 86 points
Foursquare ‘Principia’ rum R.L. Seale 62%
A soon-to-be-released blended single rum at high strength, consisting of 3&4 yo rum. Richard Seale said that it’s time rum pushed ahead with similar cask practises as the whisky industry have been successfully deploying for years. Here’s the result.
- C: Wowee that’s full on and full of all the things. In your face complexity. [My focus on being more brief seems to be paying off].
Provisionally scores 89 points