Tasting Notes for Foursquare Sovereignty - Exceptional Cask Selection
Nose: A complex combination of blackberry preserve, victoria plums, over-ripe banana, and dates. Zesty lemon peel, cocoa powder, rich caramel and toffee. Delicate ginger cake.
Taste: Soft and sweet onto the palate. Tart and lip smacking. Lots more of the blackberry preserve, with ripe papaya and tamarind. Turkish Delight. Anise, and soft chewy licorice sweets. Another slice of gingerbread and fresh walnuts.
Finish: Warming. Lots of grip that lingers long. Pimento and green tea. Licorice and bitter dark chocolate.
Sovereignty is the 19th Exceptional Cask Selection from Foursquare and celebrates Barbados' recent transition into the world's newest republic. It uses two 14 year old rums, one matured fully in ex-bourbon casks and the other starting its maturation in bourbon and moving to sherry casks for the final 11 years. Embodying the distillery's signature pot and column style- expect notes of butterscotch, summer fruits and gingerbread.
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 Single Blended Rum Age A minimum of 14 years Volume 70CL ABV 62%