Speaking of things I have been buying but not reviewing, here is a rum. I’ve not reviewed very many rums and most of those that I have have been insane Hampdens from Jamaica. This is a rum from Barbados. Foursquare—like Hampden–is a working distillery but unlike it, has an official presence in the US. A number of rums from the distillery have been released here and they’ve been fairly priced. This 11 yo from 2004 is still available and can be found in the $60 range. That may seem like a very high price to those who’re accustomed to thinking of rum as a rough spirit to be mixed with Coke but this is a good sipping rum, and the price is very good compared to a lot of single malt whisky. The Springbank 12 CS, for example, goes for $80. This rum is, I believe, a blend of pot and column still distilled rums and like all of Foursquare’s rums is made without the addition of sugar or any other sweeteners prior to bottling. It’s one I really enjoy and it’s about time I posted a review.
Foursquare 11, 2004 (59%; from my own bottle)
Nose: A very rummy nose that announces its sugarcane origins even as toffee and caramel and a bit of orange peel come in alongside. As it sits there’s a growing note of clove and just a hint of aniseed. More caramel with water.
Palate: Pretty much as announced by the nose but with more brown sugar and more of the aniseed. Very drinkable at full strength. The spice notes increase with time but don’t become overbearing; oakier too now. Okay, let’s add some water. Yes, water softens it up nicely—less oak and less spice now.
Finish: Medium-long. Nothing very new here; the dominant impression is made by spicy oak (some pepper joins the clove) and the caramel shows up again at the end, and it’s a little more scorched now. As on the palate with water.
Comments: A very drinkable rum—even at full strength—and one that would probably make very good cocktails as well (though I have not gotten around to it). I don’t know enough about rum to know how representative this is of the Bajan style but this is far closer to the dark rums most people know than to something crazy like Hampden. I liked it better with water.
Rating: 87 points.
Great review as always! Have you ever had Caroni? I’ve never have had rum, but I’ve read that the Caroni is the “Port Ellen” of rum. Was just wondering how it compares to rums from open distilleries (since Caroni is ghosted)