Tasting Notes for Doorly's 14 Year Old Barbados Rum
Nose: Woody oak notes dominate initially giving to dark fruits - blackberries, some prunes and and rich dried fruits.
Taste: Loads of spices straight off the bat, namely ginger and oak, fading into Madeira sweetness and dark chocolate orange, along with jammy berries.
Finish: Spices reappear on the finish with the addition of cinnamon, and a touch of char.
Overall: Another beautiful rum from the Foursquare Distillery, with the fruitiness of ex-Madeira casks balancing out the woody oak.
Handcrafted by Master Distiller and all-round hero Richard Seale using a blend of column and pot still rums that have matured for at least 14 years in ex-Bourbon barrels. It offers phenomenal value for money, especially considering that a 14-year-old spirit matured in a tropical climate displays an equivalent development that might take nearer 30 years in Europe. Rums from Foursquare contain no flavourings or added sugar, this one just has a little caramel to restore the cask colouring after dilution to 48% and a small portion of the blend was matured in ex-Madeira casks, giving a wonderful natural sweetness and richness. There’s also more tropical fruits than a Carmen Miranda headpiece, the nostalgia of toffee apples, ginger beer and chocolate orange, plus hedgerow berry jam, cinnamon, smoking barbeque embers, vanilla, mulled wine, summer pudding and marmalade. Sip this slowly, lovingly and neat.
Each bottle of Doorly's features a parrot on the front, which we love, and the Macaw emblazoned on the 14 year old is the critically endangered blue-throated macaw, which is as rare, as bright and as beautiful as this great rum. Nice to see it make an appearance on the bottle and will hopefully raise some awareness about the plight of a pirate's best friend.
International Wine & Spirits Competition: 92 Points
In some spirit categories there are distilleries which just stand out for excellence. Buffalo Trace for bourbons, Middleton for Irish whiskeys, to name but two examples. The equilvalent distillery in the rum world, for us anyway, is the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. They simply do not make bad rum.
The FourSquare Distillery is owned by R.L Seale & Company, a fourth generation family business started in the 1926 and now run by Sir David Seale and his son Richard. After spending decades perfecting their techniques in blending rum, they finally started producing their own when they took over and refurbished an old abandoned Sugar Factory in 1995. Production started in 1996 and the awards have been flowing in ever since, including the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) Rum Producer of the Year four times, in 2016 through 2019 and the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) Rum Producer of the Year in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Distilling operations are overseen by Richard Seale, who has developed a reputation for innovation and embracing new technologies. Surprisingly, despite the distillery being located in the middle of a sugar plantation, they need to import most of their molasses from neighbouring Guyana (the sugar cane factory was separated from the old plantation in the 1950's).
The rums produced at Foursquare are generally a blend of pot and column stills, and rums are blended both before and after aging. As is the norm, aging is usually done in ex-bourbon casks, but they have also use ex-sherry, madeira, port and zinfadel casks in smaller amounts. Casks are filled at 65-68% abv for greater wood extraction, which is rare as most rum producers fill casks above 70% and many approaching 80% abv. Absolutely no additives are ever added to Foursquare rums.
In a time when many producers take average rum and throw in some sugar or other additives to cover up flaws and fool the public into paying a premium (we won't mention names, but will always point out when additives have been introduced), Foursquare have taken a systematic approach to their distillation. Using the most modern equipment and techniques available, together with a strong focus on producing to the highest quality, ensures that the rum speak for itself. No additives required!
Producer Foursquare Distillery Style Rum Age A minimum of 14 years Volume 70CL ABV 48%