It’s been a while since my last review of a rum; a year in fact (this Worthy Park). And it’s been even longer since my last review of a rum from Foursquare, the Barbados distillery. That was of the 11 yo release of the 2004 vintage, a bottle I liked a lot—enough in fact to buy several more of after that first encounter. Today I have for you a review of the release of the 2005 vintage. It’ll be the first of three rum reviews this week. Like the 2004 it was bottled at 59% abv and made without any addition of sugar or other additives. And it’s also a blend of pot still and column distilled rums and matured in ex-bourbon casks. It is, however, a year older. Will that make for a big difference in the profile? Let’s see.
Foursquare 12, 2005 (59%; from a bottle split)
Nose: Comes in sweet with caramel and molasses; just a hint of aniseed in the back. Some toffee too on the second sniff and the aniseed expands and picks up some herbal backing (sage). Gets sweeter as it sits (ripe plantain). Brighter with a few drops of water and there’s a bit of milk chocolate now along with an almost smoky note.
Palate: As indicated by the nose minus the herbs and aniseed. That is to say, sweet: a dark brown sweetness of caramel and brown sugar with some vanilla mixed in. The spice begins to pick up as I swallow. Very approachable at full strength. On the second sip there’s some nice citrus mixed in—Cointreau, a touch of lemon peel. With time the spice comes out earlier. Okay, let’s add water. Ah, it expands the spice: more pepper now and some oaky grip—but it’s not overbearing and works very well.
Finish: Long. The sweetness lingers but spicy notes arise as a counterpoint: clove, a bit of pepper, cinnamon.
Comments: Like the 2004, this is a delicious, highly drinkable rum: elegant and flawless. Water adds complexity but not quite enough to take it to the next tier. I do wish I’d purchased a bottle though. I need to do a better job of paying attention to rum releases in the US.
Rating: 89 points.